The Spartans traveled all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska this weekend, and split their series with the Alaska Nanooks. Michigan State won the first game 1-0 and dropped the second 4-2. It was the first time this season that the Spartans won the first game of a two-game CCHA series. It was also the first shutout for the Spartans this season.
Back-up goaltender Will Yanakeff collected the shutout for the green and white with 37 saves. His performance was strong enough to earn him the start in the second game as well. It was is first back-to-back start since early November.
In the second game of the series the Spartans entered the final minutes of the third period tied 2-2. However, they gave up a late period power-play goal with just a minute remaining, and an empty net goal followed, ending the game 4-2 Alaska.
Jake Chelios was also given 16 minutes of penalty time and a game misconduct after getting into it with Alaska’s Nolan Kaiser at the end of the game. Tempers flared, but neither skater received a Disqualification.
The entire series was somewhat of a home coming for Michigan State’s second leading goal scorer Tanner Sorenson. Sorenson is a native of Anchorage, Alaska, which is about 260 miles south of Fairbanks. Friday’s game was his first collegiate contest in his home-state.
Michigan State went 0/8 in power-play chances over the two-game series. Alaska had the better of the special teams and went 3/9 on the man-advantage.
The Nanooks came out firing in the series and heavily out shot the Spartans 80-38 over the two games, but only managed to win once.
The last series of Michigan State’s regular season will be next weekend against Western Michigan.