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Jan. 15, 1998

Michigan State vs. Alaska Fairbanks Game Notes

  • No. 1 or 2 Spartan Hockey vs. Alaska Fairbanks
  • Date: Jan. 16
  • Site: Munn Ice Arena

The Basics

Michigan State meets Alaska Fairbanks for the third time in five games with the season series on the line.

Last Week
Michigan State took three points in a two-game series with Northern Michigan. Sean Berens (four goals Saturday) and Mike York (2-1-3) were the offensive stars, while Chad Alban earned CCHA Defensive Player of the Week.

The Records
MSU: 18-3-3 (10-3-2 CCHA)
UAF: 7-15-2 (6-14-1 CCHA)

The Coaches
MSU: Ron Mason
Overall: 793-346-61 (32)
MSU: 504-236-47 (19)

UAF: Dave Laurion
Overall: 66-95-6 (5)
UAF: same

On the air
Tonight's game is being broadcast nationally by FOX Sports Net, with Ken Daniels, Mike Greenlay and Jim Blaney providing the action.

Tonight's game and all Spartan games can be heard on WVFN-AM 730, with Scott Moore calling the play-by-play. Volunteer assistant coach Willie Mitchell provides analysis. That broadcast is also available by calling TEAMLINE at (800) 846-4700 (code #5300).

Michigan State games are also available free of charge on the Internet at

Note of the Weekend
Goals by numbers - In the last four games, senior center Sean Berens has goal totals that read like an episode of Sesame Street: 1, 2, 3, 4. The Palatine, Ill., native has more than half (10) of his team-leading 19 goals in the last four games.

Five More Notes No Media Person Should Be Without
1. Amazing Alban - Senior goaltender Chad Alban earned CCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors after allowing just two goals on 51 shots (.961 save percentage) in two games against Northern Michigan. Some other Alban tidbits:

  • ranks among the NCAA leaders in winning percentage (2nd, .842), goals-against average (2nd, 1.68) and save percentage (6th, .918)
  • called by Ron Mason the greatest puck-handling and decision-making goaltender he has ever coached or ever will coach, he touches the puck over 30 times a game (not including saves)
  • leads the CCHA in overall GAA and save percentage
  • third in all-time wins at MSU (74) and just nine shy of the record held by Jason Muzzatti
  • ranks among MSU career leaders in GAA (1st, 2.63), shutouts (1st, 8), save percentage (5th, .892), games played (3rd, 114), saves (7th, 2,350)
  • has a .947 save percentage and a 0.95 GAA in the first period this season
  • has a black cat named "Puck"

2. Powerful - The Spartan power play had five goals in 10 opportunities last weekend. Michigan State has 10 power-play goals in 27 opportunities (37.0%) since the start of the Great Lakes Invitational, including PPGs in each of the last four games.

3. Birthday boys - It was a big week for birthdays in Munn Ice Arena this week. Tyler Harlton and Jon Gaskins (Sunday), Kevin O'Keefe (Tuesday) and Ron Mason (Wednesday) all celebrated birthdays this week.

4. Two few - Twenty times in 24 games, Michigan State has held its opponent to two goals or fewer.

5. Center of attention - For the first time in over a month, Michigan State should have its top three centers in the lineup tonight. Sean Berens, Shawn Horcoff and Mike York should all be skating tonight for the first time since Dec. 7. York missed four games in the meantime while playing in the World Junior Championship, Horcoff missed two with an ankle sprain and Berens missed one while serving a game disqualification.

Did You Know?
Familiar faces - Michigan State and Alaska Fairbanks met more time zones ago (four) than weeks (two). The two teams split, with UAF winning the opener 6-4 and the Spartans bouncing back with a 6-2 win Saturday night. That series produced a total of 140 penalty minutes.

NCAA leaders
Where the Spartans rank among the NCAA stat leaders (as of 1/11). Note that NCAA stats do not recognize games in the Ice Breaker Invitational or vs. Canadian teams.

    Category                    Team/Individual Rank    Figure
    Scoring Defense             Michigan State   1st    1.76 goals/game     
    Scoring Margin              Michigan State   5th    1.71 goals/game     
    Winning Percentage          Michigan State   1st    .810    
    Penalty-Killing Percentage  Michigan State   4th    .893    
    Power-Play Percentage       Michigan State  16th    .200    
    Goals                       Sean Berens    T-5th    1.00/game
    Assists                     Bryan Adams      9th    1.08/game
    Power-Play Goals            Sean Berens    T-6th       7
    Goals-Against Average       Chad Alban       2nd    1.68    
    Save Percentage             Chad Alban       6th    .918
    Goalie Winning Percentage   Chad Alban       2nd    .842

Shooting stars
Michigan State is outshooting its opponents by an average of more than 10 shots per game, 31.0-20.6.

Follow the leader
Senior defenseman and three-year captain Tyler Harlton plays close to 30 minutes a game and in every vital defensive situation. He leads the CCHA in plus/minus at +19.

New York
Junior center Mike York had two goals and an assist in his first two games back from the World Junior Championship, where he was named one of Team USA's three Most Outstanding Players. One of York's goals, which he batted out of midair Friday night, was featured on ESPN SportsCenter's "Plays of the Week."

Head start
Michigan State has outscored opponents in the first period 25-7 and has scored first in 17 of its 24 games.

Forever young
The Spartans are led by their seniors and juniors, but MSU still skates five freshman forwards on its top four lines and nine freshmen or sophomores each night.

Great name, great game
Freshman right wing Rustyn Dolyny carries a three-game point-scoring streak into tonight (2-4-6) and stands fourth on the team in scoring (9-10-19). MSU is 8-0-0 when he scores a goal.

The fries at the bottom of the bag
MSU alum Mike Watt recently became the 38th player to play for Ron Mason at Michigan State to reach the NHL ... The Spartans are 8-0-1 when they have more penalties than their opponent ... MSU has been scored on in the first minute of the game twice this year and won both games ... MSU is 11-1-0 on the road ... No MSU player in at least 10 years has had three consecutive hat tricks.


(If you've been with us all season, you've probably seen these notes...if not, we hope they help)

Michigan State finished the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule at 8-0-1. It marks the first time the Spartans were undefeated outside of the league since 1984-85 (6-0-0).

Forward in a goalie suit
Senior goaltender Chad Alban plays the puck over 30 times a game, not counting saves. Nearly half of those come in special-teams situations.

500 and counting
Michigan State head coach Ron Mason won his 500th game at Michigan State Dec. 6 against Bowling Green, becoming just the fifth coach to win 500 games at one school.

Counting to 800
Head coach Ron Mason should soon become the first college hockey coach to record 800 victories. He currently has 792 in his career.

Say This About Our Players . . .

2 - Jon Gaskins (Sr., LW)
  • a defenseman for his first 85 career games, he is playing forward this year for the first time since youth hockey
  • had a recent four-game point-scoring streak
3 - Brody Brandstatter (R-Fr., D)
  • the ninth East Lansing native to play for MSU
4 - Chris Bogas (Jr., D)
  • has led the team in plus/minus rating each of his two seasons and is +49 for his career
  • has the GWG in both games he has scored in this year
5 - Mike Weaver (So., D)
  • leading all MSU defensemen with 4-10-14, doubling his point total from last year
  • broke the glass behind the west goal with a slapshot at Thursday's practice
6 - Tyler Harlton (Sr., D)
  • in his third year as a team captain
  • last season's CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman and an all-league choice
  • earned numerous academic distinctions for his 3.75 GPA in Political Theory and Consitutional Democracy
  • had a perfect 4.0 GPA this fall
  • leading the team with +19 rating and has had only two games with minus ratings
  • MSU is 22-2 all-time when he scores a point
  • has matched up against two All-America candidates this year (Chris Drury, Bill Muckalt - 10/25) and not allowed either a point while he was on the ice
7 - Brad Hodgins (Fr., D)
  • had a career-best three assists last game
9 - Sean Patchell (Fr., W)
  • second among MSU freshmen with 5-6-11
10 - Shawn Horcoff (So., C)
  • has missed two of the last three games with a right ankle sprain
  • has scored 10 of his 18 career goals in the third period
  • 11 of his career goals are PPGs
12 - Kevin O'Keefe (Sr., RW)
  • the right wing on MSU's "Illinois Line"
  • a high school classmate of Sean Berens
  • celebrated a birthday Tuesday
14 - Damon Whitten (Fr., LW)
  • has not had a minus rating in a game all year
16 - Bryan Adams (Jr., LW)
  • was tied for team lead in scoring (5-16-21) when he suffered a fractured right clavicle against Minnesota Nov. 30
  • expected to return next Saturday
18 - Sean Berens (Sr., C)
  • has 10-2-12 totals in the last four games, including back-to-back hat tricks
  • the last MSU skater to net consecutive three-goal games was Kip Miller in 1989-90
  • leading the team in scoring with 19-9-28
  • sixth in the nation with seven PPGs
19 - Rustyn Dolyny (Fr., RW)
  • leading MSU freshmen in scoring and fourth on the team (9-10-19)
  • had 1-2-3 last Saturday
  • named to the GLI all-tournament team after totaling 1-3-4 in two games
22 - Andrew Bogle (Fr., C)
  • scored his first career goal to seal the GLI title game victory
  • the youngest player in the CCHA and third-youngest in Division I (18; 12/22/79)
23 - Mike Ford (Jr., W)
  • scored against Minnesota, his first goal since Feb. 3, 1996 (53 games without a goal)
27 - Jeff Kozakowski (Jr., D)
  • has an assist in each of the last two games
29 - Chad Alban (Sr., G)
  • owns best-ever career GAA at MSU (2.63)
  • third in career wins (74) at MSU
  • among the nation,s leaders in GAA (2nd), save percentage (6th) and winning pct. (2nd)
  • terrific stickhandler who plays the puck over 30 times a game (not counting saves)
  • College Hockey Showcase Most Valuable Player
30 - Joe Blackburn (Fr., G)
  • has a 1.51 GAA and a .925 save percentage
61 - Mike York (Jr., C)
  • was the first sophomore to lead MSU in scoring since Craig Simpson (1984-85)
  • was just the 11th American to play in three World Junior Championships
  • averaging 1.18 pts. per game in his career
  • also an outstanding defensive forward and penalty killer
  • has scored MSU's first goal 18 times in his career (17 times the last two years)
  • more than half of his goals (7) have come in the first period
Series Information vs. Alaska Fairbanks:
  • MSU leads, 9-4-0
  • In East Lansing: MSU leads, 5-3-0
  • Last meeting: MSU 6, UAF 2 (1/3/98)
  • First meeting: MSU 13, UAF 3 (1/8/85)
  • This year,s series: Tied, 1-1-0
  • Last year,s series: MSU won, 2-1-0
  • MSU has won the last two at Munn Ice Arena and six of the last eight overall
  • The last meeting at Munn was almost exactly a year ago, 1/14/97 (MSU 3, UAF 1)
Spartan Career Stats
Player           GP   G-A-P     Pen/Min
Sean Berens     143 67-64-131   53/136
Mike York        96 43-70-113    38/88
Bryan Adams      87  15-31-46    30/90
Chris Bogas     103  11-33-44   73/157
Jeff Kozakowski 103   9-33-42    41/96
Shawn Horcoff    62  18-22-40    21/50
Tyler Harlton   141   5-23-28  106/227
Kevin O,Keefe    60   9-17-26     8/16
at Ill.-Chicago  68  18-12-30    15/30
Mark Loeding     88   14-6-20   48/123
Mike Weaver      63   4-17-21    38/84
Jon Gaskins     109   3-16-19    20/40
Brad Hodgins     62   3-18-21   43/124
Rustyn Dolyny    24   9-10-19     9/18
Sean Patchell    22    5-6-11    10/20
Curtis Gemmel    52     6-3-9     9/18
Mike Ford        91     4-4-8     8/16
Chad Alban      114     0-7-7    10/31
Damon Whitten    23     1-5-6    12/35
Andrew Bogle     24     1-4-5     8/16
John Nail        23     1-2-3     5/10
Matt Kruzich     12     1-0-1     5/10
B. Brandstatter  14     0-1-1      1/2
Mike Jalaba      13     0-0-0      2/4
Mike Gresl        3     0-0-0      0/0
Dan Zaluski       3     0-0-0      0/0
Joe Blackburn     2     0-0-0      0/0
Goalie       GP    W-L-T     GAA    Svs.  Sv. %
Alban       114  74-28-8    2.63  2,350  .892
Blackburn     2    1-1-0    1.51     37  .925
Gresl         3    0-1-0    5.71     28  .800

1997-98 Multiple-Point Games
Sean Berens (7; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
Mike York (7; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
Bryan Adams (6; MR: 11/15 vs. Mank.)
Rustyn Dolyny (5; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
Kevin O'Keefe (4; MR: 1/3 vs. UAF)
Shawn Horcoff (4; MR: 1/2 vs. UAF)
Andrew Bogle (2; MR: 1/3 vs. UAF)
Chris Bogas (2; MR: 11/22 vs. BG)
Brad Hodgins (1; 1/10 vs. NMU)
Mike Weaver (1; 12/28 vs. Mich.)
Tyler Harlton (1; 12/6 vs. BG)
Damon Whitten (1; 11/22 vs. BG)
John Nail (1; 10/31 vs. ND)

1997-98 Multiple-Goal Games
Sean Berens (5; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
Mike York (2; MR: 12/6 vs. BG)
Kevin O'Keefe (2; MR: 10/28 vs. Ferris)
Shawn Horcoff (1; 1/2 vs. UAF)
Mike Weaver (1; 12/28 vs. Mich.)
Chris Bogas (1; 11/22 vs. BG)
Rustyn Dolyny (1; 10/28 vs. Ferris)

Current Point- Scoring Streaks
(Two games or more)
4 games: Sean Berens (10-2-12)
3 games: Rustyn Dolyny (2-4-6)
2 games: Mike York (2-1-3), Jeff Kozakowski (0-2-2)

MSU Career Leaders vs. Alaska Fairbanks
Player (Yr., Pos.)            GP,   G-A-P
Sean Berens (Sr., C)       10 GP, 10-4-14
Mike York (Jr., C)          5 GP,   2-3-5
Jeff Kozakowski (Jr., D)    8 GP,   0-5-5
Shawn Horcoff (So., C)      4 GP,   2-2-4
Chris Bogas (Jr., D)        7 GP,   1-3-4
Curtis Gemmel (Jr., C)      7 GP,   2-1-3
Goalie (Yr.)                  GP,  GA, Sv%
Chad Alban (Sr., G)        10 GP,  27 GA, .897

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