College Hockey Scoreboard from CHN

Sunday, October 29, 2006

MSU tops St. Lawrence, Sacred Heart

St. Lawrence and Sacred Heart both beat Wayne State this weekend, but as part of their weekend Michigan swing also fell to Michigan State.

The Spartans topped St. Lawrence Friday night and Sacred Heart on Saturday night, both at Munn Ice Arena.

"I thought we made progress this weekend," MSU head coach Rick Comley said. "We really have to get better at faceoffs. We have to do more with the puck inside our goal line. We ring the puck (off the goal posts) so much our poor forwards are digging it out in traffic. We need to get them to play with a little more skill rather than easing passes. I thought our power play was better (Saturday) and we got some good movement that way. I thought Jay Sprague had a real good weekend and Mike Ratchuck played well."

In Friday's 5-3 win over the Saints, Sprague, Chris Mueller, Bryan Lerg, Kurt Kivisto (pictured) and Jim McKenzie scored for the Spartans (3-1-0, 1-1-0 CCHA) and Jeff Dunne added two assists. Jeff Lerg made just 14 saves for the win in net.

Kivisto's goal was his first NCAA tally.

"It was thrilling," said Kivisto. "I didn't play much last year (just one game), but I put a lot of time in practicing. Finally getting an opportunity to help the team in an early season win is really rewarding. We aren't the line that is supposed to go out and score all the goals, so to actually help the team offensively feels good. It felt really good to actually put a puck in the net."

Saturday, Nick Sucharski scored twice for Michigan State, while Tim Kennedy and Ethan Graham led the offensive charge with a goal and pair of assists each.

"It's a great start to the season, compared to last year when I was struggling," said Sucharski. "It has been a real confidence boost which helps me when I'm preparing for the next game. It also shows that Coach Comley has confidence in me, which is a real character boost."

Ratchuck, Lerg and Tim Crowder also scored for MSU to go along with 15 saves for Lerg.

Next up for the Spartans is a home-and-home with Michigan Friday and Saturday. The two teams will face off on Friday night at Munn and Saturday night in Ann Arbor.

"I think we need to concentrate on being consistent," Graham said. "We'll have a good stretch and then we'll have a couple of down shifts. We need to make sure we stay on an even plane."

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