Jan. 26, 1998

Spartan Hockey Beats Lake Superior

Win sets up crucial CCHA weekend vs. Miami

Spartan Hockey Reclaims No. 1 Spot in National Polls

  • Dates: Jan. 30-31
  • Site: Munn Ice Arena
  • Times: 7 p.m.

    The Week Michigan State's third-period comeback against Lake Superior Jan. 24 and Miami's two-game sweep of first-place Michigan set up a crucial CCHA series between the Spartans and RedHawks this weekend at Munn Ice Arena (6,170).

    The Spartans (21-3-3 overall, 13-3-2 CCHA) are one point behind Michigan in the CCHA standings, but do have a game in hand. Miami (17-5-2, 12-5-2) is close behind in the league race in third place and has been ranked among the nation's top 10 teams all season. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday night (MediaOne Ch. 6 or 17, TCI Ch. 13, Horizon Ch. 11, WVFN-AM 730, AudioNet). This weekend marks the first two games in the season series, which will wrap up next Saturday, Feb. 7, in Oxford, Ohio.

    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 796 career victories as he comes ever closer to becoming ther first coach to reach the 800-victory plateau. His records stand at 796-346-61 overall and 507-236-47 at Michigan State. Mason made his record 17th NCAA tournament appearance last year.

    Miami head coach Mark Mazzoleni (Michigan State 80) played for Mason for one year at MSU. He holds a school record of 72-54-13 (four years) and a career mark of 210-106-23 (10 years).

    The Competition:
    Miami brings one of the nation's top teams into Munn Arena and is coming off an impressive sweep of Michigan, 3-1 and 4-3, at Goggin Ice Arena. The RedHawks are led by senior defenseman Dan Boyle (12-23-35) and Tim Leahy (9-22-31). Senior Trevor Prior (14-3-0, 2.56, .907) has been the No. 1 goaltender.

    The RedHawks are the highest scoring team in the CCHA, averaging 4.38 goals per game. Miami's power-play has been particularly efficient, converting on 25.7% of its opportunities overall.

    The Series:
    vs. the RedHawks MSU leads, 44-12-3, and 22-8-2 in East Lansing. Michigan State is 7-1 in the last eight meetings and won last year's series, 3-1-0. Each team won on the others home ice last year, and MSU came from behind to win in the CCHA semifinals, 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena. Miami has actually won six of the last eight at Munn Ice Arena.

    Lake Superior Recap
    Talk about comebacks, Junior left wing Bryan Adams came back from a shoulder injury which forced him to miss 10 games to score a big goal for the Spartans.

    Senior goaltender and Hobey Baker candidate Chad Alban, after being pulled 7:50 into the second period with Lake Superior leading 3-2, came back to shut out the visitors in the third period.

    And Michigan State came back from that 3-2 deficit to score two third-period goals including Adams game-winner to defeat the visiting Lakers 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 6,638 at Munn Ice Arena Saturday night.

    (If you use just one MSU note this week, perhaps the following should be it)
    Follow the leader Senior defenseman and three-year team captain Tyler Harlton is one of five finalists for The Humanitarian Award, given annually to college hockey's finest citizen. Harlton, who holds a 3.75 GPA in political theory at MSU's James Madison College, is the chairman of the school's Student-Athlete Advisory Council. Off campus, he regularly speaks to area children in programs such as D.A.R.E.

    "It's quite an honor and one which I was really surprised to hear about," said Harlton. "I dont think that I do anthing special. There is a legacy with Michigan State hockey and community service."

    Harlton will be honored as a finalist prior to a Michigan State home game in February. The award will presented to the winner in Boston April 3 at the NCAA final four.

    Did You Know?
    Comebackers Against Lake Superior, Michigan State found itself trailing after two periods for just the third time this year in 27 outings. In two of those games, the Spartans have come back to at least tie the game, and now hold a 1-1-1 record when trailing after two.

    Get the sensation Junior center Mike York has 8-3-11 in five games since returning from the World Junior Championship and has had more than one point in each of the last four games. York has 49 goals and 72 assists (121 points) in 99 career games played (1.22 points per game). This season, he leads the Spartans with 19-16-35. York has scored 10 of his 19 goals in the first period.

    Summit meetings Michigan State is in the midst of a stretch of very important CCHA games. Including the contests Friday and Saturday, the second-place Spartans face third-place Miami in three of their next four games. A home-and Joe series with first-place Michigan featuring one game at Munn and the next at Joe Louis Arena looms Feb. 20-21. MSU is 4-0 this year against teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

    Powerless Michigan State won Saturday night despite finishing 0-for-4 on the power play, the first time since Dec. 28 that MSU failed to register a power-play goal. The Spartans still rank first in the CCHA on the power play in league games (21-for-100, 21.0%).

    Powerless II Michigan State has not allowed a power-play goal in its last four games (an 0-for-14 stretch). Opponents are 1-for-22 (4.5%) in the last six games. Michigan State ranks second in the CCHA and third in last weeks NCAA rankings on the penalty kill (89.6% overall).

    Cuts Like a Knife Junior left wing Bryan Adams game-winning goal Saturday night put an exclamation mark on his successful return from a fractured right clavicle which kept him out of 10 games. Adams was the team leader in assists (16) when he was injured; only with an assist on the game-winning goal did Mike York tie him for the team lead.

    Center of attention Centers Sean Berens and Mike York have been in the lineup together for each of the last four games, and have combined for 13 goals and a 32.5% shooting percentage in that span.

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

    Amazing Alban Senior goaltender Chad Alban won his 76th career game Saturday, tying him with Norm Foster for second all-time at MSU and with Foster and Ken Dryden for ninth all-time in college hockey. Some other Alban tidbits:

  • ranks among NCAA leaders in goals-against average (1.67), save percentage (.917) and winning percentage (.854) (new rankings to be 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)
  • has a .952 save percentage and a 0.88 GAA in the first period of games this year
  • leads the CCHA in overall GAA and save percentage
  • just seven wins shy of Jason Muzzattis MSU career record (83)
  • ranks among MSU career leaders in GAA (1st, 2.61), shutouts (1st, 10), save percentage (5th, .892), games played (2nd, 116) and saves (7th, 2,379)

    Cup company Detroit Red Wings' head coach Scotty Bowman watched part of Michigan State's practice last Thursday. Bowman was in town to benefit the Children's Miracle Network, a charity for which Ron Mason is the honorary chair in the Lansing area.

    Looking out for ... Michigan State stands a chance of being ranked No. 1 in the nation when the polls are released Tuesday night. The Spartans held the top spot for three weeks earlier this season. Prior to that, MSU hadn't been No. 1 since the final poll of the 1989-90 regular season.

    Pro producer Fifteen former Michigan State players have appeared in the NHL this season, including Rod BrindAmour, who will be playing for Canada in the Olympics.

    Home sweet home Michigan State started the season 0-1-2 at home, but since then holds a 9-1-1 record at Munn Ice Arena. This weekend Munn, which has welcomed 89,371 fans this year, should surpass the 100,000 attendance mark for the 17th consecutive year.

    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   WIN%  MIN      GA  GAA   SV    SV%  SO
    CHAD ALBAN          (1997-98) 24   19-2-3  .854  1437:41  40  1.67  442  .917  4
    Robb Stauber, Minn. (1987-88) 44  34-10-0  .773  2621    119  2.72 1243  .913  5
    
    1997-98 Multi-Point Games (52) 
    Mike York (10; MR: 1/24 vs. LSSU)
    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 OKeefe (5; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    Shawn Horcoff (4; MR: 1/2 vs. UAF)
    Andrew Bogle (3; 1/24 vs. LSSU)
    Jeff Kozakowski (2; MR: 1/17 vs. FSU)
    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 OKeefe (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)
    7 games: Sean Berens (12-4-16)
    5 games: Mike York (8-3-11)
    4 games: Mike Weaver (0-4-4)
    3 games: Kevin OKeefe (2-2-4)
    2 games: Andrew Bogle (1-2-3)
    Upcoming Milestones
    800 career wins: Ron Mason has 796
    100 career games played: Mike York has 99
    50 career goals: Mike York has 49
    50 career points: Bryan Adams has 47

    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 Sunday's at noon on Ch. 53. It is hosted by Tim Staudt.

    MSU STAT LEADERS
    Player (Yr., Pos.)         G-A-P
    Mike York (Jr., C)        19-16-35
    Sean Berens (Sr., C)      21-11-32
    Rustyn Dolyny (Fr., RW)   11-13-24
    Bryan Adams (Jr., LW)      6-16-22
    Shawn Horcoff (So., C)     10-9-19
    Kevin OKeefe (Sr., RW)    8-11-19
    Mike Weaver (So., D)       4-13-17
    Goalie (Yr.)       W-L-T,  GAA,  Sv.%
    Chad Alban (Sr.)   19-2-3, 1.67, .917
    
    SPARTANS IN THE CCHA
    1997-98 Standings
    Team (Overall)                League   Pts
    1. Michigan (20-6-1)          14-4-1   29
    2. MICHIGAN STATE (21-3-3)    13-3-2   28
    3. Miami (17-5-2)             12-5-2   26
    4. Northern Michigan (13-9-4) 11-7-3   25
    5. Ohio State (14-10-1)       11-9-0   22
    6. Lake Superior (11-10-4)     8-8-4   20
    7. Notre Dame (13-11-3)        8-8-3   19
    8. Ferris State (10-12-3)      7-8-3   17
    9. Alaska Fairbanks (7-17-2)  6-16-1   13
    10. Western Michigan (5-20-2) 4-15-1    9
    11. Bowling Green (4-20-2)    2-14-2    6
    LAST WEEKS POLLS
    U.S. College Hockey Online (1/20)
    1. North Dakota (26)     292
    2. MICHIGAN STATE (2)    261
    3. New Hampshire (1)     232
    4. Michigan              210
    5. Boston University (1) 191
    6. Boston College         99
    7. Miami                  96
    8. Wisconsin              90
    9. Yale                   77
    10. St. Cloud             56
    OTHERS: Colgate 27, Colorado College 11, Northeastern 6,
    Minn.-Duluth 1, Northern Michigan 1.
    USA Today/Amer. Hockey Mag. (1/20)
    1. North Dakota (8)     97
    2. MICHIGAN STATE (2)   92
    3. New Hampshire        71
    4. Boston University    66
    5. Michigan             59
    6. Boston College       44
    7. Yale                 34
    8. Miami                28
    9. Wisconsin            25
    10. St. Cloud           23
    OTHERS: Northeastern 6, Colgate 5.
    MSU WEEK-BY-WEEK IN THE POLLS
          USCHO   USAToday  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
    1/20     2       2        -   2