Friday, October 15, 2021

Fifth year forward Mitchell Lewandowski scores 50th goal in home opener

October 11, 2021
Senior Mitchell Lewandowski (9) stares with teary eyes into the stands where his parents are after hugging all his teammates. The Fighting Irish shutout the Spartans 2-0 on Feb. 27, 2021.
Senior Mitchell Lewandowski (9) stares with teary eyes into the stands where his parents are after hugging all his teammates. The Fighting Irish shutout the Spartans 2-0 on Feb. 27, 2021. —
Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Fifth year forward Mitchell Lewandowski started off his final season at MSU with a bang by scoring his 50th career goal during the team’s home opener against Air Force on Friday. 

Lewandowski currently leads the team with three goals and four points, two games into the season. He is already on track to surpass his goals from the 2020-21 season in which he scored six goals in 27 games played. He currently sits at 52 career goals and 105 points. The current record for most career goals is held by Tom Ross who scored 138 goals during his time at MSU. 

“Kristof (Papp) wrapped it around and I just kind of swung at it," Lewandowski said. "I saw the puck hit the net so I knew it was in the whole time. It looked weird on video but I would have been totally surprised if they would’ve called that one off.”

The Spartans trailed 2-1 as Lewandowski notched his 50th goal. While that goal was crucial, it wasn't enough for MSU as they dropped Friday's game to Air Force.

His focus was solely on getting his team back in position to win, so much so that he wasn’t initially aware he had scored his 50th goal until an announcement was made on the overhead after the goal confirmation.

The announcement was met with cheers from the student section, something the players haven’t heard in almost two years. 

Lewandowski scored his 100th point last year, becoming the 71st Spartan in history to do so. After accomplishing a career defining moment in an empty arena, he was happy to celebrate his new milestone at Munn Arena with fans back in the stands.

“It was obviously cool”, Lewandowski said of his goal, “I’m proud of that for sure, but I would have liked 51 there to get the winner.” 

He did just that, and some on his next time out.

Although he wasn’t able to get the overtime game winner, he came ready to play in the rematch against Air Force on Saturday, providing the team with two goals and one assist that resulted in a 5-1 victory for Michigan State. 

Lewandowski was massive in securing a win on Saturday and keeping it close on Friday, something that felt great as they did so in front of fans for the first time since 2019-2020.

“I like winning," Michigan State Head Coach Danton Cole said. "It’s a hell of a lot more fun having people cheering you on then just some piped in music and a couple ushers so it’s a completely different feeling. We’re going to play some good hockey this year and I think our fans are going to enjoy it."

He and the Spartans look to build on that momentum as they take on Miami University this Friday at 7 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena. 

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