Hockey Blanks AIC, 4-0, to Complete Weekend Sweep
Nov. 3, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - With the help of a pair of goals from freshman Mackenzie MacEachern and a shutout performance from goaltender Will Yanakeff, the Michigan State hockey team defeated American International, 4-0, on Sunday afternoon at Munn Arena to complete a two-game sweep of the Yellow Jackets. Greg Wolfe and Joe Cox also scored for the Spartans as they improved to 3-3 on the year.
"We played a more complete game today, which makes us feel a little bit better," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "We saw some good things from our five-on-five play - we created some very good scoring chances. I like how we backchecked. I also liked that we pitched a zero on the penalty kill and got a power-play goal. There were aspects of our game that showed growth and that's a good thing."
With the game scoreless early in the second period, MacEachern got his first goal of the day at the 1:46 mark by batting in a rebound. Jake Chelios started the play when he knocked the puck ahead in the neutral zone, sending Thomas Ebbing and MacEachern away with nothing between them and AIC goalie Hunter Leisner. Ebbing ripped a shot that got past Leisner, but rang off the post. MacEachern was on the doorstep for the rebound and put it home.
The Spartans made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 12:10 mark as Lee Reimer and Greg Wolfe - who each had two points in Friday's win - teamed up again. Reimer picked up his own rebound and then found Wolfe near the top of the right circle, who fired a rising shot over Leisner's shoulder into the corner of the net.
MacEachern got his second of the day just over four minutes into the third period. After a faceoff win in the AIC (1-3) zone by Ebbing, Brent Darnell picked up the puck in the right corner and threw it toward the net. MacEachern got his stick on the puck and jammed it in to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
Another freshman, Joe Cox, closed the scoring at the 14:59 mark with his second goal of the season. Dean Chelios took the puck from Mike Ferrantino and kept possession down low near the AIC net before giving it to Cox who beat Leisner.
Yanakeff made 26 stops in recording his fourth-career shutout for the Green and White.
"I thought Will looked very confident and very steady today," said Anastos. "I thought his position in net was good."
Now winners of three straight, the series sweep was the first for MSU since Feb. 17-18, 2012 when it defeated Alaska twice (3-2, 3-0).
"It's a sign of growth," said Anastos. "Our mission today was to complete a sweep."
Michigan State will head to Houghton next weekend to take on Michigan Tech on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. both days.
at the official