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Division-1 Spartans Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Michigan-Dearborn

The Michigan State University women’s Division 1 ice hockey team clinched their spot in the CCWHA league tournament with a 5-4 regulation win over Michigan-Dearborn on Friday.

The must-win game for Michigan State was opened up with a goal from senior captain Natalia Asimakis with just 27 seconds of play passed. The Asimakis goal had help from junior Amber Danules and sophomore Shayna Menzer. Michigan-Dearborn would tie the game seven minutes later while on the power play before the Spartans would find the back of the

Senior Natalia Asimakis tallied four points (3g, 1a) in the games against Michigan-Dearborn and Grand Valley

net twice more before the end of the first period. Freshman Lily Manderfield gave the lead back to the green and white at the 14:59 mark with help from linemate senior Blair Dzierwa and senior Katie Novell. Menzer would add a goal to her assist from earlier to make it a 3-1 game after passes from Asimakis and Danules.

Michigan-Dearborn scored the only goal in the second period, and also grabbed the first goal of the third period to tie the game while on the powerplay. The Spartans would connect for the fourth time at the 8:35 mark, where Asimakis grabbed her second goal of the night on the Spartan powerplay. With a 4-3 Spartan lead and the end of the game closing in, Michigan-Dearborn found themselves on the powerplay with less than two minutes remaining, and pulled their goaltender. However, the Spartans would find a short-handed goal as Danules would soar the puck down to the empty net awaiting at the other end of the ice for the go-ahead goal. Michigan-Dearborn would in fact capitalize on their power play to make it a 5-4 game, but couldn’t find another game-tying goal before the end of regulation, thus ending their season.

Michigan State’s freshman goaltender, Bella Vansolkema was in net for the big win, stopping 25 of 29 shots faced to help get the Spartans into the playoff tournament. The green and white fired off 27 total goals in the offensive zone.

On Saturday, Michigan State faced off in their final regular season game with Grand Valley State University as their opponent.

Senior Katie Novell picked up two points with two assists in the weekend's games.

Grand Valley would tally three unanswered goals, one in the first period, and two in the second period (one powerplay goal), before Michigan State found the back of the net for their only goal of the game.

Asimakis would tally that lone goal at the 15:09 mark in the second period. Novell would grab her second assist of the weekend on Askimakis’ third goal of the weekend. The Lakers would find their fourth goal on the powerplay late in the second period, with no scoring during the final period of play.

Senior Savina Osann was in net against Grand Valley stopping 18 of 22 shots on goal, Michigan State sent off 39 shots on the Lakers’ goalie.

The Spartans look ahead to the CCWHA league tournament, where they will be the No. 2 seed in the East Pod, and take on Grand Valley for a rematch on Friday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m.for the quarter-finals at Crystal Fieldhouse in Burton, Michigan.


Author: Mackenzie McMahon, Communications Manager

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