by Matt Mackinder / Michigan State Beat Writer
Michigan State opened the home portion of their schedule last weekend and swept aside Colgate.
Senior captain Bryan Lerg tied a career high with four assists and Matt Schepke and freshman Dustin Gazley each scored twice as Michigan State rolled in its home opener, 6-3, Friday night.
The Spartans raised their 2007 National Championship banner in a pre-game ceremony in front of 5,926 fans.
Jeff Lerg made 22 saves for the win and Nick Sucharski and Justin Abdelkader also scored for MSU.
“We needed [the win],” Bryan Lerg said. “I think that we came out hard and made a statement, but like Coach said, I think we played 30 minutes real well and 30 minutes kind of sloppy. (Colgate) didn't give up the whole game and they were able to bounce back with a couple of goals. Luckily the time ran out, but overall, I think we played a good game.”
Saturday, Jeff Lerg stopped 23 shots, including a penalty shot, as MSU held on for a 2-1 win. Lerg’s stop on Tyler Burton’s penalty shot was the first since Chad Alban made a stop in the 1996 NCAA Tournament against UMass-Lowell.
“I think he was trying to go low blocker-side, but he didn't get it where he wanted, which made it easier on me,” Lerg said. “I thought he'd put a deke on me. You could tell he's got good hands. Once he shot it, I stood my ground, and it hit me.”
Abdelkader and Tim Kennedy scored for the Spartans (2-1-0).
“I thought we would score a little more, but that is just how the game was,” said Abdelkader. “You just have to grind it out. There were some weird bounces and a lot of penalties, so we were killing a lot of penalties, too. I think that took some of the flow out of the game. We have to be a little bit more disciplined. But that is a key to win, and I am sure we will see a lot of the 2-1, 3-2 games in the future. You have to grind it out, and battle.”
Michigan State opens league play this weekend when they host Northern Michigan at Munn Ice Arena.