By Matt Mackinder / Michigan State Beat Writer
Michigan State swept right through Ferris State over the weekend in a home-and-home series that began Friday night in Big Rapids.
Tim Crowder scored two goals in the third period, including the game-winner on the power play, to drive the Spartans past the Bulldogs, 4-3.
Jeff Lerg stopped 37 shots to get the victory and Justin Abdelkader and Nick Sucharski also scored for MSU.
Corey Couturier, Scott Wietecha and Aaron Lewicki notched markers for FSU, who got a 34-save outing from Mitch O’Keefe.
Saturday night in East Lansing, Crowder scored two goals for the second consecutive night to lead Michigan State to a 4-1 win over the Bulldogs.
Chris Mueller and Corey Tropp added goals for the Spartans to back Lerg’s 26 saves.
Blair Riley scored Ferris’ only goal and Pat Nagle stopped 26 shots in net.
“I thought our kids played really well,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said to USCHO. “I do think that (Michigan State is) ahead of us right now. At this point of the year, they’re a better team than we are. That’s not to take anything away from us or from our kids. It’s just to say that if we have high aspirations, we’ve got to improve right now. They’re a cut above us.”
MSU head coach Rick Comley commented on what he’s liked about the Spartans through the first half of the season and what to look forward to in the second half.
“I think it's been a great first half,” Comley said. “If we could have split against Miami, then you'd be really happy with it. I knew that there were going to be some mental things. I think, actually, that we'll be a better team in the second half. Coming off of what we came off [being defending champions], there's just pressure every night being expected to win. If you cut the season in half, I think it's easier mentally. I like the fact that we're chasing people a little bit right now.
“I'm looking forward to the break, but I'm looking forward to the second half as well.”
The Spartans (12-3-2 , 8-2-0 CCHA) will be on hiatus until Dec. 28-29, when they participate in the Great Lakes Invitational in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena. MSU will take on Michigan Tech in the semifinals on Dec. 28 at 8:00 p.m. Michigan faces Providence in the early game.
Ferris State ( 7-8-1 , 6-6-0 CCHA) faces Brown on Dec. 28 at the UConn Hockey Classic in Storrs, Conn.