Oct. 10, 2009
East Lansing, Mich. - Freshman Chris Forfar scored the go-ahead goal with just under three minutes remaining in regulation to give Michigan State a 4-3 victory over Clarkson and a series sweep on Saturday afternoon. Nick Sucharski and Derek Grant each had a goal and an assist and junior blueliner Jeff Petry added a pair of helpers for the Spartans, who are 2-0 on the season.
As time was waning in the third period, the Spartans had their all-freshman line on the ice looking to break a 3-3 deadlock. Zach Golembiewski had a shot from the slot that was saved by netminder Paul Karpowich, but popped into the air in a crowd at the top of the crease. An opportunistic Forfar batted the puck out of midair and into the back of the net. A lengthy video review followed, but the goal call stood and the Spartans took the late lead. Clarkson pulled its netminder for the final 1:20 in an effort to gain the equalizer;
The teams traded goals in the opening seven minutes of the game. Clarkson took a page from MSU's Friday playbook and scored in the first two minutes of the period, when Mark Borowiecki's blast from the blue line beat Jarosz blocker-side.
Michigan State knotted the game at the 6:13 mark with a power play goal, as Nick Sucharski took a pass from winger Derek Grant and wristed a shot from the top of the left circle. The Golden Knights got the one-goal lead back with an extra-man tally of its own at 14:29, when Louke Oakley ripped a slapshot from the right half-wall that ricocheted off the post and into the back of the net.
The Spartans scored the first two goals of the second period to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead. The first came at 3:25, when Jeff Petry fired a rocket from just inside the blueline, and Grant got a stick on it in front to deflect it past Karpowich. MSU got the go-ahead tally at 9:36 on a beautiful shot by Daultan Leveille. The centerman took a pass from Andrew Rowe just inside the blue line, skated to the right hash, and sniped the puck just under the blocker hand of the netminder for his first goal of the season.
Midway through the third, the visitors knotted the game with a goal by Matt Beca, his second of the weekend. Becas shot came with considerable traffic in front, and it found its destination from the right side of the net. The tempo increased as the time grew later in the period, but MSU weathered the storm setting up the Forfar tally.
Karpowich made 32 saves for Clarkson, while Jarosz made a career-best 28 in his season debut.
Michigan State now will prepare for a pair of road series. Next weekend, MSU treks to Bangor, Maine to take on the Black Bears,followed by a CCHA series at Miami.
NOTES: Michigan State recorded its first sweep of a home weekend since Nov. 9-10, 2007 against Mercyhurst. With an abundance of home-and-home series, the Spartans have played only nine two-game home series since that weekend ... Bobby Jarosz was making his first start in net since Nov. 10, 2007 ... Derek Grant and Corey Tropp each had two point games in both tilts this weekend ... MSU went 5-for-16 (.312) on the power play. The Spartans scored just 20 power play goals a year ago ... MSU's 10 goals on the weekend was the most in a two-game set since Feb. 29-March 1, 2008 against Bowling Green ...