The U.S. National Team Development Program scored three times on a five-minute major to take a 5-4 decision from Michigan State in an exhibition game in East Lansing Thursday evening.
"Obviously, the three power-play goals on the major was a huge factor," admitted MSU head coach Rick Comley. "But we're obviously still in a period where we're trying to figure some things out. We are a work in progress. We aren't as deep as we were a year ago and some guys are stepping into new roles. We have to really focus and work hard on getting better."
Bryan Lerg scored twice for MSU and Justin Abdelkader and Tyler Howells added singles. Jeff Lerg made 22 saves for the Spartans, who are idle this weekend.
Abdelkader's five-minute boarding call at 5:11 of the second period sent Team USA on their way.
"It is great to see the guys pull out a victory tonight against a tough college opponent after coming up just short in the last few outings," said U.S. head coach Ron Rolston. "Our guys battled hard and played for each other all 60 minutes. After putting out such a strong effort our guys deserved to win tonight."
The Spartans welcome St. Lawrence and Sacred Heart into town for a non-league set next weekend.