It was another tough loss for Michigan State Tuesday night, as they dropped an exhibition match up to the US National Team Development Program 3-0 on home ice. The Spartans are now 1-1 in exhibition play. They won their other exhibition match up against Niagaraat the beginning of this season.
The 1st period was scoreless for both teams. Shots favored the U-18 team 9-4, as they were given the power play chance twice in the period on penalties from MSU freshmen defensemen John Draeger and senior defensemen Matt Grassi.
In the 2nd period defesemen Will Butcher opened scoring for U-18 with a rocket from the left circle that beat Hildebrand high stick-side. Kevin LeBlanc then doubled U-18’s lead with a goal on the 3×1 odd-man rush. Shots were 18-11 in favor of U-18 in the 2nd period.
Shots again favored the US in the 3rd period 12-7, and with those chances U-18 scored a third and final goal off the stick of Anthony Louis. With 2 minutes left in the game Michigan State sophomore forward Matt Berry took a hitting from behind major penalty and a game disqualification. Berry will now be forced to sit out of Friday’s game against Penn State because of the DQ, and Michigan State will have to find a way to score against the Nittany Lions without their No. 1 scorer.
With the 3-0 win over Michigan State the US -18 team is now 9-5-4 against NCAA competition this season, including a win over the Michigan Wolverines.
Total shots in the game favored the Stars and Stripes 39-22.
MSU went o/4 on the man-advantage, but killed all 6 U-18 power plays on the night.
Friday’s game against Penn State will begin the Spartans first ever series against the Nittany Lions. They are entering their first season of varsity hockey and could spell a couple of easy wins for the ailing Spartans.