Michigan State Hockey scores 3 quick goals to rout Colorado College

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Three goals in the first 6:48 of the opening period helped Michigan State Hockey Team edge Colorado College, 5-1, Saturday night at Broadmoor World Arena, after falling 3-1 the previous night.

Four different Spartans had multiple points on Saturday, led by Patrick Khodorenko, who had three assists, while John Lethemon made 35 saves as the Spartans secured a series split and improved to 2-2 in the youngster season.

Jerad Rosburg (1:15), Cole Krygier (4:39) and Gianluca Esteves (6:48) all scored in 5:33 to give MSU the quick start it was looking for.

“We came out and had a few chances and the puck went in the net, which was good because we hit a lot of the posts,” MSU coach Danton Cole said. “It was important for our psyche – you have a few to do and you feel a little better about yourself, you relax and you play better. I was very happy with that.

The Spartans’ first goal came through seniors Sam Saliba and Rosburg. Saliba got a pass from Esteves and carried the puck into the CC area down the left side and stopped along the boards, where he waited for a Spartan line change, then took the puck to Rosburg. Rosburg picked up speed in the left corner and then around the net before wrapping it into the short side of the right post.

A face-off victory in the CC game set up the Spartans’ second goal. After being ejected from the free pass circle, Khodorenko collected the puck – after a victory by Saliba – and brought it back to Krygier at the left point. Krygier made a move and then unleashed a low shot that found the far corner of the net to make it 2-0 with 4:39 remaining in the opening period.

The Spartans made it 3-0 2:09 later when Esteves scored the first goal of his career. The puck came back into the neutral zone where Esteves took control on the left side. He led the ice with a developing 2-on-1 and slipped the puck to Tommy Apap in the middle. Apap held the puck for a moment and made a perfectly timed pass to Esteves, who passed goaltender Matt Vernon just off the right side of the crease.

Ryan Ruck replaced Vernon in the net after the goal.

Compensating penalties and then an appeal against the Spartans gave Colorado College (2-2) a 4-on-3 power play in the final minutes of the first period. Ben Copeland got the puck past Lethemon with 34 seconds left in the period to put the Tigers on the board.

The Spartans added to their lead at 7:24 of the second period when Nicolas Müller scored his first career goal to make it 4-1. Deep pressure in the CC end led to a handful of spartan shots and Müller was able to put a rebound past Ruck from the low slot. Dennis Cesana and Khodorenko picked up the assists.

A late penalty in the second, then another early in the third, gave Colorado College a two-man advantage for 1:03, but the Spartans cleared both penalties to hold the game 4-1.

Logan Lambdin capped the score with 13:31 to go with another wraparound goal. Lambdin took the puck and curled to the left post where he tossed the puck into the far corner of the net, just below the crossbar. Khodorenko got his third assist of the night on goal, while Rosburg also picked up an assist to give him two points.

Saliba (2a) and Esteves (1g, 1a) also finished with two points.

“We liked our depth a little bit better and we have to play that way,” Cole said.

Lethemon, who made several big saves in the second period, stopped all 18 shots he saw in the third. CC finished with a 36-30 advantage in shots on goal.

MSU was 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Tigers were 1-for-5.

After playing their first four games on the road, the Spartans will open their regular-season home schedule Friday at Munn when they begin a two-game series with No. 5 Cornell. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

— MSU Athletic Communications

Catherine J. Martinez