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Sunday, November 08, 2009

MSU blanks, ties Nebraska-Omaha

By Matt Mackinder/Michigan State Beat Writer

Michigan State took four points last weekend from No. 10 Nebraska-Omaha in a rare Thursday-Friday series.

In Thursday's opener, Drew Palmisano made 31 saves and national scoring leader Corey Tropp had a goal and an assist for the 17th-ranked Spartans.

"We started out pretty quick, got a quick goal, which got us the lead," Palmisano told "It is always easier playing with the lead instead of being down or tied, and it forces them into making offensive plays and we took advantage of it. We had a lot of plays down in there zone and it made my job easier. I was not too busy, and when I was, it was not point-blank shots, it was shots of from the outskirts and shots I had to control my rebounds."

National Rookie of the Month Derek Grant tallied the other goal for the Spartans.

Friday night, the two teams skated to a 3-3 tie after overtime, but MSU lost the ensuing shootout, 2-1, in four shooters.

Mike Merrifield tallied a goal and an assist, while Chris Forfar and co-captain Nick Sucharski also scored in regulation.

Palmisano finished with 29 stops for MSU (7-2-1 overall, 4-1-1-0 CCHA).

"They played better and worked harder," Michigan State head coach Rick Comley said to "They didn't seem to have their jump last night. That is why I think a Thursday-Friday home series really hurts the home team. We don't get any skates, can't get together and are in classes. The visiting team is just here. I'm not taking anything away from them."

The Spartans have a home-and-home set with Michigan, swept this weekend by No. 1 Miami, next weekend starting Friday night in Ann Arbor and concluding the next night in East Lansing.

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