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Michigan St. Wins Men's 2007 Ice Hockey Title

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

The Spartans captured their first national championship since 1986 on Saturday.
– Michigan State has won its first NCAA hockey championship in 21 years.

Justin Abdelkader snapped a tie with 18.9 seconds left, in the Spartans' 3-1 victory over Boston College on Saturday night.

Jeff Lerg made 29 saves, and Chris Mueller added an empty-net goal to clinch it for the Spartans (26-13-3), which came in as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional when the tournament began.

Tim Kennedy tied it midway through the third period, and set up the go-ahead goal. Abdelkader, the MVP of the finals, beat Eagles' goaltender Cory Schneider for his 15th goal and first in nine games.

Brian Boyle scored in the second period for Boston College (29-11-2), which had won 13 in a row before the final. The Eagles lost in the championship game for the second straight year. They lost 2-1 to Wisconsin in 2006.

Michigan State held the Eagles to 1-for-4 with the man advantage and was 17-for-18 on the penalty kill in the tournament.

"Our penalty kill has been outstanding throughout the tournament," defenseman and team captain Chris Lawrence told the Associated Press. "That's what wins games at this time of the year."

Michigan State was the second No. 3 seed to make it to the championship game since the bracket was expanded to 16 teams in 2003. Boston College made it last year as a No. 3 seed.

Several Devils have played on NCAA national title teams, including Brian Gionta (Boston College, 2001), Jim Dowd (Lake Superior St., 1988), John Madden (Michigan, 1996), Paul Martin (Minnesota, 2002 & 2003), and Jay Pandolfo (Boston U., 1995.)

with wire services



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