No. 13 Simon Fraser Edged by No. 9 Michigan State

EAST LANSING, MI (March 14, 2010) No. 13 Simon Fraser (1-4, 0-0 PNCLL) was edged 12-9 by No. 9 Michigan State (3-1, 0-0 CCLA) on Sunday, March 14 at Ralph Young Field in East Lansing, Michigan. Special teams proved to be the difference on the scoreboard as the Spartans scored 4 goals with the man advantage and 1 goal on the man-down to gain the three-goal victory.

In the face of a strong riding effort, untimely turnovers would see Fraser trail for the majority of the game, as the Clan dropped their fourth consecutive out of conference match-up of the season. Senior attack Ben Towner (Port Coquitlam, BC / Terry Fox Secondary), led Fraser in scoring with 3 fourth-quarter-goals, while freshmen Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC / Heritage Woods Secondary) added 2 goals for the Clan.

Junior attackman Bryan Scott opened the scoring at 10:39 of the first quarter to give Simon Fraser their only lead of the contest. In a back-and-forth start, Michigan State's Michael Baily converted a pass from Mike Degengardt to tie the score with 5:09 left before the low scoring first quarter ended with the two teams tied at one.

It would not take the Spartans long to get back on the scoreboard to start the second quarter as Baily scored his second of the game, less than a minute in, to give MSU a 2-1 lead. Just under five minutes later, Dow scored Fraser's only goal of the quarter on a pass from senior midfielder Kevin Riley (Coquitlam, BC / Gleneagle Secondary) to knot the score at two. Following a SFU turnover, starting goaltender Mike Ripley (Saskatoon, SK / E.D. Feehan High School) would take a one-minute slashing penalty off of a scramble in front of the Clan net.

With junior backstop Dean Stewart (Duncan, BC / Claremont Secondary) stepping in goal, Baily completed the first-half hat trick to give Michigan State a 3-2 lead on the Spartans first man-up goal of the day. With Ripley now back in the cage, MSU would add one more off of the ensuing face-off to outscore the Clan 3-1 in the second quarter and take a 4-2 lead heading into halftime.

SFU would strike first to open the second half with Russel Thomas (Nanoose Bay, BC / Ballenas Secondary) finding the Michigan State net just over a minute in to the third quarter to close the Spartan lead to one. After killing off another one minute penalty, Fraser would look to tie the score on the man-up. Unfortunately for the Clan, MSU would gain possession and break double-team coverage in the Fraser defensive end to score short-handed and reextend their lead to two.

To make matters worse, SFU would be assessed a flag on the play; with only seconds left in the original penalty being served by the Spartans, Michigan State would now have a man-up opportunity of their own. Capitalizing on the man advantage, MSU attackman Connor Bush scored his first of the game to put the Spartans up by three. Determined not to let the game slip away, Fraser would answer with two goals of their own as defender Nathan Clare (Ladner, BC / Vancouver College) and fellow junior Chris Tessarolo (New Westminster, BC / New Westminster Secondary) brought the Clan back to within one. Bush would add one more for Michigan State to round out the quarter and set the score at 7-5 heading into the final frame.

With an important win in sight, the Spartans came out hard to start the fourth quarter and quickly added two more to their lead to make the score 9-5. With less than 10 minutes now left in the game, Towner scored his first of three fourth-quarter goals to close the gap to 9-6. Another man-up goal by MSU would make the score 10-6 before Dow scored his second goal of the game to bring the Clan back to within three with just under five minutes left to play. Mike Degenhardt made the score 11-7 followed by Michigan State's fourth man-up goal of the day to cap the Spartan lead at four. Towner would score twice in the final minute to complete the natural hat trick and leave Michigan State with a 12-9 win.


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