EAST LANSING, Mich. — If you happened to arrive at Munn Ice Arena or tune into Friday’s game between Michigan State and Lake Superior State with just over two minutes left, you picked a good time to do so.
After MSU held a 2-0 lead for nearly 58 minutes, LSSU freshman Jon Booras scored two goals in a span of 1:09 – the first goals of his career – only to see Spartan sophomore Brock Radunske score the game-winning goal with 2.7 seconds left as Michigan State beat Lake Superior State 3-2 to sweep the Central Collegiate Hockey Association two-game series.
Radunske’s game-winner was set up beautifully by junior defenseman Joe
Markusen, who fed a perfect pass from the point to Radunske at the side of sophomore LSSU goalie Matt Violin.
All Radunske had to do was tap the puck into the wide-open net to send his team
and the 6,547 fans at Munn into a frenzy.
“The Lake State players were just scrambling around and I just camped myself
behind the net,” Radunske said. “Markusen made a heads-up play and I just tapped it in. It was all Markusen’s work.”
If it weren’t for an undisciplined penalty by MSU senior forward Brian Maloney,
Radunske’s goal might not have been needed.
With 3:14 left in the game, Maloney took a roughing penalty behind the play,
giving LSSU an opportunity to get back in the game. Sure enough, a shot by senior Aaron Davis from the point was deflected in by Booras, who was stationed right next to MSU goalie Matt Migliaccio with 2:05 left in the third.
With the LSSU net empty, Booras deflected another shot from Davis underneath Migliaccio to tie the game 2-2 with 56 seconds left.
“Obviously, a bad penalty turned a game that was in hand to one that you almost gave away and he knows it,” said MSU head coach Rick Comley. “He’d be the first to admit it and sometimes you give a team life that doesn’t deserve to be in the game and they get going a little bit.”
Radunske’s goal was a fitting end for the Spartans, who carried the play throughout the game and outshot the Lakers 40-18. If it weren’t for the play of Violin, the score could have been closer to MSU’s 7-0 win on Friday.
“We played well, we just couldn’t score,” Comley said. “They did not get very good goaltending last night, and tonight the kid was tremendous.”
Those sentiments were echoed by LSSU head coach Frank Anzalone. “He had to play a great game and he wanted to play a great game. He gave us pride and a chance to compete.”
Michigan State struck first on a power play with just 42.5 seconds left in the
first when senior defenseman and captain Brad Fast fired a shot from the point
through traffic and past Violin to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead at the end of one.
The second period was the Violin show, as he stopped 16 MSU shots to keep the game at 1-0 entering the third.
The Laker goalie was at his best with 7:46 left in the second, when MSU had a
two-man advantage for 1:20 but couldn’t get any shots past Violin, who was pulled after allowing two goals at the 14:20 mark of the first period in Friday’s game.
With 12:11 left in the game, MSU proved they were as good with a man down as with the man advantage, scoring a shorthanded goal to go with the earlier power-play tally. Sophomor eLee Falardeau slammed home a juicy rebound into an open net off of a Fast point shot to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
Anzalone was happy with his team’s resiliency, but also said his squad let a
golden opportunity to get atleast a point on the road get way. “With [2.7] seconds left, you have to get those into overtime,” he said.