DENVER - No. 5 Denver used a pair of early-period goals by Matt Marcinew, one in the first and one in the second, en route to a 3-0 win over the Michigan State hockey team on Saturday night at Magness Arena in Denver. Jake Hildebrand made a season-high 38 stops in the loss for the Spartans (1-2-1), who will return to Munn Ice Arena next week for a home-opening series against Lake Superior State.
Marcinew scored what proved to be the only goal the Pioneers would need 1:19 into the first period.
The Spartans put together their best scoring chances of the period in the final two minutes when they got their first power play of the night. MSU pressured the Pioneers nearly the entire final minute and a half of the period, creating a flurry of chances, but couldn’t get the puck past Denver goaltender Tanner Jaillet.
The Spartans found themselves on the wrong end of another early period goal when Marcinew put home a one-timer from the low slot less than a minute into the second.
Denver (3-1) made it 3-0 3:24 into the third period.
Grant Arnold took the puck hard to the net from the left side where Hildebrand kicked out his attempt with a left pad save, but Jarid Lukosevicius put home the rebound over the sprawled goaltender.
“That’s a darn good team. They dominated the game tonight,” said MSU head coach Tom Anastos.
Both teams finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play. The Spartans extinguished all seven Denver power plays on the weekend.
“It’s something to build off of, we take pride in our penalty kill,” said Anastos. “We’re not leaving here with a lot of positives but that’s one we can certainly continue to build from.”
Hildebrand’s 38 save performance upped his career total to 2,905, moving him past Ron Scott into fourth place on MSU’s all-time saves list.
After playing their first four games of the season away from home, the Spartans will return to East Lansing next week to host Lake Superior State. The Spartans will meet the Lakers at Munn Ice Arena on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. both nights.