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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Michigan State brooms aside Broncos

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan State Beat Writer

In winning both ends of a home-and-home set with Western Michigan, Michigan State senior goaltender Jeff Lerg surpassed Dave Versical's all-time saves record (3,108) in his 120th career contest, a 3-1 win at Munn Ice Arena Friday night.

Lerg either owns or ranks among the school's top five in seven of eight career statistical categories. He stopped 28 shots in Friday's win.

Daultan Leveille scored twice for 11th-ranked MSU and Andrew Conboy added the other.

Max Campbell tallied the lone goal for the Broncos and Riley Gill made 34 saves.

Still, all the attention after the game was on Lerg and his saves record.

"It's a great accomplishment to have," said Lerg. "Like I said when I came here, I never expected to be the captain or the all-time saves leader. It's just a great feeling for me and I can't thank the coaches enough for giving me the opportunity to play as much as I have. Great thanks to the coaches and all the great teammates I've had here. Like any award you get, it is all around the team around you."

Last night in Kalamazoo, Michigan State got its second shootout win of the season, skating to a 2-2 tie with the Broncos before winning the shootout, 2-1. Kurt Kivisto and Matt Schepke had the shootout goals for MSU, while Trevor Nill (first NCAA goal) and Tim Crowder had the goals in regulation.

Drew Palmisano drew the start in net, making 32 saves in regulation and limiting the Broncos to one shootout goal in the win.

Kevin Connauton, also with his first collegiate goal, and Tyler Ludwig scored for Western Michigan and Gill turned aside 21 shots in a losing effort. Cam Watson assisted on both goals for the Broncos.

“I thought it was a fantastic effort on our part," said Gill. "We played them really tough and I thought we were the better team tonight, but with the shootout rule now, we were on the unfortunate end there.”

Michigan State (4-2-2, 2-0-2-2 CCHA) takes to the road for a series in Columbus next weekend against Ohio State, while WMU (1-5-2, 0-2-2-1 CCHA) hosts Nebraska-Omaha on Friday and Saturday.

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