Spartan Hockey Shuts Out #19 Wisconsin To Remain On A Hot Streak

Hondo S. Carpenter

Munn Ice Arena

East Lansing, MI

The Michigan State Spartan hockey team has been on a hot streak this season. Last week, they took a slight set back, but like Spartan warrior teams of old, they bounced back here at Munn tonight to shut out #19 Wisconsin. It was a dominant performance by a resurgent Sparrtan program led by Danton Cole.

MSU hockey SID and a great friend of Spartan Nation, Jeff Barnes, write this great recap:

EAST LANSING – John Lethemon’s 41 saves helped the Michigan State hockey team shut out No. 19 Wisconsin, 3-0, in front of a crowd of 6,007 on Friday night at Munn Ice Arena. Tommy Miller, Jagger Joshua and Brody Stevens all scored for the Spartans, who are now 7-7-1 overall and 5-3-1 in the Big Ten.

“I thought our guys battled really hard and there’s always up and downs in a game, but I thought we stuck together, kept our discipline and did a lot of things really well,” MSU head coach Danton Cole said. “Probably the thing I liked about it best was just the battle and being comfortable playing the game regardless of the score.”

Lethemon’s shutout was his third of the season as he turned away 17 Badger shots in the first period, nine shots in the second, and then 15 in the final frame.

“John was outstanding,” Cole said. “He’s been our best player and we need that.”

The first period featured a total of 30 shots on goal, but only the Spartans found the back of the net. Michigan State had good pressure on the Badgers to start the game and Miller eventually converted a chance at the 8:11 mark. Logan Lambdin retrieved a point shot and patiently held the puck in the right circle before spotting Miller across the ice, low in the left circle. Miller took the pass and then snapped it into the net for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Spartan lead.

Butrus Ghafari also picked up an assist on the goal.

Joshua scored the first goal of his career to make it a 2-0 game just over six minutes into the second period. Nicolas Müller got the puck to Adam Goodsir in the right circle, who fired a shot that UW goaltender Daniel Lebedeff deflected away. The puck quickly bounced off the end boards and back to the right side of the net where Joshua was charging. Joshua was able to get his stick on the puck and knock it past Lebedeff from just off the right post.

The Spartans pushed their lead to 3-0 with just over four minutes to play in the second period courtesy of hard work in the UW end by the line of Tommy Apap, Gianluca Esteves and Stevens. The puck eventually got to Stevens in the low slot – via Apap and Esteves – and he was able to backhand a shot along the ice that got under Lebedeff.

Lethemon made several big saves, but two of his biggest came over a short span in the second period to keep the Spartans in front, 2-0. He first stopped Sean Dhooghe on a breakaway with just over 12 minutes to play, and later stoned Alex Turcotte’s play from the bottom of the right circle.

Both teams came away empty on the power play as UW (7-9-1, 2-6-1-1) was 0-for-4 and the Spartans 0-for-3.

The Spartans & Badgers will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Munn.

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