EAST LANSING, MICH. — The friendly confines of Munn Ice Arena never felt friendlier.
An intimate gathering of 6,523 watched Michigan State down Lake Superior State, 5-0, Thursday night. The win was the first of the young season for the top-ranked Spartans (1-0-1 overall, 1-0-1 CCHA), who skated to a 3-3 tie with Michigan in front of more than 74,000 fans at Spartan Stadium last Saturday.
Spartan netminder and Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winner Ryan Miller made 14 saves while posting his NCAA-record 19th career shutout.
Junior defenseman John-Michael Liles spotted the Spartans an early 2-0 lead with a pair of power-play goals. The first came halfway through the first period on a looping shot from the point that eluded Laker goaltender Terry Denike, who was making his first career start.
Liles added his second goal of the night a little more than seven minutes later from nearly the same spot on the ice just inside the blue line.
“The neat part was the power play clicked right off the bat,” said MSU head coach Ron Mason, who collected his 898th career victory Thursday. “Once we got ahead by a couple goals we relaxed a little bit. We played the kind of game we’re going to play this year — a little more up tempo.”
The Spartans added another goal prior to the end of the first period on the first career score by freshman wing Brock Radunske at 18:49. Fellow newcomers Ash Goldie and Mike Lalonde notched their first points in MSU uniforms with assists on the Radunske goal.
Another freshman forward — Jim Slater — scored the lone goal of the second period. Slater, who assisted on both of Liles’ power-play goals, took a pass from defenseman Andrew Hutchinson after the senior lugged the puck the from the Spartan net to the Laker blue line. Slater then drove in on the near side and beat Denike for his second goal of the season at 9:30.
MSU’s final goal came early in the third period when senior forward Joe Goodenow fired a shot from the far faceoff circle that caromed off a Lake Superior State defender’s leg and into the net at 4:26.
The Spartans held a healthy shot advantage over the Lakers on the night, outshooting their opponents by a 39-14 margin, including 31-8 in the first two periods. Denike made 29 saves for Lake Superior State before being replaced by Scott Murray after Goodenow’s goal. Murray stopped all five shots he faced.
The Spartans have outscored the Lakers by a 17-0 margin in four games at Munn Ice Arena since March 12, 1999.
MSU attempts to post a series sweep and extend its home unbeaten streak to 19 with a win against the Lakers in the back end of a two-game set Friday.