Nov. 16, 2007
East Lansing, Mich. - The top-ranked Miami RedHawks completed a two-game sweep of No. 3 Michigan State on Friday, posting a 3-1 victory over the Spartans in East Lansing. It was the first sweep by a CCHA opponent at Munn since November of 2005, and dropped the Spartans to 8-3 on the year, 4-2 in the CCHA. Miami improves to 11-1, 9-1 CCHA.
The visitors, as they did a night ago, took an early lead with a power play tally. It was junior winger Justin Mercier who put back a rebound of two Jarod Palmer shots at 4:12, off assists from Nino Musitelli and Mitch Ganzak. The Red Hawks took a 2-0 lead midway through the frame, converting on their second man-up opportunity of the night when Carter Camper was able to get his stick on the puck in the slot.
The Spartans cut into the lead at 12:20, scoring a power-play tally of their own. Mike Ratchuk slapped the puck from the left point, and Matt Schepke tipped it at the left post for his fifth goal of the season.
The teams were scoreless through the middle frame, and the second half of the third period was perhaps Michigan State's best of the weekend - MSU generated traffic down low and terrific scoring chances. The Spartans had two great scoring opportunities within a two-minute span, first as Chris Mueller's chance on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break went just wide. Just over a minute later, freshmen Corey Tropp and Dustin Gazley had the two-on-one break, but Tropp's offering was saved by Jeff Zatkoff. Late in the period, Justin Abdelkader rang the post, and Tim Crowder had a great chance that was just wide as well.
Ryan Jones iced the victory for Miami with a empty-net tally with 28 seconds remaining.
Jeff Lerg made 30 saves, while Zatkoff made 24 to capture the victory.
Michigan State wraps up a six-game homestand next weekend when it hosts the College Hockey Showcase. The Spartans entertain Minnesota on Friday, and Wisconsin on Saturday. Both games begin at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: Michigan State's first-period power play goal was just the fourth allowed by Miami all season ... The Spartan power play, which entered the weekend tops in Division I, went just 1-for-15 in the series. Only one goal against the Spartans this weekend was 5x5: Miami scored four of its seven goals on the power play, and two were empty-net tallies ... ... Tim Kennedy was held pointless for the first time in eight games ...Jeff Lerg had a pair of 30-save performances in the weekend ...