All season, head coach Jeff Wilson has been preaching that his team needs to become goal scorers rather than shooters.
Saturday afternoon, the Spartans proved they have the ability to find the back of the net, beating Northern Michigan, 6-1.
“At practice (coaches) actually been putting tires up and preaching to pick corners rather than to shoot it into the chest of the goalie,” said forward Staci Burlingame, who is playing in her final games at Munn Ice Arena this weekend.
“I’m just trying to work hard and get as much as I can for my last games,” said the senior graduating in December. “It’s exciting at the same time, moving on and doing different things. Hockey has been my life forever, so it’s definitely bittersweet to play my last games here.”
Burlingame scored the first goal of the game, but it was MSU’s defense that stole the show, contributing two goals offensively. There was a lot of open ice to skate the puck on Saturday, and the defensemen took full advantage of it.
“There’s two ways to look at it,” Wilson said. “The forwards can be frustrated, but they also have to get open. If the defensemen don’t see them open, then they’re going to skate it, and we’ve given them the green light for that.”
Although the Spartans came away with the victory, coach Wilson wasn’t pleased with the way they played.
“Sometimes when you play a team, you almost play to their level,” Wilson said. “Not that Northern is a bad team, but they play more of a scrappy, almost sloppy type of game and that’s what we played today, very sloppy.”
MSU will play Northern Michigan on Sunday at Munn Ice Arena, with the puck set to drop at 11 a.m.
-Michigan State has only allowed three goals against in nine games this season.
-Both Spartan goaltenders have less than a 1.00 GAA
David Defever is the host of Behind the Mask for Impact Sports
Photo: David Defever