OXFORD, Ohio — Fresh off its Great Lakes Invitational championship, Michigan State kept its momentum with a 4-0 victory over Miami at Goggin Ice Arena Friday. In a penalty-filled game that started slowly, the Spartans came away with a hard-fought victory.
“We have practiced very well lately, but we really struggled early on in the first period,” said MSU coach Rick Comley. “We just didn’t answer the bell to start the game. Miami is a really scrappy team and they come right at you. We had to fight for our life, but I thought we played very well in the second and third periods.”
After a 0-0 first period, the Spartans broke the ice at 2:35 of the second on a power-play goal by junior forward Colton Fretter. Fretter took a clean shot in front of Miami’s net after a scramble to the right of RedHawk goaltender Charlie Effinger, his 13th goal of the season.
The Spartans took a 2-0 lead at 12:56. Senior forward Mike Lalonde scored his third goal of the season, as he stormed the net and chipped in a shot from Tommy Goebel. Captain Jim Slater was awarded his second assist of the night on the play.
With 1:40 left in the second period, MSU scored its third goal of the game and its second on the power play. Slater recorded the goal, with assists from Fretter and sophomore forward Drew Miller. The captain took a pass from Fretter through the slot and tipped the puck in the net for his third point of the evening.
MSU opened the third period with a goal by freshman forward Bryan Lerg to account for the final score.
In net for Michigan State, Dominic Vicari came up big on several Miami chances, earning his third shutout of the season and 10th of his career.
The first period ended scoreless despite power plays for each side. Michigan State began the first period with two man-advantages, but was held off the scoreboard.
The RedHawks got their first power play at 6:39, when Spartan Adam Nightingale received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting from behind. The Spartans returned the favor, holding Miami without a goal on the man-advantage.
An apparent Miami goal to end the first was waved off when the faceoff was ruled illegal — referee Steve McInchak had been talking to the Michigan State bench when the puck was put in play, nullifying a tally for Matt Christie.
Michigan State went 2-9 with the man advantage, while holding Miami scoreless in seven attempts.
MSU and Miami meet Saturday in Oxford to finish the weekend series. Game time is set for 7:35 p.m.