Oct. 6, 2006
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State pounced on Wilfrid Laurier with seven first-period goals and skated to a clean 11-2 victory Friday night at Munn Ice Arena, in the Spartans' first exhibition contest of the year.
Bryan Lerg had a four-goal night with a pair of assists, while classmate Jim McKenzie tallied a goal and five helpers for the Spartans, who open up the 2006-07 season next Friday against CCHA cluster-mate Western Michigan.
"I think our guys were happy to get out there against another team and work on the things that we're going to need to do to be successful this season," noted head coach Rick Comley. "Its not necessarily a statement about where our team is right now, but we were able to work on some things that will help us be ready for our league opener next week."
Captain Chris Lawrence opened the MSU's scoring at 2:36 into the first period, capitalizing on a crisp feed from Nick Sucharski. Camped in front of the net, Lawrence took a feed from Sucharski and slammed home the game's first goal, for a 1-0 Spartan lead.
MSU caught Wilfrid Laurier on a line change and scored on a 2-on-1 rush to push its lead to 2-0 at 4:24. Chris Mueller skated up the left wing and saucered a pass to Bryan Lerg in the high slot, who kicked the pass to his stick and sent a wrister into the back of the net for his first of four goals on the night.
Bryan Lerg jump-started MSU's power play, converting a backdoor pass from McKenzie for his second goal of the night, putting MSU ahead by three goals at 8:13. The Spartans cashed in on their second power-play goal at 9:16 on a Tyler Howells' wrist shot from the left circle, making the score 4-0. Tim Kennedy pushed the lead to 5-0, creating a breakaway to tally a shorthanded backhand goal.
Freshman Mike Ratchuk struck at 16:17 of the first period, and Lerg completed the hat trick at 19:27 to extend the Spartan lead to 7-0 entering the first intermission.
After finishing the first period 4-for-4 on the power play, Crowder kept the Spartans perfect with the man advantage in the second stanza, scoring unassisted at 13:19 for an 8-0 MSU lead. The Spartans entered the final frame with a 9-0 lead when Mueller roofed a Jim McKenzie rebound at 18:46.
John Theil and Luke Girard put the Golden Hawks on the board at 9:49 and 10:27 of the third period. Bryan Lerg and McKenzie added tallies in the final frame, capping the 11-2 Spartan win.
Michigan State's opener against Western Michigan next Friday will begin at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast live on Comcast East Lansing.