Spartans win their 7th Consecutive CCLA D1 Title & Punch their Ticket to Salt Lake City
Michigan State 2018 Senior Class with the CCLA D1 Championship Trophy
#4 Michigan State (14-1) defeated Minnesota (7-7) 16-5 Sunday afternoon on a sun-splashed afternoon to capture their seventh consecutive CCLA D1 Tournament Title. The Spartans were dominant in all phases of the game over a very good Minnesota team that had defeated #16 Davenport 15-8 a day earlier in a CCLA semifinal. The Green & White earned an automatic qualifying bid to the 2018 MCLA National Championship in Salt Lake City May 7-12.
"We played perhaps our most complete game today", said Spartan Head Coach Cam Holding. "It's quite an accomplishment for our nine seniors to have won the CCLA Title each of their four years".
The Spartan defense frustrated the high octane Gopher offense all day, but especially when Minnesota went man-up in the fourth quarter for a three minute non-releasable penalty for a Spartan illegal stick. Two minutes into that penalty, the Spartans were called for holding and went two-men down for 30 seconds but goalie Kevin Boland stopped a blistering shot by the Gophers. Michigan State was able to kill the remainder of both penalties and did not allow Minnesota to score.
"The defensive unit played at an extremely high level all game" said defensive coordinator DJ Lubs. "Normally the odds of not allowing a goal when you are man-down for three minutes against a team the caliber of Minnesota are extremely low. Having the defense not allow a goal - even when we were two men down - gave our entire team a boost to finish the game strong."
LSM Ian Genord earned the CCLA Tournament Defensive MVP award and Attack Brett Braun was awarded the CCLA Tournament Offensive MVP award.
Seedings for the MCLA National Championship will be announced the weekend of April 28-29. This will be Michigan State's ninth consecutive trip to the 16 team national tournament.
Michigan State Coaching Staff (L-R: Cam Holding, Nate Small, DJ Lubs, Big Joe)