Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Friday's OT win over Ferris State.
Twelve alums experience playoff hockey in ECHL, AHL
2007-08 (Senior): One of the top defensive forwards in the CCHA ... Started the season snakebitten, but exploded for a career-best four-point night against Mercyhurst (11/10) ... Posted second goal of the season against Minnesota (11/23) ... Assisted on Matt Schepke's late first-period power-play goal and Bryan Lerg's third-period goal in eventual 4-4 tie against Wisconsin (11/24) ... Scored on a power play in the first period of game one of Lake Superior State series (11/30), then assisted on Bryan Lerg's even-strength third-period goal in game two (12/1) ... Posted fourth goal of the season in series finale against Ferris State (12/8) ... Assisted on Dustin Gazley's first-period goal against Providence in the Great Lakes Invitational (12/29) ... Tallied three points in January's Lake Superior State series, with two assists in game one (1/4) and a first-period goal in game two (1/5) ... Picked up two points in series at Ohio State, with an assist on Nick Sucharski's second-period goal in game one (1/18) and a third-period short-handed goal (first of the season, second of his career) in game two (1/19) ... Assisted on Bryan Lerg's game-winning power-play goal in the first game (1/25) of the home-and-home Michigan series at Yost Arena ... Tallied an assist on Bryan Lerg's extra-attacker goal late in the third period to force the overtime in game one of the Nebraska-Omaha series (2/1) ... Posted his first two-goal game of the season in the second contest of the Western Michigan series (2/15-16) after potting a goal in the first game for a three-goal weekend; two goals were power-play tallies, including the game-winner in the contest at Lawson ... Put the Spartans on the board in game two (2/23) of the Michigan series with a second-period goal, his 10th of the season; the goal was his 100th point as a Spartan, the second player to reach the milestone this season ... Had a three-point weekend in the regular season finale against Bowling Green (2/29-3/1); he assisted on Tim Kennedy's goal in the third period of game one before scoring two goals in game two; the first-period goal was the eventual game-winner, and his second was an unassisted empty-netter with 49 second left in the game ... Finished his collegiate career with a goal in MSU's 3-1 victory at Colorado College in the West Regional (3/28). He scored the Spartans' final goal of the game at 19:53 in the second period.
2006-07 (Junior): Scored a career-best 16 goals and added 16 assists for 32 points, good for fourth on the team ... Finished tied for first in both postseason scoring (10 points) and goals (5) ... Also had a team-best +9 rating in the Spartans' eight postseason games, and ranked second with +11 overall ... Named to the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team, and finished the NCAA Tournament with five points (3g, 2a) in four games, which ranked fifth nationally ... One of just four Spartan skaters to appear in all 42 games ... Prides himself in his prowess on faceoffs, and won a team-best 405-of-734 draws - a 55% success rate ... Team was a perfect 14-0-0 when Mueller scored a goal ... Finished with a point in nine of the last 10 games (6-6-12), including a team-best two goals and three points at the Frozen Four ... Had his first multiple-goal game of the season and third of his MSU tenure with a two-goal effort in a 4-1 win against Ohio State (12/1) ... Notched his second two-goal game just a week later at Northern Michigan (12/8) with the first goal of the game and a penalty-shot marker in a 3-2 win. ... Goal and two assists in a 6-0 victory at Ferris State (11/10). His goal was the game-winner ... Playing in his 100th career game, tallied the game-winning goal in MSU's semifinal match against Harvard at the Great Lakes Invitational (12/29) ... Pair of assists in a 4-1 win against Miami (1/6) and also in a 5-1 win at Nebraska-Omaha (2/2) ... Collected points in both games of a weekend series, a goal at Bowling Green (2/23), and an assist on Jeff Dunne's first career goal (2/24) at home ... Assisted on Jay Sprague's tally in the first game against Nebraska-Omaha in the quarterfinal series (3/9), then tallied a power-play goal and picked up an assist in the series-clinching 4-1 victory (3/10) ... Won 32-of-47 faceoffs in the UNO series, a 68 percent success rate, and was a team-best +3 ... Notched his second multi-point game in three outings against Lake Superior in the CCHA consolation game (3/17), scoring a third-period goal and assisting on a Matt Schepke tally later in the period. Finished a +4 for the contest ... Tallied an assist on Daniel Vukovic's second-period tally in a 5-1 rout of Boston University in the Midwest Regional semifinal (3/23) ... Scored MSU's first goal of the game, on the power play, in the win over Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional (3/24) that sent the Spartans to the Frozen Four ... Recorded his eighth multi-point game of the season in the Frozen Four semifinal against Maine (4/5), tallying MSU's first goal of the game, and assisting on Jim McKenzie's goal ... Potted an empty netter with just 1.2 seconds remaining in the National Championship game to secure a 3-1 victory over Boston College (4/7) ... Ended the season on a career-best three-game goal scoring streak (3-1-4), dating back to the Midwest Regional Final against Notre Dame (3/24), and tied a career best for consecutive games with a point, five (4-3-7), dating back to the CCHA Consolation Game against Lake Superior.
2005-06 (Sophomore): Eleven goals and 16 assists for 27 points ... Collected a pair of goals in the Lefty McFadden tournament against North Dakota, with his first goal standing as the game-winner ... Scored his first career short-handed tally in a 3-2 overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha (11/12) ... Collected his third point in as many games with his assist on Justin Abdelkader's power-play goal in the 3-2 loss to Ohio State (11/15) ... Had a goal in each of the first two periods and added an assist in 3-3 tie against Western Michigan (11/18) for a career-high three-point night ... 30th career point was an assist on Abdelkader's power-play game-winner in a 3-0 win over Alaska Fairbanks (12/10) ... Assisted on Colton Fretter's overtime game-winner over Michigan Tech (12/29) in the GLI semifinal ... Credited with a helper on Tyler Howell's power-play goal in a 6-3 loss in the GLI Championship to Colorado College (12/30) ... Collected his first goal in 11 games in a 4-0 victory over Alaska Fairbanks (1/13) ... Scored a first-period tally in a 4-3 overtime win at UNO (1/20) ... Assisted on Bryan Lerg's game-winning goal in MSU's 4-3 win over Ohio State (2/9) ... Contributed the primary assist on Tyler Howells' game-winning tally in 3-1 win over Miami (2/18) to seal a series sweep ... Tipped a Ethan Graham blast from the point in the first period of a 3-2 victory at LSSU (2/23) ... Scored the eventual game-winning goal in the second period of the second CCHA Quarterfinal game against Alaska Fairbanks (3/11) ... Scored an equalizing tally just 1:40 into the decisive game three against UAF, and added an assist on Drew Miller's shorthanded tally in the second period against the Nanooks (3/12) ... Assisted on a pair of tallies in a 4-1 victory over archrival Michigan in the CCHA Semifinals ... Assisted on a Jim McKenzie tally in the second period of a 5-4 loss to Maine in the NCAA Regional final (3/26).
2004-05 (Freshman): Skated in 41 games with 2-17-19 totals to rank sixth on MSU in scoring ... Led all MSU freshmen in points ... One of just four players to play in all 41 games ... MSU's Outstanding Rookie Award winner ... Recorded assists in back-to-back games vs. Nebraska-Omaha (10/29-30) ... Collected a season-high two assists at Ferris State (11/6) ... Tallied first collegiate goal in 2-0 win over Cornell (11/14) ... Drew an assist on State's second goal at Michigan (11/20) ... Set up game-winning goal in 4-0 win at Wisconsin (11/26) ... Recorded an assist in back-to-back games vs. New Hampshire (12/29) and Michigan (12/30) at the GLI ... Registered an assist in back-to-back games with Western Michigan (1/14-15) ... Scored MSU's fifth marker in 5-0 blanking of Nebraska-Omaha (3/17) in CCHA Super Six Quarterfinals.
PRIOR TO MSU: Member of the 2003 U.S. Under-18 Select Team, which won gold the Eight Nations Tournament in Slovakia ... Member of the 2002 U.S. Under-17 Select Team, which also captured a gold medal in the Czech Republic ... Scored the first goal in the gold medal contest ... Played Midget AAA for the Buffalo Saints where he served as team captain ... Tallied four goals and 15 points in five games for the Saints at the Fourth Annual Midget Major Autumn Invitational Tournament in Chicago en route to all-tournament team honors ... His 15 points led all players ... Posted two goals and seven points in five games to lead Buffalo in scoring at the Tier I Under-17 midget championships in Marquette, Mich. ... The Saints posted a 2-2-1 record in Marquette ... Saints were the New York State Champions ... Four-year letterwinner in hockey at Nichols School in Buffalo, N.Y. ... Appeared in 32 games in 2003-04, posting 36 goals and 43 assists for 79 points to rank as the team's leading scorer ... Led team with a +41 rating ... In 2002-03, registered 41 goals and 49 assists for 90 points to pace the team in scoring and led team with a +56 rating ... Team captain as a senior and served as assistant captain as a junior ... Selected as team MVP as a sophomore, junior and senior ... Team won CISAA Championship in 2002 and 2003 ... Played in 127 career games at Nichols School, posting 113 goals and 122 assists for 235 points.
PERSONAL: Born March 6, 1986 ... Interdisciplinary studies/human resource management major ... Enjoys golf and baseball ... Graduated from Nichols School in Buffalo, N.Y. ... Earned four letters in hockey and baseball at Nichols ... Baseball team MVP as a senior ... Favorite NHL team: Buffalo Sabres ... Favorite NHL player: Steve Yzerman ... Admires the New York Fire Department as they sacrificed their lives to save others ... Son of Richard and Sharon Mueller ... Grandfather Freddie "The Flying Dutchmen" Mueller was a professional boxer, who was ranked No. 3 in the world in the lightweight class in 1929 and 1930 and was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame ... Says Deron Bauer, who was his coach for the first 12 years of his career, is his biggest hockey influence.
GP G A Pts Shots Shot% Pen Min +/- PPG SHG GWG 2004-05 41 2 17 19 64 .031 12 32 +1 0 0 0 2005-06 41 11 16 27 84 .131 18 47 +6 2 1 2 2006-07 42 16 16 32 106 .151 15 30 +11 5 0 2 2007-08 42 13 14 27 114 .114 16 32 +4 3 1 2 TOTAL 166 42 63 105 368 .114 61 141 +22 10 2 6