Hockey Falls at Western Michigan, 4-1
Nov. 23, 2013
KALAMAZOO - Two goals in each of the first two periods gave Western Michigan all it needed as it built a 4-0 lead and went on to defeat the Michigan State hockey team, 4-1, on Saturday night at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo. WMU went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Shane Berschbach tallied a goal and two assists. Mackenzie MacEachern scored his fourth goal of the season for the Spartans (3-7).
MSU outshot the Broncos for the second straight night. The Spartans fired 29 pucks on net, compared to the Broncos' 26, and produced several good chances throughout the game.
"I thought our guys competed really hard tonight," said MSU head coach Tom Anastos. "It was the most physical game we've played to this point and I think we did some growing up. We have to work to get ourselves in a position to get better results."
Western Michigan (5-5-2) took advantage of the first Spartan penalty of the game at the 3:06 mark and cashed in just over a minute later. Kenney Morrison took a pass at the left point from Dennis Brown and fired a slap shot through the legs of Jake Hildebrand to make it 1-0.
WMU made it 2-0 less than six minutes later as Justin Kovacs and Sam Mellor teamed up during a 4-on-4 situation inside the Spartan zone. The play started when Berschbach got the puck to Mellor off a draw inside the MSU end. Mellor controlled the puck in the right corner and took it toward the net where he found Kovacs on the doorstep, who directed the puck into the net.
The Spartans killed three consecutive penalties from the end of the first period and into the second and nearly made it four in a row. But the Broncos added to their lead on a power-play goal by Chris Dienes at 12:19 second period, scoring with eight seconds remaining on a JT Stenglein penalty. Dienes took a pass from Berschbach at the left point and wristed it over the shoulder of Hildebrand.
Berschbach upped the WMU lead to 4-0 at 17:08 of the second when he took a feed in the low slot from Kovacs and scored on an elevated shot.
MacEachern put the Spartans on the board at 7:31 of the third period when he put home a rebound. With the teams playing four aside, Thomas Ebbing won a faceoff back to Brock Krygier in the WMU zone. Krygier's shot bounced off netminder Frank Slubowski to MacEachern on the left side, who backhanded the puck into the net.
Hildebrand made 22 saves in the loss for MSU.
The Spartans will host Princeton in a two-game set next Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at Munn Ice Arena.
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