After a Friday night win over the Lake Superior State Lakers at Lansing’s Munn Arena the nationally ranked Michigan State Spartans looked poised to capture first place in the CCHA hockey league. All the Spartans had to do to move past number one Miami of Ohio was beat the Lakers on Saturday.
After losing a hard fought game 4-2 on Friday the Lakers took to the ice Saturday looking to hold on to their own fifth place in the league standings. The Lakers went after MSU starting goal tender Drew Palmisano hard in the first period with sixteen shots on goal but were unable to score. State’s Dustin Gazley scored the periods only goal beating LSSU starting net minder Brian Mahoney-Wilson with less than a minute left before the first intermission.
In the second period it was Mahoney-Wilson who had to face the offensive push fighting off all twelve of MSU’s shots on goal. LSSU’s Steven Kaunisto beat the MSU defense to tally the only goal of the second tying the score at one.
LSSU Dan Barczuk started the scoring 2:36 into the third period giving the Lakers their first lead of the game. MSU’s Andrew Rowe evened the score at 9:23 with the games only power play score. Less than a minute later Lakers individual points leader Rick Schofield picked up his second point of the night scoring a shorthanded goal and putting the Lakers back on top 3-2. With less than three minutes left in the game National Player of the Month the Spartan’s Corey Tropp tied the score at three and sending the game to overtime.
After a scoreless five minute overtime period each of the CCHA rivals received one point in the conference standings and then went to a three player shootout to determine who would get the final of the nights three possible points. The point moved MSU to within one of league leading Miami of Ohio and left LSSU tied with Ohio State for fifth.
MSU’s Dean Chelios got past Mahoney-Wilson in the first round of shots but neither of the Spartans subsequent shooters could score. The first two LSSU shooters were unsuccessful in their attempts at MSU goalie Palmisano but Zac MacVoy made his shot leaving the tie breaking chances to a fourth round of shooters. After misses by both fourth round shooters LSSU’s Domenic Monardo put the extra point into the Lakers season total leaving them once again in sole possession of the CCHA’s fifth spot.
Even coming off a sweep of the team that was sweeping the number one team in the nation while the Lakers were narrowly losing one and then tying one against a top ten team LSSU seems even further away from a national top 20 spot receiving less votes in this weeks polls than in lasts. A pair of losses by Miami of Ohio to Robert-Morris and MSU’s win over Lake State moved the Spartan’s up to seventh in the USCHO national poll