Spartans dominate physical game against Western Ontario


Coler/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Kyle Hatty, Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – Michigan State welcomed in the Western Ontario Mustangs for an exhibition game to kick off the season. The Mustangs came from the Ontario University Athletics conference in Ontario, Canada. The Mustangs traveled to East Lansing after losing a game against Ohio State yesterday, 5-3.

The Spartans beat the Mustangs 6-1, but the score does not accurately depict the amount of dominance Michigan State had over Western Ontario. Michigan State was the faster, more aggressive team. Especially on the forecheck, the Mustangs didn’t have time to think before a green and white jersey was in their face.

The Spartans were aggressive all night getting to the puck and racking up the hits, which established an edge in the corners, which is where Michigan State generated a lot of their scoring chances from.

Matthew Mitchell Photography
Danton Cole/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

The biggest edge Michigan State had on the night was in shots. The Spartans ended the night with a commanding lead in shots, 55-22. This is thanks to a great effort by the MSU blue line and a great effort from the forwards to block numerous shots throughout the night.

In net, the Spartans gave John Lethemon the start before putting Drew DeRidder between the pipes for the second half of the game. Both goaltenders had quiet nights, but did a very good job against the few shots that did come their way.

The Mustangs were never able to generate any kind of flow offensively, even on the man advantage, except for a brief span when they applied heavy pressure and ended up scoring their only goal of the night.

The contest remained somewhat close until halfway through the third, when the Spartans capitalized twice on the man advantage to take a 6-1 lead that they would keep for the remainder of the game.

Tommy Apap, Nicolas Muller, Mitchell Lewandowski, Cole Krygier, Christian Krygier and Logan Lambdin were the six goal-scorers for the Spartans.

Mitchell Lewandowski

Penalties were an issue all night for the Mustangs. They finished the night with 33 penalty minutes, including four different scenarios when they gave the Spartans a 5-on-3 power play. That ended up costing them, as three of Michigan State’s goals game on the power play.

“We had a couple five on three chances early and I thought we had a ton of really good chances that just didn’t go in,” head coach Danton Cole said.

Penalties is also a spot where Michigan State deserved credit. Western Ontario played aggressive all night, and even after multiple scraps behind the play, Michigan State only committed five penalties, showing good discipline, which will be necessary to have once conference play starts.

Michigan State travels to Marquette, Michigan to take on Northern Michigan this weekend for games that will count on the record, but it will be no easy task.

“Overall I liked the way they played. They (Northern Michigan) skate, they compete and it’ll be a real good challenge for us,” Cole said, looking ahead to Northern Michigan.

Contact Kyle Hatty at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @KyleHattyIN.