|1st||17:51||MSU||1-0||EV||John Draeger (1)||Mackenzie MacEachern/2, Mason Appleton/4|
|2nd||4:40||LSS||1-1||EV||J.T. Henke (2)||-|
|2nd||9:56||LSS||2-1||SH||Bryce Schmitt (1)||Mitch Hults/1|
|2nd||12:47||LSS||3-1||EV GW||C.J. Hayes (2)||J.T. Henke/2|
|3rd||2:18||MSU||2-3||EV||Mackenzie MacEachern (3)||Michael Ferrantino/1, Mason Appleton/5|
|3rd||19:04||LSS||4-2||EV EN||Gage Torrel (2)||Matt Johnson/3, Kyle Chatham/1|
|Lake Superior State||0||3||1||4|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Lake Superior State||8||9||6||23|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Lake Superior State (2-3-0)||0/4||5/10||1|
|Michigan State (1-3-1)||0/3||5/10||0|
|Lake Superior State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Gordon Defiel (W, 1-3-0)||60:00||2||9||11||9||29|
|Michigan State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Jake Hildebrand (L, 1-3-1)||58:48||3||8||6||5||19|
EAST LANSING - Lake Superior State opened the first of a two-game nonconference series with a 4-2 victory over Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena on Thursday night. The Lakers were led by Gordon Defiel's (1-3-0) 29-save effort while earning the game's first star as decided by the members of the media in attendance.
Asked about Defiel's bounce-back performance on Friday night, coach Damon Whitten said, "Bounce back is a key word for it for sure. I thought it was a strong way to return and his response tonight was very strong, especially down the stretch."
The Lakers were able to capitalize on 23 shots to beat senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand. Hildebrand made 19 saves in the game.
The Spartans (1-3-1) jumped out to the first lead of the night, courtesy of a John Draeger shot from the blue line. Draeger's goal was the first of the season for the senior blue liner.
Mackenzie MacEachern brought the puck streaking down the boards before being closed off by the Lakers defense. MacEachern was able to send a pass back to linemate Mason Appleton, who put a pass on the tape of the defenseman in stride.
The Spartans took a one-goal lead into the dressing rooms after the first period of play. MSU held a 10-8 lead in shots after the first frame.
The Lakers came out of the first intermission with renewed energy and capitalized quickly into the middle set.
Freshman C.J. Hayes (2-1--3) sparked the offense for the Lakers in the second period with a breakaway opportunity sprung by a diving attempt from Ryan Renz. Hildebrand turned Hayes away but the confidence in the Lakers' stride following the play was evident.
Minutes later, J.T. Henke (2-1-3) tied the game up with a blast from the slot that caught Hildebrand out of position. Henke's goal was an unassisted tally, created by an errant clearing attempt by a Spartan blue liner.
Just over a minute after the Lakers tied the game, MSU forward Ryan Keller was whistled for boarding. Keller's penalty awarded the Lakers with the game's first power-play opportunity for either side.
With the penalty set to expire, MSU forward Joe Cox broke away from the Lakers power-play unit towards Defiel. Defiel closed the door on the breakaway opportunity by Cox but not before Eric Drapluk was called for slashing.
Drapluk's penalty awarded MSU and Cox a penalty shot with a chance to take the lead. Defiel turned away Cox's attempt and kept the game tied at one goal each.
The Lakers tacked on a pair of goals to conclude the period and take a 3-1 lead into the locker rooms, despite trailing in shots 21-17.
Senior Bryce Schmitt (1-0-1) scored a shorthanded goal on a perfect feed from freshman Mitch Hults (3-1-4) mid-way through the middle frame. Hults stole a loose puck and took the disc into the offensive zone with his head up all the way. As the defense collapsed, Hults fired a tape-to-tape pass to Schmitt for an easy tip-in.
The Lakers collected the game-winning goal on a centering attempt by C.J. Hayes (2-1-3) that bounced off of a defender's skate and trickled past Hildebrand. Henke, Hayes' target on the pass, collected the assist on the play after springing Hayes on a cross-ice feed.
The Lakers were responsible for killing off a penalty to open the final period due to an interference call on Owen Headrick with a tenth of a second remaining in the second period.
The special teams were successful in the kill but were unable to get fresh legs on the ice following Headrick's exit from the box. Mackenzie MacEachern scored 18 seconds later to draw the game to 3-2 and cut the Lakers lead.
The Lakers' penalty kill came up big again at the end of the game after Gage Torrel (2-3-5) was whistled for boarding with 3:06 remaining in the final period.
The Spartans pulled Hildebrand for an extra attacker during the man-advantage but were turned away by Defiel and the Lakers.
As the penalty to Torrel ended, Matt Johnson (0-3-3) fired a puck up the boards, which Torrel scooped up 10 feet away from the net and put the final stamp on the game with an empty-net goal.
"We still have a long way to go and we feel like we haven't accomplished anything yet, but it is nice to be on the right side of things with the win here tonight, said Whitten after the game. "The guys all know that this is a business trip and we aren't satisfied yet."
The Lakers and Spartans will again do battle on Friday night for the second game of the series. The game is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start from Munn Ice Arena.