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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Michigan State sweeps aside Clarkson

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan State Beat Writer

Michigan State, coming off a horrid season a year ago, opened this year with a dramatic two-game sweep over Clarkson at Munn Ice Arena this weekend.

The Spartans scored 10 goals in the two games, beating the Golden Knights 6-1 on Friday night and 4-3 last night.

"I think I'm going to do my best to talk about this team," MSU head coach Rick Comley said. "I like the battle, I like the fact that we had to scrap and we lost the lead (Saturday) and didn't panic and continued to play. We used a lot of players and a lot of guys are getting opportunities in different situations. Every game is a lesson."

Friday night, MSU freshman Zack Josepher tallied two goals and two assists, while classmate Derek Grant, Dustin Gazley and Corey Tropp each had a goal and an assist.

"I would say I had a lot of puck luck tonight," said Josepher. "It was most of the guys working really hard to set me up for those opportunities. Both of my goals were from the blueline, so I mean the puck has to get out there somewhere. The forwards worked real hard tonight. I thought we all played really well and we're starting to click well. I think this is a great start to the season."

Andrew Rowe also scored, Tim Buttery added two assists and Drew Palmisano made 28 saves in the win, also Comley's 750th career win.

Last night, freshman Chris Forfar scored the go-ahead goal at 17:11 of the third period to help the Spartans escape with the sweep.

Grant (goal, assist) and Tropp (two assists) had multi-point games and Bobby Jarosz stopped 33 shots for the victory.

"I thought Bobby struggled in the first and played really well in the second and third," Comley said. "I thought he did a really good job. Some saves didn't look difficult, but he kept in and around them, there weren't a lot of rebounds and he controlled the pace well. That's a big game for him, I think, mentally."

Co-captain Nick Sucharski scored the other MSU goal.

Comley also said that a good week of practice was an encouraging sign to what was to happen this weekend.

"I thought we really upgraded the offense part of our team and its practice that you see it in," said Comley. "And we all know Allen Iverson is not a big fan of practice. But we're going to score goals. We just need to keep working and getting better and as you know we're playing a new style and they're learning and adjusting with that. I thought Clarkson made a couple of really good adjustments (Saturday), stretching players the length of the game causing us, our young guys, to recognize and react.

"Good learning points this weekend."

Michigan State (2-0-0) travels to Maine next weekend.

Photo courtesy Michigan State Athletics

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