Spartans swamp Lakers to win 5th straight

Spartans swamp Lakers to win 5th straight

The Michigan State ice hockey team is on a roll after completing the weekend sweep of visiting Lake Superior State with a 4-0 shutout of the Lakers in Saturday evening action.

The Michigan State ice hockey team is on a roll after completing the weekend sweep of visiting Lake Superior State with a 4-0 shutout of the Lakers in Saturday evening action.

State goaltender Jeff Lerg turned away 28 shots to make a first period goal by Chris Mueller standup and give MSU a five-game winning streak.

MSU got tallies from Mueller, Dan Vukovic, and Jim McKenzie in swamping the visiting Lakers who have now lost four straight in CCHA action.

"I like the way we played overall," said head coach Rick Comley. "We were under control, [Dan] Vukovic and [Rick] Gentile have improved so much, they're playing well. We've had a stretch of strong, good teams we've been playing against, and I thought the two of them have really stepped up."

Things weren't nearly so easy in the opener, where the Lakers took the Spartans to overtime before succumbing 3-2.

This time it was MSU forward Bryan Lerg, cousin of the MSU netminder who was the hero, getting his fifth game winning goal to give the Spartans the hard-fought win.

LSSU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead behind Josh Sim's tally but MSU tied it up with Nick Sucharski banged one by freshman goalie Pat Inglis from Jim McKenzie and the recently returned Justin Abdelkader (US World Junior Hockey Championships) to tie the score.

Abdelkader seized the momentum by ending the third period with a score from McKenzie and little used Jeff Dunne to give MSU a 2-1 edge.

Sim scored the only goal in the third stanza to send the game into overtime and set up Lerg's heroics.

The Spartans (12-6-1) are now solidly in third place just one point behind second place Miami and four points back of league-leading Notre Dame.

MSU next heads on the road for a two-game series against fifth place Nebraska-Omaha with Saturday's contest being broadcast on CSTV nationally.

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