Dec. 6, 1997

Ron Mason Wins 500th Game at Michigan State

Spartans Top Bowling Green, 4-2

Ron Mason.

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Legendary head coach Ron Mason earned his 500th victory at Michigan State Saturday night as the Spartans defeated Bowling Green, 4-2.

Mason, already college hockey’s all-time winningest coach with 789 victories, became just the fifth coach with 500 victories at one school. He coached at Bowling Green and Lake Superior before coming to Michigan State in 1979-80. At MSU, Mason is 500-234-46 in 19 years (789-344-60 in 32 years overall).

“It’s really nice,” said Mason, who was honored in a post-game ceremony by MSU President Peter McPherson and Athletic Director Merritt Norvell. “But all it is is a number, and the most important number is No. 1. That’s where we are in the league and that’s where we are in the nation. That’s where we want to be in the end.”

Junior center Mike York opened the scoring for the Spartans, finishing a first-period breakaway set up by a long pass from senior defenseman Tyler Harlton. York also added MSU’ insurance goal on an empty net.

Bowling Green tied the score early in the second on a breakaway of its own, with Brad Holzinger scoring on a short-handed chance. The Spartans reclaimed the lead, sandwiching goals aroung another Falcon score in a furious 1:23 span of the second period. Freshman left wing Sean Patchell’s goal 16:05 into the period, which finished the flurry, proved to be the game-winner.

Senior goaltender Chad Alban stopped 23 shots in the MSU nets to earn the victory, while freshman Shawn Timm made several spectacular stops among his 14 saves for Bowling Green.

The two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. in Munn Ice Arena before both squads take two weekends off for the holidays.

  • The win is top-ranked MSU’s eighth consecutive victory. The Spartans have allowed two goals or fewer in all eight wins.
  • The two goals marked Mike York’s second multiple-goal game of the season and his sixth multiple-point game. York has a point in each of MSU’s eight consecutive wins and a goal in six of those games. The only game this year York has been held without a point was MSU’s only loss.
  • BG’s Brad Holzinger scored the first short-handed goal against Michigan State this year.