The Michigan State hockey team showed out again against Lake Superior State on Sunday afternoon, where the Spartans took another dominating 4-2 win against the Lakers to sweep their opponents for the first weekend of the 2023-2024 season.
Starting in goal for the second night in a row was freshman Trey Augustine, the former National Team Development Program goalie. Augustine was quick to defend the Spartans net through the first few minutes of play.
With an early power play for the Lakers, after an interference penalty on freshman defenseman Patrick Geary, followed by another penalty on junior forward Red Savage for charging, the Spartans had to deal with two overlapping penalties. The Spartans were able to kill off the first penalties with no hesitations and gained their full strength back as they controlled both ends of the ice with ease.
After a crosscheck from the Lakers, it was the Spartan's turn to go on the power play. The team managed to land on the board with the one man advantage. His first as a Spartan, the goal came from freshman defenseman Artyom Levshunov and was assisted by senior forward Jeremy Davidson and fifth year forward Nicolas Müller.
The first period that was largely spent near the Lakers’ goal where the Spartans produced 19 shots on goal, while LSSU only had eight shots on goal.
In the second period, the Spartans came out ready for a battle again. An early breakaway came for the Lakers, but the Spartans held their own defensively, as hits were taken to their opponents to keep them away from their home territory.
Even with the well played defense for the Spartans, a goal soon came for the Lakers almost halfway through the second period, where sophomore forward Connor Milburn sunk one in to level the score 1-1.
Following the Laker goal, Red Savage notched his second Spartan goal of the weekend. He was assisted by sophomore forward Joey Larson. The duo gave the Spartans a one up with a score of 2-1.
With less than seven minutes to go in the second period, the Spartans took on another power play after a holding call on LSSU, but the green and white were not able to land another goal. As soon as the power play ended, the Lakers sent a puck towards Augustine, where he had a fantastic block to keep the score 2-1 as they looked to head into the third and final period.
The Spartans began the third with a faceoff win for Müller and an aggressive drive into the Lakers zone. The team stayed hungry during the third, fighting and picking up the puck at every opportunity.
The Spartans hunger for points had great results, as grad student and forward Reed Lebster took his first goal of the season and his first as a Spartan to make the game 3-1, but quickly after Lebster’s shot, the Lakers added another goal to the score sheet slashing the MSU lead to just one goal once again.
Quickly after the opponents goal, the Spartans got struck for a penalty for having too many men on the ice, but the Spartan's penalty kill was able to hold off the Lakers, keeping the score at 3-2.
With the clock ticking down, the Lakers pulled their goalie in a last ditch effort to tie up the game with an extra skater on the ice. As the Munnsters got louder and louder and the cheers continued to surge through the arena, sophomore forward and alternate captain Karsen Dorwart sent the puck towards the empty net to clock his first goal of the season to seal the 4-2 win for Michigan State.
Next week, the Spartans will head out west for their first away series on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. against Air Force on FloTV.