Lisle, IL – Behind the efforts of a standout defensive effort which included a second-half shutout, the #1 Colorado State Rams outpaced #11 Michigan State 9-3 on a chilly afternoon on the campus of Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. The Rams never trailed in the game as they handed the Spartans their first loss on the year and ran off their 18th consecutive win stretching back to April of 2012.
CSU started hot as senior Alex Devlin (Langley HS / Great Falls, VA) found a lane on the right side and stuck home a bouncer just three minutes into the contest. After Michigan State answered back a few minutes later, the Rams went on a 5-2 run heading into halftime to lead 6-3 at intermission. MSU’s Mitchell Hall scored with less than a second on the clock in the second quarter to break what had been a 12-minute scoring drought for the Spartans.
After halftime, the story was CSU’s defense, headlined by seniors Tyler Zabor (Rock Canyon HS / Highlands Ranch, CO), Hayden Porter (Heritage HS / Littleton, CO) and Patrick Sullivan (Heritage HS / Littleton, CO), who combined for eight caused turnovers and seven groundballs. Junior goaltender Koltin Fatzinger (Wheat Ridge HS / Thornton, CO) was hot in the last thirty minutes, making five saves to help secure the victory.
Sean Smith (Amherst HS / Amherst, NY) led the Rams with four points on two goals and two assists while attackmen Austin Fisher (Rock Canyon HS / Highlands Ranch, CO) and Kacy Carter (Rock Canyon HS / Castle Rock, CO) added two apiece. Devlin and senior Josh Gregg (Columbine HS / Littleton, CO) each had two points for the Rams as well. Michigan State’s Mitchell Hall had two points to lead MSU.
CSU and Michigan State were dead even in shots with 27 apiece and the Spartans controlled the face-off circle with an impressive 9/13 performance against CSU’s typically strong draw unit. The Rams won all the other stat categories, including a decisive 33-17 edge in groundballs that ultimately told the story of the game. CSU’s two goalies combined for 12 saves while Michigan State’s Matt Allemang had seven in a full game’s worth of work.
CSU’s defense has been hot over the past five games, not allowing double digits in any of the victories and only giving up a total of 23 goals over that stretch. Offensively, Saturday’s nine-goal effort, which included three man-up goals, tied for a season low.
Colorado State (8-0 overall, 1-0 RMLC) moves their all-time record to Michigan State to 3-0 and will take the field again on Sunday afternoon against another top 10 team in #10 Minnesota-Duluth. MSU (1-1) finishes up their road trip against Illinois on Sunday as well before heading back to Michigan to take on CCLA competition.