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Nov. 30, 1997

Hockey Extends Win Streak to Seven Against Minnesota

Bryan Adams will be out about six weeks after suffering an injury.

For the seventh consecutive game, Michigan State held its opponent to two goals or fewer and captured the victory, this time 3-2 over Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase Sunday at Munn Ice Arena.

The No. 1 ranked Spartans scored first for the 12th time in 16 games as an unlikely hero stepped up. Junior Mike Ford -- without a goal his entire sophomore season and in the last 54 games he had played -- came up the left wing and fired a slapshot past Gopher goaltender Steve DeBus.

Michigan State made it 2-0 on a power-play goal by Kevin O’Keefe 11:23 into the second period, but Minnesota’s Wyatt Smith, who scored both Gopher goals, cut the lead to 2-1 late in the second.

Junior center Mike York scored an unassisted goal 7:09 into the third when he won a faceoff himself, skated in on DeBus and poked home his own rebound. It was the ninth goal of the year for York, tying him with senior center Sean Berens for the team lead.

Smith would cut the Spartan lead to one again with 2:31 remaining, but MSU held strong behind the backbone of goaltender Chad Alban, who made 26 saves. The Spartan defense contributed as well, blocking 17 shots before they reached the goal.

The win was not without bad news for Michigan State, which loses junior left wing Bryan Adams for approximately six weeks with a right shoulder clavicle fracture. Adams was injured falling into the boards in the first period. He entered the game tied for the team lead in points with York.

Michigan State returns to action next Saturday nad Sunday, Dec. 6-7, as it hosts Bowling Green.

Ron Mason: “It feels good any weekend to get two wins. Against Minnesota it has been a tough series for us the last few years. Tonight was a crucial game just to prove to ourselves that we can beat that team.”

Chad Alban: “This weekend I got tested a little bit more than usual, which makes it fun for me.This proves again that we are a good team.

“Minnesota is a great hockey team and we knew they would get their chances. I think the toughest for me was probably the rebound in the second period I had to make a glove save on, but they had several good chances.”

Mike York: (On Bryan Adams’ injury): “It hurts our team immensely. Bryan is a great player who does a lot of things well -- he can score, kill penalties. I really enjoy playing with him. Hopefully we can work through it and get him back healthy.”

Mike Ford: “It’s been a long time since my last goal. It really was nice to see that red light go on.”

Sean Berens: “It’s an excellent feeling right now. Minnesota has beaten us the last four or five years and they knocked us out of the tournament last year. It felt good to beat a team like that.

“I think we’re a solid team right now. Of course every time you go out you hope you are going to get better. I think we are a good team right now and if we work hard we can become a great team.”

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