Sunday, November 16, 2008

MSU Hockey - November 15th Game

East Lansing, Mich - Michigan State's scoring woes continued on Saturday evening, as it fell to Miami, 3-1, at Munn Ice Arena. Corey Tropp had MSU's lone goal, as the Spartans fell to 4-6-0, 2-4-2-2 in CCHA play. Miami improves its first-place standing with a 6-3-3 record, 6-2-2-1 in conference games.

Tonight's contest was much different than the previous evening's penalty-filled affair; it featured end-to-end skating, a combined 20 minutes in penalties (compared to 94 the previous night), and good scoring chances at both ends.

Tim Crowder broke up a three-on-one break by Miami just past the ten minute mark of the second period.

The scoreless deadlock was broken at 15:09 of the middle period, when Justin Mercier's shot from the top of the left hash marks was saved by Lerg with his stick, but the puck ricocheted off of the blade and bounced into the back of the net.

Miami's lead was pushed to 2-0 at 9:40 in the final frame, when junior Brandon Smith shot the puck from the half-wall on the right side; Andy Meile was crashing the net and served as a screen for the defenseman in front as Smith's shot got through.

The Spartans refused to roll over, and kept pressuring aggressively. The work paid off at 11:49, when Corey Tropp's shot from the bottom of the left circle beat goalie Conner Knapp stick-side. It was Tropp's first goal of the season, and an assist went to Tim Crowder.

Michigan State pressed in the final minute, with Jeff Lerg on the bench in an effort to gain the equalizer; Carter Camper's empty-net goal. Lerg stopped 20 of the 22 shots he faced, while counterpart Knapp made 24 saves for the Red Hawks. The Spartans will look to halt the streak next week when it travels to Nebraska-Omaha for a two-game set. It is the first two of five consecutive road games for the MSU icers, who will next play at home on Dec. 6 against archrival Michigan.



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