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Hockey looks ahead to exhibition against United States National Team Development Program

October 18, 2019
Freshman forward Josh Nodler (20) takes the puck up the ice during the game against Western Ontario at Munn Ice Arena Oct. 7, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Mustangs, 6-1.
Freshman forward Josh Nodler (20) takes the puck up the ice during the game against Western Ontario at Munn Ice Arena Oct. 7, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Mustangs, 6-1. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Michigan State hockey will face off against the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) under 18 team in an exhibition game on Friday. The matchup comes after the Spartans opening weekend on the road at Northern Michigan where they went 1-1.

Michigan State secured a dominating 5-3 win during their first game in Marquette on Oct. 11. Junior Tommy Apap scored two goals, one of which went down as the game-winner, to lead the team offensively. 

Defensively, senior goalkeeper John Lethemon made 28 saves, 13 of which he saw in the third period, propelling the Spartans to a victory in their season opener.

However, in game two the Spartans struggled all around the rink, losing 0-2 to the Wildcats and letting the chance of a series sweep slip away. The Spartans put a mere 15 shots on goal, compared to the Wildcats' 27.

"I didn't like our energy, we finally got it going, but sometimes it's too late when you get behind and they did a good job of blocking shots and being really desperate,” Head Coach Danton Cole said regarding the loss.

With a series split behind them, the Spartans look forward to Friday when they will face off against USNTDP at home. Their track record suggests a positive outcome, with the green and white ending on top in each of the last five match ups they have had with USNTDP. 

This season the USNTDP U-18 team is 4-4, with all four losses coming from competitions against NCAA Division I teams, including the Spartans' latest foe, Northern Michigan. 

All three MSU coaches, Cole, Chris Luongo and Joe Exter have a past history coaching for the USNTDP prior to coming to Michigan State.

The Spartans and USNTDP U-18’s will face off at Munn Ice Arena at 7 P.M. on Oct. 18. Admission for MSU students is free for this exhibition match.



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