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Nov. 14, 1997

Michigan State Hockey Moves to 8-1-2 with Win

Joe Blackburn
Goaltender Joe Blackburn made 11 saves in his Spartan debut.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead and a stifling defense that never gave visiting Mankato State an opportunity to get back in the game, giving the Spartans a 5-2 victory and an 8-1-2 record. The victory made freshman goaltender Joe Blackburn's collegiate debut a successful one, as the rookie made 11 saves in the Spartan net.

It was a night of firsts in Munn Arena, as sophmore defenseman Mike Weaver scored his first career goal (in his 50th game) to open the scoring just 3:13 into the first. Junior ceter Mike York, no stranger to the offense, scored six minutes later, giving MSU a 2-0 cushion.

Junior left wing Bryan Adams notched the second of his three points for thenight near the end of the first period. Adams had three points on the night, giving him 16 for the season, already two more than he had all of last year.

Blackburn was solid in the nets, although Michigan State's defense held Mankato State to five or fewer shots in each period.

"It is really nice to get the first game under my belt," Blackburn said, "and especially nice to get the win. I was astonished by just how good the defense was when I actually see it in front of me."

Both teams scored once in the final two periods, as MSU's Sean Berens netted both Spartan goals. It was the ninth career two-goal game for Berens, who also had an assist in the first period.

The two teams reunite Saturday night at the Munn Arena for the second game of their two-game series.

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