Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - Lake Superior State scored four unanswered goals after MSU took a 2-0 lead, and held on for a 4-2 victory on Saturday night at Taffy Abel Arena in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The Spartans got goals from seniors Kurt Kivisto and Matt Schepke in the loss, and Jeff Lerg made 35 saves.
Michigan State got ion the scoreboard first this evening, scoring a shorthanded tally at 13:34. Andrew Rowe corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone and went in alone on a breakaway. Rowe's offering was saved by Pat Inglis, but the rebound sat in the crease. An opportunistic Kurt Kivisto pounced on it, and flipped it over the glove hand of the netminder for his second goal of the season.
The teams traded power-play goals in the final minute of the opening period, which sent the Spartans into the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. MSU had the first man advantage, when Josh Sim was whistled for obstruction hooking at 19:02. Off the faceoff play, Jeff Petry passed on the shot on goal from the hashmark and dished to Matt Schepke, and Schepke potted his 12th goal of the season. At 19:25, Jay Sprague was whistled for obstruction holding, which led to a shot from the left point by Steven Kaunisto from the left point directly off a faceoff win that made it through traffic and into the back of the net just four seconds later.
The Lakers got a tying goal at 11:27 of the middle period, just seconds after the Spartans had killed off a man advantage. Brad Cooper one-timed a rebound off of a shot that had ricocheted off the pipe for his second goal of the season.
Will Acton gave the home team a lead headed into the locker room for the second intermission with his goal at 17:41. Jeff Lerg had come up with three big saves on the shift, but the rebound off a Dillin Stonehouse shot went to Lerg's left and onto the stick of Acton, who had plenty of empty net to deposit his fifth goal of the season.
The Lakers got a five-minute power play at 4:05 of the third when Matt Schepke was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind. With 1:30 remaining, Jeff Lerg made the save on a Brad Cooper shot, but Nathan Perkovich got his stick on the puck in the crease and got it past a prone Lerg for his seventh of the season and a 4-2 Laker advantage.
Michigan State rebounded from the extended kill and had sustained pressure in their offensive zone, helped by a pair of Laker infractions whistled at 15:07 and 18:15. The Spartans had their chances on the pair of advantages, but the Lakers did a good job of clearing out rebounds and Inglis kept MSU off the board.
Michigan State has a home-and-home series with Ferris State next weekend, entertaining the Bulldogs on Friday before a Saturday game in Big Rapids.