EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State hockey took on the University of Windsor in an exhibition at Munn Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans came away with a 3-1 victory and dominated play all night with 64 shot attempts compared to 32 from Windsor.
“It was a good first step for the team,” junior forward Taro Hirose said. “I think there are a lot of areas that we can clean up which is good. We’re not going to be a national championship caliber team on the first night so were looking to get after it again on Monday and be ready for Northern on Friday.”
With 3:20 to go in the first period, Hirose fed a pass to freshman defenseman Dennis Cesana at the blueline. Cesana ripped a shot at the net and junior forward Cody Milan was standing in front of the net and tipped it past Windsor goalie Paolo Battisti for the game’s first goal.
“He is just so skilled,” sophomore forward Mitchell Lewandowski said of Cesana. “We didn’t have that as much last year and on the power play his shot is really something. You saw it today, that first goal was tipped in by Milan but it was his shot coming in so he’s got that heavy shot back there.”
With just 30 seconds to go in the first period, Windsor answered with a goal of their own. MSU had the puck in the offensive zone but a missed opportunity for a goal ended up going right to Windsor. Windsor forward Ethan Skinner then took it all the way down the ice on the break, took a shot and missed but put in the rebound off the boards to tie up the game.
All in all, the Spartans kept the puck in their offensive zone for the majority of the first period and absolutely dominated Windsor on the shot sheet 18-3 but the game was still tied 1-1.
Five minutes into the second period, the Spartans finished killing off a penalty and made a series of quick passes from their defensive zone that ended up with Mitchell Lewandowski having a break away that he put through the five-hole of the goalie to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead. Hirose and Christian Krygier were credited with the assists. Hirose assisted on all three of the Spartan goals.
The Spartans added a third goal four minutes later on a shot from Lewandowski in the slot that ended up being loose in front of the net and bounced to Patrick Khodorenko for the tap-in goal.
The third period did not have any action scoring-wise and the Spartans closed out a 3-1 victory.
Junior goalie John Lethemon started in net for the Spartans and played the whole first period and half of the second period before giving way to highly touted freshman Drew DeRidder.
MSU coach Danton Cole was happy with what his team was able to get out of the exhibition.
“As you build up through camp and the first six weeks or so of the school year, you want to try and get a little bit more game-like as you go,” Cole said. “Just yesterday we got into our full time hours and you want a good test and you want to get a lot of different situations and I thought we were able to get that tonight.”
The Spartans open the regular season Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena against No. 20 Northern Michigan.