Men's Hockey Earns Sweep of Mankato State
EAST LANSING, Mich.- Michigan State senior goaltender Chad Alban set the school record for career shutouts with his eigth as the Spartans defeated Mankato State, 4-0, at Munn Arena Saturday night. Senior center Sean Berens notched his second consecutive two-goal game to lead the Spartan offense.
Alban didn't see many shots in his record-setting perormance. Mankato managed just 11 shots on goal to Michigan State's 37, as the Spartans outshot the visitors 69-24 in the weekend sweep. It marked the fewest shots Michigan State has ever given up in a twp-game series.
Alban did face pressure in the third period, as Michigan State found itself at a 5-on-3 disadvantage. He made a few strong saves--including one off his mask--to preserve the shutout. He had previously shared the MSU career record for shutouts with Bob Essena.
Other than the milestone, however, the story belong in the other end of the rink, where Berens and the Spartan power play were on fire. MSU scored twice with the man advantage in the first period (Mike York and Bryan Adams), giving the Spartans a 2-0 first-intermission edge.
Beren's two goals came in the second period, marking the first time in his career he has produced back-to-back two-goal games. He has a four-game point-scoring streak during which he has 5-3-8 totals.
NOTES: * Michigan State's 21 shots in the first period mark the most shots in a period by the Spartans this year. * Michigan State has held its opponent to five shots or fewer in seven consecutive periods, dating back through the third period of the Nov. 8 Motre Dame game. * Seven time (in 12 games) Michigan State has held its opponent to fewer than five shots in the first period. * Sean Berens has had back-to-back two-goal games for the first time in his career. He has 10 career two-goal games. Berens has a four-game point-scoring streak, with 5-3-8 totals in that time.
QUOTES: Ron Mason: "You know, it's not easy in this business to sweep a team anymore. The players deserve a lot of credit, they were able to maintain their focus. I think the last few years we might have split in a weekend like this, but the character is in this lockerroom." "We saw how good Chad Alban really is when we were down two men in the third period. He preserved the shutout and it's nice for him to get it."
Chad Alban: "It's a good accomplishment, but it just shows how good the team is in front of me. Those guys--Harlton, Bogas, Kozakowski, Weaver--they are phenomenal. I can't say enough about them."