Nov. 14, 2008
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State would have preferred a better outcome for the opener of its only home series of the month of November, as it fell to Miami, 5-1, at Munn Arena on Friday evening. The Spartans fall to 4-5-2, 2-3-2-2 in CCHA play. The Red Hawks are now 5-3-3, 5-2-2-1. The teams meet again on Saturday to close the series.
The teams traded goals in the opening ten minutes of the game just 14 seconds apart; the Spartans struck first when Matt Schepke corralled a loose puck on the right side of the cage and had a wide-open net into which he deposited his fourth goal of the season, a team-best. Pat Cannone answered shortly thereafter, when his pass attempt from behind the net was tipped high and bounced past Jeff Lerg.
The Red Hawks used a three-goal middle frame to push to a commanding 4-1 lead. Miami took its first lead of the game with a power-play goal at the 4:30 mark of the second period. With Andrew Rowe in the box for clipping, Ray Eichenlaub's blast from the high slot beat Lerg high, glove-side.
A pair of goals less than two minutes apart broke open the game for Miami in the final five minutes of the period. The first was at 14:57, when Lerg came far out into the right circle to play the puck; his clearing attempt went right onto the stick of Kaufman, who had a wide-open net for his second of the game.
Justin Mercier scored his fourth goal of the season at 16:27 on the power play; he took a pass from Cannone on the left half-wall, and his wrister from just inside the left circle on the hash marks beat Lerg glove-side.
NOTES: Michigan State has dropped three straight games for the first time since Feb. 13, 16, and 17 of 2007 ... MSU scored the first goal of the game at 10:29. MSU is now 3-1-0 when scoring the first goal of the game ... The Spartans gave up five goals, the first time they had given up that many since a 5-2 loss to Michigan on March 16, 2007 in the CCHA semifinals... MSU has lost all three games played this season against its CCHA clustermates ... The two teams combined for 96 penalty minutes - both finished with 20 infractions for 48 minutes... Michigan State surrendered three power-play goals (in eight attempts) allowing just five in its first five games. The Spartans were 0-for-8 on the power play ... Andrew Conboy finished with five penalties for 18 minutes, tying him for second in the MSU record book for most penalties in a game, tied most recently by Jon Insana on Jan. 23, 1999 vs. Northern Michigan. Conboy's 18 minutes ties the fourth-most in a single game in MSU history ...