Michigan State ice hockey earned their first victory of the season, a 2-0 win versus Arizona State on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena.
Arizona State junior Evan DeBrouwer started in net for the Sun Devils while Drew DeRidder got the nod again for Michigan State. It was DeBrouwer’s second start of the season after starting the Sun Devils’ season opener at Michigan where he conceded six goals before being pulled in the third period.
The first period was an action packed one with both teams getting quality chances. The Spartans found themselves in a sticky situation early when defensemen Nash Nienhuis and Dennis Cesana committed penalties just 24 seconds apart from each other, giving Arizona State a two-man advantage for one minute and 36 seconds.
ASU was able to generate some good looks during the advantage but were unable to get one past DeRidder for another impressive penalty kill by Michigan State.
Shortly after the power play, there was a timeout for officials to review a shot from Arizona State. After looking at it, they deemed there was no good goal and the game remained tied at zero.
Two minutes after the penalties, Michigan State scored a goal by junior center Mitchell Mattson, the first in his career. The opportunity started when freshman Kyle Haskins drove the net aggressively, creating a loose puck. Haskins wing partner, junior Adam Goodsir, got his stick on it before Mattson was able to clean it up and get it past DeBrouwer, giving the Spartans a 1-0 advantage.
“I was pretty happy," Mattson said on scoring his first career goal. "It was nice to get that one. It was a good play by Goody (Adam Goodsir)."
Both ASU and MSU were called for one penalty each in the rest of the period, but neither got any luck on the power play. One of Michigan State’s best opportunities was a point blank one-timer for sophomore Josh Nodler that was sent over the net.
DeRidder made nine saves before the Spartans went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead after the first period.
The first great look in the second period for either team came when Haskins ripped a shot that beat DeBrouwer, but hit the pipe. Arizona State then came down the ice and drew a tripping penalty from Mattson.
During the kill, MSU forward Jagger Joshua was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway chance but DeBrouwer stopped it.
Then, with ten seconds left in the Sun Devils' power play, ASU forward Willie Knierim was tagged with a tripping penalty in the offensive zone in what was perhaps a controversial call that lead to a Michigan State power play.
The Spartans dominated the second period statistically, out shooting the Sun Devils 14 to five. None of the 14 shots were good enough though to beat DeBrouwer and the Spartans carried their 1-0 lead into the final frame.
In the third period, Michigan State looked to add to their lead and put the game away, unlike they did in Thursday night's 1-1 tie.
MSU was finally able to do so with 7:32 remaining in the third when freshman center Kristof Papp unleashed a low shot from the left circle. DeBrouwer was able to get a pad on the puck but it created a juicy rebound that went right to senior winger Mitchell Lewandowski.
Lewandowski took the puck, flipped it to the right and pushed it right past DeBrouwer giving the Spartans a much needed insurance goal, something they did not have last night.
The goal, which was No. 44 for Lewandowski in his career in green and white, was huge as it seemingly killed any last bit of energy from Arizona State.
The Sun Devils got some good looks when they pulled DeBrouwer from net for an extra skater, but that was quickly negated when ASU defensemen Jacob Wilson was sent to the box for interference with 52.4 seconds left.
MSU was able to hold on and win 2-0, outshooting Arizona State 40 to 30 and winning the faceoff battle decisively 32 to 17. DeRidder earned his first career college shutout.
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“The first shutout, it’s great,” DeRidder said. “The way we just all came together and everyone chipped in. It’s not just me making saves.”
Michigan State (1-0-1) will travel to Columbus next weekend to take on Ohio State (0-0-0) on Saturday and Sunday. The times for the games have yet to be announced.
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