Jan. 18, 1998

Spartan Hockey Prepares for Home Game Vs. Lake Superior

  • Date Jan. 24
  • Site Munn Ice Arena
  • Time 7 p.m.

    The Week — Michigan State, which outscored Alaska Fairbanks and Ferris State 13-1 in an impressive sweep last weekend, faces Lake Superior this Saturday, Jan. 14, after a rare Friday night off. The Spartans (20-3-3 overall, 12-3-2 CCHA) stand second in the league and were ranked first or second in the nation in last week’s polls. Lake Superior State (11-9-4 overall, 8-7-4 CCHA) also has Friday night off before venturing to Munn Ice Arena (6,170) for Saturday night’s game. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. (MediaOne Ch. 6 or 17, TCI Ch. 13, Horizon Ch. 11, WVFN-AM 730, AudioNet).

    The Coaches — Head coach Ron Mason (St. Lawrence ’64) is in his 19th year at Michigan State and his 32nd as a head coach in college hockey. He is the all-time winningest college hockey coach with 795 career victories as he comes ever closer to becoming ther first coach to reach the 800-victory plateau. The former LSSU coach has 506 victories at Michigan State. His records stand at 795-346-61 overall and 506-236-47 at Michigan State. Mason made his record 17th NCAA tournament appearance last year.

    Lake Superior State head coach Scott Borek (Dartmouth ’85) is in his second season with the Lakers. The former Colby College White Mules head coach has a career record of 63-56-14 in five seasons and a school mark of 30-23-9 at Lake Superior.

    The Competition:
    The Lakers — Lake Superior started the season 0-4-1 but has rebounded nicely, including a recent six-game winning streak in which the Lakers claimed the championship at Rensselaer’s holiday tournament. Last weekend, the Lakers defeated Western Michigan, 4-3, before falling to Miami, 4-3, on a last minute RedHawk goal.

    Center Terry Marchant has been the top offensive threat for Lake Superior, leading the CCHA with 16-20-36 totals. Jason Sessa (14-10-24) and Joe Blaznek (12-7-19) have helped offensively, while Rob Galatiuk (9-5-4, 2.84, .899) has been the top goaltender. Lake Superior’s short-handed unit is one of the best in the nation, killing 90% of opponents’ power-plays while scoring 11 short-handed goals.

    The Series:
    vs. the Lakers — MSU leads, 37-27-8, and 19-11-2 in East Lansing. The Spartans are just 2-4-3 in the last nine meetings, although they won the last contest, 6-3 at Munn last Feb. 15. MSU is 5-2-0 in the last seven at Munn.

    Last Weekend’s Recap — Friday night, MSU jumped on Alaska Fairbanks with two Mike York power-play goals in the first period. Shawn Horcoff added another first-period goal and while UAF answered that one, it would not be enough. The Spartans delivered freshman goaltender Joe Blackburn (15 saves) his second victory.

    Chad Alban returned to the nets Saturday at Ferris and posted his fourth shutout of the season, while his teammates provided plenty of offensive support at the other end. Rustyn Dolyny had two power-play goals and an assist while Mike York netted his first career hat trick, leading Michigan State to a 7-0 victory.

    We couldn’t pick one ... so use two MSU notes this week
    Six pack — Michigan State has scored six or more goals in four of the last five games. In the first 21 games of the year, the Spartans scored six goals just once.

    Two few — The Spartans have allowed two goals or fewer in 22 of their 26 games, including each of the last five. MSU is allowing just 1.65 goals per game, more than a half a goal better than the best defensive team in school history (1984-85, 2.27 goals per game). Did You Know?
    Amazing Alban — Senior goaltender Chad Alban recorded his 10th career shutout Saturday night and the fourth this season. He already holds Michigan State’s career shutout record and now stands tied for the single-season mark with Joe Selinger (1958-59). Some other Alban tidbits:

  • ranks among NCAA leaders in goals-against average (1.60), save percentage (.920) and winning percentage (.848) (new rankings released Tuesday)
  • 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 per game (not counting saves)
  • leads the CCHA in overall GAA and save percentage
  • third all-time in wins at MSU (75) and just eight shy of Jason Muzzatti’s record
  • ranks among MSU career leaders in GAA (1st, 2.60), shutouts (1st, 10), save percentage (5th, .892), games played (2nd, 115) and saves (7th, 2,350)
  • has a .949 save percentage and a 0.91 GAA in the first period of games this year
  • has a black cat named “Puck”

    Power surge — Michigan State is 15-for-38 (39.5%) on the power-play since the start of the Great Lakes Invitational. Since junior center Mike York returned from the World Junior Championship, the Spartans are 10-for-21 (47.6%). Friday night, the Spartans scored three power-play goals in their first 1:34 of power-play time.

    Mad hatters — Two weeks ago, no Michigan State player had a college hat trick to their credit. In the last five games, Sean Berens (two) and Mike York (one) have combined for three hat tricks.

    Reaching new heights — Last weekend, Michigan State’s three top returning goal scorers from a year ago all matched their 1996-97 goal totals. Sean Berens (20 goals), Mike York (18) and Shawn Horcoff (10) are all working on career-highs for goals in a season.

    Cuts like a knife — For the first time since Nov. 30 (10 games), Michigan State expects to have its complete lineup available Saturday night. Junior left wing Bryan Adams was tied for the team lead in points Nov. 30 when he fractured his right clavicle. Mike York’s usual linemate, Adams has been skating for almost a month but has been cleared to participate fully for Monday’s practice.

    Great name, great game — Freshman right wing Rustyn Dolyny has a five-game point-scoring streak (4-7-11) and stands third on the team in scoring with 11-13-24 totals. Michigan State is 9-0-0 when Dolyny has a goal.

    INJURY REPORT — None to report as of Sunday.

    Did You Know?
    New York — Junior center Mike York, who scored the first goal of the game in each of his first three games back from the World Junior Championship, has seven power-play goals in 17 games since being moved near the net in the power-play formation. He had zero power-play goals in his previous 60 games.

    Super Sean — Senior center Sean Berens built his point-scoring streak to six games over the weekend (11-4-15 in that time). He leads MSU with eight power-play goals, which ties him for third in the nation.

    Follow the leader — Senior defenseman and team captain Tyler Harlton continues his steady, impressive play for the Spartans. Harlton, who plays close to 30 minutes a game and in every vital defensive situation, leads the CCHA in plus/minus rating at +21 overall. Friday night Michigan State improved to 23-2 all-time when Harlton has a point.

    Like Cy Young — Michigan State, which leads the nation in winning percentage (.827), captured its 20th victory Saturday night. MSU has won at least 20 games in 16 of the last 17 seasons.

    Shooting stars — Michigan State is outshooting its opponents by an average of more than 10 shots per game, 31.2-20.3. The Spartans have not allowed 30 shots on goal in a game yet this year, while they have fired 30 or more shots on goal 14 times.

    King Kozy — Junior defenseman Jeff Kozakowski had three assists as of Jan. 8. In the four games since, he has six assists and has been a crucial part of MSU’s power-play success.

    Approaching 800 — Head coach Ron Mason is just five victories shy of becoming the first college coach to record 800 in his career.

    Comparing Chad
    How Chad Alban’s season stacks up against the only goaltender ever to win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, Minnesota’s Robb Stauber (1987-88):

                                  GP     W-L-T  MIN      GA  GAA    SV   SV%   SO   
    CHAD ALBAN (1997-98)          23    18-2-3  1389:51  37  1.60  427  .920   4
    Robb Stauber, Minn. (1987-88) 44   34-10-0  2621    119  2.72 1243  .913   5
    

    How Chad Alban’s season stacks up against the best statistical years put up by Michigan State goaltenders:

    GOALS-AGAINST AVG.        
    1.60   CHAD ALBAN               
    1.64   Bob Essensa (1984-85)     
    2.63   Norm Foster (1984-85)   
    SAVE PERCENTAGE
    .921   Bob Essensa (1984-85)
    .920   CHAD ALBAN 
    .916   Rick Duffett (1968-69)
    SHUTOUTS 
    4   CHAD ALBAN
    4   Joe Selinger (1958-59)
    1997-98 Multi-Point Games (50) 
    Mike York (9; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Sean Berens (8; MR: 1/16 vs. UAF)
    Rustyn Dolyny (7; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Bryan Adams (6; MR: 11/15 vs. Mank.)
    Kevin O’Keefe (5; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Shawn Horcoff (4; MR: 1/2 vs. UAF)
    Jeff Kozakowski (2; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Andrew Bogle (2; 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 Multi-Goal Games (16) 
    Sean Berens (5; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
    Mike York (4; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Rustyn Dolyny (2; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Kevin O’Keefe (2; MR: 10/28 vs. FSU)
    Shawn Horcoff (1; 1/2 vs. UAF)
    Mike Weaver (1; 12/28 vs. Mich.)
    Chris Bogas (1; 11/22 vs. BG)
    1997-98 Multi-Goal Games (16) 
    Sean Berens (5; MR: 1/10 vs. NMU)
    Mike York (4; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Rustyn Dolyny (2; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Kevin O’Keefe (2; MR: 10/28 vs. FSU)
    Shawn Horcoff (1; 1/2 vs. UAF)
    Mike Weaver (1; 12/28 vs. Mich.)
    Chris Bogas (1; 11/22 vs. BG)
    Current Point-Scoring Streaks (two games or more)
    6 games: Sean Berens (11-4-15)
    5 games: Rustyn Dolyny (4-7-11)
    4 games: Mike York (7-1-8), 
             Jeff Kozakowski (0-6-6)
    3 games: Brad Hodgins (0-5-5), 
             Mike Weaver (0-3-3)
    2 games: Kevin O’Keefe (2-1-3),
             Shawn Horcoff (2-0-2),
    		 Sean Patchell (1-1-2)
    Current Point-Scoring Streaks (two games or more)
    6 games: Sean Berens (11-4-15)
    5 games: Rustyn Dolyny (4-7-11)
    4 games: Mike York (7-1-8), 
             Jeff Kozakowski (0-6-6)
    3 games: Brad Hodgins (0-5-5), 
             Mike Weaver (0-3-3)
    2 games: Kevin O’Keefe (2-1-3),
             Shawn Horcoff (2-0-2),
    		 Sean Patchell (1-1-2)

    ON THE AIR
    Television Michigan State games will appear at least 23 times on television this season, often coast-to-coast. Five Spartan regular-season games are featured as the CCHA Game of the Week on FOX Sports Net. MSU also will be televised locally for the 21st consecutive season, as Media One broadcasts 12 home games.

    Radio All Spartan games can be heard on WVFN-AM 730, with Scott Moore calling the action. Volunteer assistant coach Willie Mitchell provides color commentary.

    That broadcast is available by calling TEAMLINE at (800) 846-4700 (code #5300) and using a Visa or Master-Card.

    All Michigan State radio broadcasts can also be heard live on the Internet, free of charge, at http://drew. audionet.com/acsn/hockey

    Coach’s Shows Head coach Ron Mason’s radio show is hosted by long-time Munn Arena public address announcer Jerry Marshall at Reno’s East Sports Bar in East Lansing. The show runs from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and is on WILS-AM 1320.

    Coach Mason’s TV show is on the air Sundays at noon on Ch. 53. It is hosted by Tim Staudt.

    The 1997-98 media guide is currently available on the site.

    MSU STAT LEADERS
    Player (Yr., Pos.)        G-A-P
    Mike York (Jr., C)       18-14-32
    Sean Berens (Sr., C)     20-11-31
    Rustyn Dolyny (Fr., RW)  11-13-24
    Bryan Adams (Jr., LW)     5-16-21
    Shawn Horcoff (So., C)    10-9-19
    Kevin O’Keefe (Sr., RW)   8-10-18
    Mike Weaver (So., D)      4-12-16
    Goalie (Yr.)       W-L-T, GAA, Sv.%
    Chad Alban (Sr.)   18-2-3, 1.60, .920
    SPARTANS IN THE CCHA
    1997-98 Standings
    Team (Overall)                League   Pts
    1. Michigan (20-4-1)          14-2-1   29
    2. MICHIGAN STATE (20-3-3)    12-3-2   26
    3. Northern Michigan (12-8-4) 10-6-3   23
    4. Miami (15-5-2)             10-5-2   22
    5. Lake Superior (11-9-4)      8-7-4   20
    6. Ohio State (12-10-1)        9-9-0   18
    7. Notre Dame (12-10-3)        7-7-3   17
    8. Ferris State (8-12-3)       7-8-3   17
    9. Alaska Fairbanks (7-17-2)  6-16-1   13
    10. Western Michigan (5-18-2) 4-14-1   9
    11. Bowling Green (4-17-2)    2-11-2   6
    LAST WEEK’S POLLS
    U.S. College Hockey Online (1/13)
    1. North Dakota (22)     285
    2. MICHIGAN STATE (4)    249
    3. Boston University (2) 234
    4. New Hampshire         193
    5. Michigan (1)          179
    6. St. Cloud (1)         172
    7. Miami                 133
    8. Wisconsin              59
    9. Yale                   52
    10. Boston College        37
    OTHERS: Colgate 21, Colorado College 19,
    Northeastern 7, Clarkson 3, Providence 3,
    Northern Michigan 2, Minnesota 1, 
    PRINCETON 1.
    USA Today/Amer. Hockey Mag. (1/13)
    1. MICHIGAN STATE (4) 94
    2. North Dakota (5)   92
    3. Boston University  75
    4. New Hampshire      56
    5. Michigan (1)       55
    6. St. Cloud          53
    7. Miami              41
    8. Yale               29
    9. Boston College     25
    10. Wisconsin         16
    OTHERS: Northeastern 4, Providence 4,
    Colorado College 3, Colgate 2, PRINCETON 1.
    MSU WEEK-BY-WEEK IN THE POLLS
         USCHO USA Today   WMEB   WMPL
    10/6    3     -         -      -
    10/13   2     -         -      -
    10/20   2     2         2      -
    10/27   2     -         2      -
    11/3    4     6         4      4
    11/10   3     3         4      3
    11/17   1     1         1      1
    11/24   1     1         1      1   
    12/1    1     1         1      1
    12/8    2     2         2      2
    12/15   2     2         2      -
    12/30   2     2         -      -
    1/6     3     2         -      3
    1/13    2     1         -      2