No. 25 Simon Fraser Rallies to Upend No. 9 Michigan State

OXFORD, MI (March 30, 2013) Down 6-2 after 30:00 minutes, No. 25 Simon Fraser went on an 8-3 run in the second half, scoring the winner with just 0:07 seconds left on the clock to upend No. 9 Michigan State by a final score of 10-9.

After striking first to open the contest, Senior Eric Ransom (Sherwood Park, AB/Bev Facey HS) was near unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring a natural hattrick and then adding an assist in the final frame to record a game-high 6 points, on 4 goals and 2 assists. Fellow attackman Ward Spencer (Saskatoon, SK/Evan Hardy Collegiate) also had a strong game for the Clan with a goal and 3 helpers, including an assist on the winning goal scored by freshman midfielder Andrew Branting (Duncan, BC/Cowichan Secondary).

The 25th-ranked Clan continue to try and claw their way back up the polls, now having three Top 20 victories to the credit, with previous wins over current No. 17 Oregon State (11-8) and No. 18 Virginia Tech (11-9), to sit at 7-4 on the season.

Ransom and Spencer connected to open the scoring and put the Clan up 1-0 following a lengthy SFU possession to start the first quarter. Michigan State would find their legs midway through the period as senior Tyler Ryan (Grosse Ile, MI/Grosse, Ile HS) scored back-to-back, first at even strength on a midfield drive, and then on the man-up, to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead heading into the second quarter.

MSU would continue their run into the second frame as Ryan assisted attackman Mitchell Hall (Farmington Hills, MI/Farmington HS) to extend the Spartan lead to two at 3-1, followed by goals from midfielders Patrick Green (Stamford, CT/Westhill HS) and Spencer Martin (Grosse Pointe Park, MI/University of Detroit Jesuit) to put Michigan State up by four at 5-1.

A Clan man-up would be just what was needed to stop the bleeding, allowing Ransom to find sophomore Sam Clare (Ladner, BC/Vancouver College) to reset the score to 5-2. MSU attackman Josh Nemes (Farmington Hills, MI/University of Detroit Jesuit) would add one more for the Spartans to cap-off a 6-1 run and reclaim a 4-goal lead heading into the break.

Simon Fraser would come out undeterred following the intermission, with Clare's second of the game sparking a 5-0 quarter for SFU, as the Clan came storming back from being four goals down to turn the tables and claim a one-goal lead at 7-6 heading down the stretch. Junior attackman Frank Davalos (Moose Jaw, SK/Albert E. Peacock Collegiate) scored Fraser's fourth goal of the game, followed by three straight goals by Ransom to give SFU the one-goal advantage.

Ransom continued to spark the Fraser offense in the fourth quarter, as he found freshman midfielder Matt Bailey (Richmond, BC/H.J. Cambie Secondary) to complete a 6-0 run and push the SFU lead to two at 8-6. Michigan State refused to let the Clan pull away, as this time it was Josh Nemes' turn to put his team on his back, assisting Green's second of the day, and then scoring consecutively to take back the momentum, along with a one-goal lead for the Spartans at 9-8. With the action now going end-to-end, Spencer rifled a pass from fellow sophomore Travis Hayes (Dublin, CA/Dublin HS) to tie the game at 9-9 and set that stage for a dramatic finish with under a minute left on the clock.

MSU would win the resulting face-off but aggressive play by the Clan in transition would force a quick turnover, sending the ball towards the sidelines off of an SFU stick. Diving to save the ball from going out of bounds, Branting would keep it in play, batting the ball across the restraining line and into the attack zone. Senior attackman Colton Dow (Coquitlam, BC/Heritage Woods Secondary) would come up with the ball out of the scrum, maintaining possession just long enough for the Clan bench to call a quick time-out with just 0:16 seconds remaining.

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