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College Hockey:
Palmisano Preserves Michigan State Victory Over Western Michigan

Broncos' Rally Falls Split Second Short

— For the Western Michigan Broncos, one more tick of the clock would have sent this game to overtime, giving WMU a chance at a fifth straight win to open the 2009-10 season, equaling the best start in Broncos’ hockey history.

“I wish we had an extra split second,” said WMU head coach Jim Culhane following the game. “We’d be in overtime right now.”

As regulation expired, Bronco Max Campbell popped the puck past Spartans’ goaltender Drew Palmisano clean and low from close in, but the shot was too late; upon review, there was no goal, and Michigan State won, 2-1.

For the Michigan State Spartans, it seemed a fitting end to a game they dominated for 50 minutes.

Goals by Chris Forfar in the first and Dustin Gazley in the second gave MSU a 2-0 lead they held until the 14:27 mark in the third period, when Broncos’ rookie Trevor Elias scored his third goal of the season draw WMU to within one.

In the final five minutes of the game, Palmisano made saves on grade-A shots by Tyler Ludwig, Patrick Nagorsen, Ian Slater and Greg Squires to preserve the win, his fourth of the season.

“We had the puck so much for the first 30 minutes that sometimes you kind of get lulled into not competing and not working hard together,” said MSU coach Rick Comley.

The Broncos outshot the Spartans 13-4 in the third, something Comley pointed to as an ongoing issue for MSU in this season’s early going.

“Our concern is third periods,” said Comley. “We’ve lost some leads now, and that’s a sign of youth.

“We knew coming in [that] faceoffs were a critical part of the game and we lost two key faceoffs that led to the first goal and almost the tying goal.”

Michigan State took a 1-0 lead midway through the first after keeping the action in the Western end for most of the start of the game. Broncos’ goaltender Riley Gill had a bit of puck luck throughout the opening minutes, as shots skirted past the WMU goalmouth and the big spaces Gill left between himself and the posts. The Bronco goalie’s luck ran out with Forfar’s shot, which traveled up and behind Gill and rang off the crossbar at 11:43.

Gazley’s power-play goal made it 2-0 at 17:17 in the second, and after two the Spartans had outshot the Broncos 17-11. The game appeared to be all but over, but Western Michigan had other ideas, and a Gazley penalty gave the Broncos what they needed to mount a comeback.

“Another unnecessary penalty at a bad time,” said Comley, “and they get a life and took advantage of it.”

At 13:23, Gazley was called for boarding and at 14:27, Elias capitalized. From then on, it was all Western Michigan.

“I think our best period of play was the third period,” said Culhane. “I think there was a little bit of a feeling-out stage between both teams in that first twenty minutes of play. They were able to get the lead and get a two-goal lead, and our guys handled it well…and we cut it to a one-goal game and almost had it tied up.

“We made sure that it didn’t get away from us at all, that we hung around. It’s a one-goal game.”

The Broncos finished 1-for-3 on the power play, the Spartans 1-for-5. Gill made 19 saves on 21 shots; Palmisano stopped 23-of-24.

Michigan State (5-2-0, 2-1-0 CCHA) travels to Western Michigan (4-1-0, 0-1-0 CCHA) Saturday night for the second game in this home-and-home series. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. in Lawson Arena.
For the Western Michigan Broncos, one more tick of the clock would have sent this game to overtime, giving WMU a chance at a fifth straight win to open the 2009-10 season, equaling the best start in Broncos’ hockey history.

“I wish we had an extra split second,” said WMU head coach Jim Culhane following the game. “We’d be in overtime right now.”

As regulation expired, Bronco Max Campbell popped the puck past Spartans’ goaltender Drew Palmisano clean and low from close in, but the shot was too late; upon review, there was no goal, and Michigan State won, 2-1.

For the Michigan State Spartans, it seemed a fitting end to a game they dominated for 50 minutes.

Goals by Chris Forfar in the first and Dustin Gazley in the second gave MSU a 2-0 lead they held until the 14:27 mark in the third period, when Broncos’ rookie Trevor Elias scored his third goal of the season draw WMU to within one.

In the final five minutes of the game, Palmisano made saves on grade-A shots by Tyler Ludwig, Patrick Nagorsen, Ian Slater and Greg Squires to preserve the win, his fourth of the season.

“We had the puck so much for the first 30 minutes that sometimes you kind of get lulled into not competing and not working hard together,” said MSU coach Rick Comley.

The Broncos outshot the Spartans 13-4 in the third, something Comley pointed to as an ongoing issue for MSU in this season’s early going.

“Our concern is third periods,” said Comley. “We’ve lost some leads now, and that’s a sign of youth.

“We knew coming in [that] faceoffs were a critical part of the game and we lost two key faceoffs that led to the first goal and almost the tying goal.”

Michigan State took a 1-0 lead midway through the first after keeping the action in the Western end for most of the start of the game. Broncos’ goaltender Riley Gill had a bit of puck luck throughout the opening minutes, as shots skirted past the WMU goalmouth and the big spaces Gill left between himself and the posts. The Bronco goalie’s luck ran out with Forfar’s shot, which traveled up and behind Gill and rang off the crossbar at 11:43.

Gazley’s power-play goal made it 2-0 at 17:17 in the second, and after two the Spartans had outshot the Broncos 17-11. The game appeared to be all but over, but Western Michigan had other ideas, and a Gazley penalty gave the Broncos what they needed to mount a comeback.

“Another unnecessary penalty at a bad time,” said Comley, “and they get a life and took advantage of it.”

At 13:23, Gazley was called for boarding and at 14:27, Elias capitalized. From then on, it was all Western Michigan.

“I think our best period of play was the third period,” said Culhane. “I think there was a little bit of a feeling-out stage between both teams in that first twenty minutes of play. They were able to get the lead and get a two-goal lead, and our guys handled it well…and we cut it to a one-goal game and almost had it tied up.

“We made sure that it didn’t get away from us at all, that we hung around. It’s a one-goal game.”

The Broncos finished 1-for-3 on the power play, the Spartans 1-for-5. Gill made 19 saves on 21 shots; Palmisano stopped 23-of-24.

Michigan State (5-2-0, 2-1-0 CCHA) travels to Western Michigan (4-1-0, 0-1-0 CCHA) Saturday night for the second game in this home-and-home series. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m. in Lawson Arena.

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