East Lansing — Patrick Khodorenko and Michigan State put on a dominating performance Friday night to defeat bitter rival Michigan 5-0 before 6,007 fans at Munn Arena, splitting the home-and-home series.
Khodorenko did his best to equal the performance of Michigan captain Tony Calderone who pushed his nation-leading goal scoring total to 13 Thursday night at Yost Arena when he scored a hat trick in Michigan’s 4-0 win over the Spartans.
Khodorenko was a thorn in the side of Michigan’s Hayden Lavigne all night, scoring a pair of goals while MSU sophomore John Lethemon (Northville) turned aside 29 shots to earn the shutout.
“We scored one goal in the last three games combined and then you lose 4-0 last night in a tough rivalry and you come back and you want things to go right and to get that first goal (by Khodorenko), that just kind of takes a load off so it was hugely important and then the second one I thought was really big too, then the guys loosened up and made some plays,” Michigan State coach Danton Cole said.
Khodorenko’s first goal of the night came just seconds into a power play when he took Taro Hirose’s pass and put it past the sophomore goaltender for a 1-0 lead with 11:40 left in the first period.
“It was definitely a good game, I hadn’t scored in a while so getting two, especially against the Wolverines, is huge for me so it was nice for sure," Khodorenko said. "We put the foot on the gas the whole game.”
The Spartans (8-9-1, 2-7-1-1) opened a 2-0 lead with four seconds left in the opening period when Mitch Lewandowski’s shot from the point bounced off of the body of the physical 6-foot, 210-pound Khodorenko and past Lavigne.
Michigan (7-7-2, 3-5-2-1) had three power-play opportunities in the second period, but failed to capitalize, and the Spartans scored two more goals during the period to push the lead to 4-0.
First, Lewandowski’s rifled a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle past Lavigne after taking a pass from Hirose at the midway point of the period.
Then, Mitch Eliot beat Lavigne with a wrist shot from the right circle with 5:50 left in the period.
It could have been worse if not for a pair of great saves by Lavigne on point-blank shots by Khodorenko.
Lavigne also made a save on Brennan Sanford’s wrist shot on a penalty shot during the middle period. Sanford was tripped by Michigan defenseman Griffin Luce after taking a great pass out of the Spartans zone by a defenseman.
Sophomore Jack Lafontaine took over for Lavigne to start the third period, but didn’t fare much better, allowing a power-play goal by Logan Lambdin, who scored from between the circle with 15:16 remaining.
Lafontaine did make a great save on Hirose, who had three assists, from just right of the crease midway through the final period.