DETROIT – The No. 18 Spartan hockey team scored three goals in the first period en route to a 5-2 win over Ferris State on Tuesday at Little Caesars Arena in the third-place game of the Great Lakes Invitational. Five different players scored for Michigan State (10-9-1), while Dennis Cesana led MSU with three points (1g, 2a).
“I thought our energy was really good,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “The other thing I thought we did was we worked really hard without the puck. I thought our guys did a really good job away from the puck - supporting and overlapping. It was good, we had the puck a lot and made some strong plays and that was good to see.”
The Spartans outshot Ferris State 17-9 in the opening period, keeping the play in the Bulldog end most of the stanza. Eventually, MSU was rewarded when Jerad Rosburg’s shot from the left point found the back of the net. Jagger Joshua and Cesana got the puck to Rosburg, who scored on a high shot with 5:24 to go in the period.
While on the power play late in the opening period, some misfortune for the Bulldogs led to a shorthanded goal for the Spartans. Tommy Miller sent the puck into the Ferris end where goaltender Roni Salmenkangas got control of it and curled out in front of the net. Salmenkangas went to backhand the puck across the crease but ended up flicking it into his own net with 3:07 to go in the period.
Miller, who was the last Spartan to touch the puck, got credit for the goal.
Less than three minutes later, a faceoff win in the FSU zone led to a 3-0 lead. Following the draw, Patrick Khodorenko got tied up with a Ferris State player and Saliba grabbed the loose puck and snapped it past Salmenkangas for his second goal of the tournament.
Cesana extended the Spartans’ lead to 4-0 with a perfect shot 5:59 into the second period. Mitchell Lewandowski and Logan Lambdin set up Cesana in the left circle, who walked in low and sent the puck over Salmenkangas’ shoulder.
Ferris State (6-11-2) got on the board with 4:43 to go in the middle period, but Khodorenko answered with 1:39 to play to reclaim the Spartans’ four-goal advantage. Khodorenko followed up a shot and put the rebound past Salmenkangas from the low slot for his 10th goal of the year to make it 5-1.
Cesana earned his third point of the day on the Khodorenko goal, while Lewandowski got his second assist of the game.
The Bulldogs got the only goal of the third period as Nate Kallen scored on the power play with 8:07 to play.
MSU went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Ferris State was 1-for-4.
The Spartans ended the game with 36 shots on goal and held Ferris State to 24.
Michigan State returns to action Jan. 10-11 at Munn Arena against Minnesota.