Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spartans' winless streak ends at 11

By Anthony Fenech
Free Press Special Writer

Down one goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, North Dakota defenseman Chay Genoway found himself in a wide open lane with the puck, directly in front of Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg.

A few minutes earlier, the Fighting Sioux cut Michigan State’s two-goal lead in half, planting the same seeds of doubt into the Spartans that have plagued their 11-game winless streak.

Genoway unloaded a point-blank slap shot and the senior Lerg turned him away, preserving Michigan State’s 2-1 victory in the Great Lakes Invitational semifinals.

“That was the hardest we’ve fought for a victory this year,” Lerg said afterwards.

“We came out with a lot of energy, hitting and crashing the boards.”

The duo of wingers Matt Schepke and Corey Tropp connected on two goals, both scored by Schepke, a senior, giving him nine goals on the season.

“We had great play out of our upperclassmen today,” Spartans head coach Rick Comley said.

Michigan State will now face off with Michigan in the GLI championship game for the tenth time today at Joe Louis Arena at 6:35. The two teams have split their title contests, with Michigan State winning the past five.

The Spartans are seeking their 12th title and will look to end their three-game losing streak to the Wolverines.

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