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MSU defeats Western Michigan 6-4 in first meeting of the season

October 21, 2017
<p>Sophomore goalie John Lethemon (31) is run into during the game against Western Michigan on Oct. 20, 2017, at Munn Ice Arena. Lethemon was slow to get up after the play. The Spartans defeated the Broncos 6-4.</p>

Sophomore goalie John Lethemon (31) is run into during the game against Western Michigan on Oct. 20, 2017, at Munn Ice Arena. Lethemon was slow to get up after the play. The Spartans defeated the Broncos 6-4.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

The Spartans continued to kick the season off with another win at Munn Ice Arena on Friday night, defeating the Western Michigan Broncos 6-4.

In similar fashion to last Saturday’s win against Bowling Green, freshman forward Mitchell Lewandowski scored his first goal of his collegiate career with a 1:26 left for the game-winner. Sophomore forward Sam Saliba scored his second goal of the night with only 19 seconds left on the clock.

“I kinda saw it go right in and then turned around and that was it,” Lewandowski said. “We scored a goal in the third to tie it up and then to get the game winner there it was special.”

The rookie also had three assists on the night. 

Lewandowski wasn’t the only Spartan to score his first goal of his MSU career. Sophomore defenseman Anthony Scarsella scored in the third period to help tie up the game at 4-4. Last season, he played in nine games without recording any points. 

“I actually started skating the other way, I thought i was going to miss the net,” Scarsella said. “I heard the horn. The puck hit off the post there. It took a second and it sunk in.”

Starting off the first period, sophomore forward Patrick Khodorenko and Saliba opened up the scoring. Khodorenko's goal came 33 seconds into the game, Saliba just 34 seconds after his teammate. In the second period, the Broncos struck back at the Spartans by scoring twice to tie the game. 

“We pushed hard in the first, we scored two goals in the first two shifts of the game, so we kinda let back a little bit, then they ended up tying it,” Lewandowski said. “We just had to stay up.”

For head coach Danton Cole, seeing his team come back from trailing in the beginning of the third impressed him.

To him, this is what winning is all about.

“Everything was cleaner (in the third period),” Cole said. “If you could learn throughout a game and figure out a way to win, that’s a great way to go about it.”

When the Spartans tied it 4-4, the team continued its fight for the victory by taking as many chances as it could. 

For Scarsella, everyone did their job to help this team pull through.

“We had so many chances,” Scarsella said. “All the lines were going. So many other guys had chances just to put it in, although the lines were rolling. Everyone did a really good job.”

This is the teams' first home-to-home series since November 2013. The Spartans were defeated in both of those games. 

The teams will head to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a scheduled 7:05 p.m puck drop. 

“If we keep working like that, keep the energy, we’re going to have a real good season,” Scarsella said. “It’s going to be exciting to come out and watch.”

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