Nov. 28, 1997
Early Goals, Defense Lead MSU to Win Over No. 6 Wisconsin, 2-0
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State's big offensive guns-Sean Berens and Mike York-scored first period goals and the Spartans big defensive guns-Chad Alban and company-held down the defensive end the rest of the game, leading the No. 1 ranked Spartans to a 2-0 victory over No. 6 Wisconsin Friday night at the Munn Arena in the opener of the College Hockey Showcase.
The Spartans improve to 12-1-2, and survive their biggest challenge since defeating Michigan 4-2 in Ann Arbor Oct. 25. Wisconsin (7-2-0) visits the Wolverines Sunday, while Minnesota, which lost to Michigan by a Friday, comes to Munn.
Berens struck first 2:49 into the first period, with a goal from a nice pass from Kevin O'Keefe. Freshman defenseman Brody Brandstatter had the second assist on the goal, his first career point as a Spartan.
York struck back on a rebound 17:02 into the first period, giving the Spartans a 2-0 cushion. It marked the fourth time in the last five games that York and Berens have both had goals.
Alban was all that Michigan State needed from then on, as a stifling MMSU defense blocked 12 shots. Alban made 19 saves en route to his ninth career shutout, two more than the next closest goalternder in MSU history, Bob Essensa.
The game marked just the second time in the 77-game history of the series that the Spartans shut out the Badgers and the first since the second game of the series (Dec. 12, 1964, 9-0 in Demonstration Hall, East Lansing).