Lerg Stars As Michigan State Upsets No. 16 Ohio State
Feb. 15, 2009
Courtesy of Michigan State
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State got a 33-save performance from Jeff Lerg and a game-winning power-play tally from Jeff Petry in the final four minutes to record a 2-1 victory over Ohio State on Saturday afternoon at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans improve to 9-18-5, 6-14-4-3 in conference play.
The game, as it did last night, came down to late heroics. Petry broke the 1-1 deadlock at 16:13 of the third period with a power-play tally, putting a wrister through traffic and into the back of the OSU net off a pass from Matt Crandell. It was Petry's second goal of the season. Goalie Dustin Carlson headed to the OSU bench for the final 47 seconds, but the Buckeyes could not recreate their waning-seconds magic from the previous evening and the Spartans gained the four-point weekend.
The Spartans took an early lead in this contest, getting a goal from Joey Shean just 4:24 into the game. Trevor Nill carried the puck up the right side and forced it into the zone, and corralled it again down in the right corner. He moved it out to Shean in the right circle on the left side of the dot, and Shean lifted it over the glove hand of Carlson.
The Buckeyes got an equalizer at 1:02 of the middle period. Sophomore Shane Sims wound up for a shot from the left point after receiving the puck from Chris Reed, and his shot found its way through traffic in front and over the blocker-hand of Lerg.
The teams took a 1-1 tie into the final frame, and the Spartans had a golden opportunity at 8:44 when OSU was whistled for two penalties at 8:44, including a five-minute major for hitting from behind. The Buckeyes killed off the two-man advantage, and were disruptive enough that the Spartans failed to put on any sustained pressure for the remaining three minutes. At the tail end of the man advantage, Patrick Schafer sprung out of the zone with the puck on a shorthanded breakaway, but Lerg came up with the big save. Under a minute later, the Spartans had a two-on-one chance, but Dustin Gazley's offering hit the post.
NOTES: MSU registered its first four-point weekend since Oct. 31-Nov. 1 against Western Michigan - a series in which the Spartans also got a win and shootout victory ... Michigan State has allowed just four goals in its last four games ... Lerg stopped 69 of 71 shots in the weekend set with the Buckeyes ...
Jeff Lerg had his 14th consecutive game with 29+ saves.