By Matt Mackinder/Michigan State Beat Writer
Michigan State ended their modest two-game losing streak Friday night in big-time fashion on home ice with a convincing 8-2 win over Lake Superior State.
The Spartans, however, couldn't get the sweep and instead settled for a 3-3 tie Saturday night.
"Well, it is certainly much better than last weekend, but those are not very big steps, though," said MSU head coach Rick Comley. "There are just some things we have issues with. We give up so many shots. It just blows my mind how many quality shots that shouldn't even get to the net. We know that we have a young defense, and that we have a ways to go, but I thought they struggled bad (Saturday) night, especially defending."
Bryan Lerg, Chris Mueller and Michael Ratchuk scored for the Spartans and Nathan Perkovich, Steven Kaunisto and Rick Schofield replied for LSSU in the tie Saturday night.
Jeff Lerg stopped 34 shots for Michigan State and Brian Mahoney-Wilson turned aside 36 at the other end. Jeff Petry added two assists for the Spartans.
"Obviously, it was a lot better," LSSU head coach Jim Roque said. "Brian played outstanding in net. You've got to give Michigan State some credit for last night. I thought they were real good. I knew our guys would bounce back today. It was just a great effort all around. I'm really happy with how we came back."
Friday night, 13 Spartan players had points and seven recorded multiple-point efforts as Matt Schepke had a goal and three assists and Tim Crowder and Ratchuk each had two goals and an assist.
"Obviously, when you get beaten 8-2 you don't play very well," Roque said. "We've been having a hard time killing penalties and we did again tonight. There were a couple of times in the first period we couldn't get it out of the zone and they took advantage of it. I thought we looked like we hadn't played in a month. I thought we did a lot of work in the last eight days to get ready, but there is nothing like playing games. We have to move on."
Lerg, Justin Abdelkader and Corey Tropp scored the other goals for Michigan State.
Zac MacVoy and Justin Gutwald scored for the Lakers. MacVoy's goal was the first shorthanded goal for LSSU this year.
LSSU starting goaltender Pat Inglis allowed six goals and totaled 19 saves through two periods. Mahoney-Wilson allowed two goals and stopped eight shots during the third period. Lerg gave up two goals and compiled 29 saves through 52:39. Bobby Jarosz had three saves during the final 7:21.
Michigan State (13-5-3, 9-2-1 CCHA) returns to conference action on Friday when it opens a home-and-home series with Notre Dame. The teams face off at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by FSN Detroit.
The Lakers (2-12-4, 0-9-3 CCHA) return home to play host to Bowling Green at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 5:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.