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No. 5 MSU edges LSSU 3-2 during Game 1 of CCHA series

Troy Schwab

Nov. 30, 2007

SAULT STE. MARIE - Nine months after playing a back-and-forth thriller during the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena, Lake Superior State and fifth-ranked Michigan State battled to the wire again.

For the second time in as many meetings, MSU pulled off the one-goal victory, winning 3-2 Friday at Taffy Abel Arena during Game 1 of a CCHA series.

Last March, LSSU scored two goals with the goalie pulled in favor of the extra attacker to come from behind during the final 1:06 and tie the CCHA consolation game 6-6. The Lakers wound up losing 7-6 in overtime.

On Friday, LSSU failed to score during a five-minute power play late in the third period, but cut a two-goal MSU lead in half when Rick Schofield scored at 19:41 with goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson out of the net and an extra attacker on the ice. Troy Schwab and Matt Cowie drew the assists.

Mahoney-Wilson stayed on the bench during the final 19 seconds, but this time the Lakers (2-10-1 overall, 0-7-0 CCHA) couldn't muster a game-tying goal.

Michigan State (9-3-2 overall, 5-2-0 CCHA) jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period on power play goals by Bryan Lerg at 14:06 and Chris Mueller at 19:52. Spartan Michael Ratchuk assisted on both goals.

MSU's Nick Sucharski made it 3-0 with an even-strength goal at 3:16 of the second period, while Matt Schepke picked up his second assist of the game.

LSSU goal-scoring leader Nathan Perkovich tallied his eighth goal of the season at 10:39 of the second period during a Laker power play. He chipped in a rebound off Steven Kaunisto's initial shot, and Carter Lee drew an assist for his first point as a Laker.

The Lakers' play during the final 40 minutes was their best second and third-period performance in five games. They out-scored the Spartans 2-1 and out-shot them, 21-11.

Mahoney-Wilson totaled 19 saves, including nine in the first period and 10 during the final 40 minutes. MSU goaltender Jeff Lerg totaled 25 saves, including 12 in the second period and seven in the third. The Lakers were 1-for-4 on the power play, while MSU was 2-for-5.

LSSU and MSU face off again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Taffy Abel Arena.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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