Jan. 10, 1998
Berens Leads Spartan Hockey Past NMU, 6-1
Senior center Sean Berens scored four goals -- including a natural hat trick in the third period -- to lead Michigan State to a 6-1 rout of Northern Michigan Saturday night at Munn ice Arena.
It marked the second consecutive hat trick for Berens and the third consecutive multiple-goal game and came after he was forced to sit out Friday's game while serving a game disqualification penalty. The four-goal game was the first by a Spartan since Anson Carter in 1993 and the natural hat trick was MSU's first since Rem Murray in 1994.
Michigan State scored four times on the power play and built a 2-0 first-period lead on two PPGs. Mike York scored first -- the second consecutive game and seventh time this year he has started the Spartan scoring. Rustyn Dolyny also converted in the first period and would later assist on Berens' final two goals.
Berens gave MSU a 3-0 lead in the second period -- also on the power play -- before Northern Michigan answered with an unassisted short-handed goal. The Wildcats threatened seriously in the second period, outshooting the Spartans, 14-6, but Chad Alban made 13 of his 21 saves.
Berens erased any hopes of an NMU comeback with his three goals in the third period, including scores in the first and last minute of the period. Berens' goal count in his last four games now reads 1, 2, 3, 4, and he has taken over the team lead in scoring with 19 goals and 9 assists (28 points). He is one goal away from his total from all of last season.
Michigan State returns to action Friday against Alaska Fairbanks at 7 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena (on FOX Sports Net). Saturday the Spartans travel to Ferris State for a meeting with the Bulldogs at 7 p.m.