Jan. 24, 1998
Spartans Come Back to Beat Lake Superior, 4-3
EAST LANSING, Mich.--Talk about comebacks.
Michigan State junior left wing Bryan Adams came back from a shoulder injury which forced him to miss 10 games to score a goal for the Spartans.
Senior goaltender and Hobey Baker candidate Chad Alban, after being pulled 7:50 into the second period with Lake Superior leading 3-2, came back to shut out the visitors in the third period.
And Michigan State came back from that 3-2 deficit to score two third-period goals -- including Adams' game-winner -- to defeat the visiting Lakers 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 6,638 at Munn Ice Arena Saturday night. It marked the first time this season (in only three attempts) that Michigan State won after trailing at the second intermission. Michigan State jumped out to what appeared to be a comfortable 2-0 first-period lead thanks to a goal and an assist from junior center Mike York. York set up freshman right wing Andrew Bogle's second career goal on the second shift of the game at the 1:04 mark before York scored his 49th career goal just under five minutes later. Despite leading 2-0, Michigan State was outplayed in the first period and outshot, 10-7. Lake Superior's strength would finally show on the scoreboard in the second.
Three of the Lakers' first four shots in the second beat Alban, who was pulled from the game after LSSU's third goal at the 7:50 mark in favor of freshman Joe Blackburn.
"We did everything we could to change the momentum -- we called timeout (after the Lakers' second goal), we changed goaltenders -- then we talked about just going out in the third period and playing our game," head coach Ron Mason said afterwards.
The Spartans' game once again included Alban, who returned to the net. Although he would only face four shots in the third -- stopping them all -- his puck-handling ability and mere presence in goal gave MSU a lift. Alban would earn his 76th career victory at MSU, tying him for second on the school chart and ninth in NCAA history with Norm Foster and Ken Dryden. Senior center Sean Berens scored a crucial goal for Michigan State right off the bat in the third, getting the tying goal at the 0:54 mark on a four-on-four situation.
The Spartans continued to pressure and finally converted again when Adams notched his first point since he fractured his right clavicle Nov. 30. The junior left wing, who has been York's linemate each of the past two years, converted on an assist from York, who notched his team-leading 36th point. Lake Superior applied pressure late, but could not penetrate the Spartan defense or Alban. Michigan State improves to 21-3-3 with the win and inches ever closer to first place in the CCHA. First-place Michigan lost for the second consecutive night at Miami Saturday, leaving MSU one point out of first with a game in hand.
The Spartans are at home again next weekend for a two-game set with Miami.
* Tonight marked just the third time this season that MSu trailed going into the third period and the first time the Spartans came back to win one of those games.
* Lake Superior became just the fifth team in 27 games to score more than two goals against MSU.
* Mike York's 19 goals this season represent a new career high, as do Sean Berens' 21 goals.
* York had his team-leading 10th multiple-point game of the season (in 23 games played, 43.5%) and the 36th multiple-point game of his career (in 99 games played, 36.4%). He has 121 career points in 99 games (1.22 points per game).