Neil Koepke's news and notes from the GLI semifinal.
Four-year letterwinner was elected captain of the 2007-08 Spartan squad ... Was an assistant captain as a junior ... Talented, creative goal scorer with a nice scoring touch ... Game continues to grow and emerge ... Signed a professional contract with the Edmonton Oilers on March 30, 2008.
2007-08 (Senior): Honorable Mention Pre-Season All-CCHA pick ... Received votes in the post-season all-conference balloting by conference coaches ... Two-time CCHA Offensive Player of the Week ... Tied for 11th in the nation with 10 power-play goals ... Had a four-assist night after MSU raised its National Championship banner (10/19 vs. Colgate), tying his career high for both assists and points in a game (4), set on 10/29/05 at Cornell ... Scored an early goal to put MSU ahead at Alaska (11/3), which was his 50th goal as a Spartan ... Scored a goal in the first of two games against Mercyhurst (11/9) and had two assists in the series finale (11/10) ... Broke out of a three-game slump with two goals against Wisconsin (11/24) ... Named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Dec. 2, after tallying three goals in Lake Superior State series; Lerg scored game one's first goal on a power play (11/30) and added back-to-back goals in game two (12/1) - his second two-goal game of the season ... Potted two goals and contributed an assist in second series against Lake Superior State; scored a first-period power play goal, the eventual game winner, and helped on Tim Crowder's third-period goal in game one (1/4), then scored the first goal for MSU in game two (1/5) ... Had a three-point weekend in Ohio State series; potted game one's first goal - a power-play tally at 2:06 - then had the primary assist on Crowder's game-winning goal nearly nine minutes later (1/18); picked up his second primary assist of the weekend on Matt Schepke's game-winning power-play goal in game two (1/19) ... The two assists marked the 49th and 50th of his career ... Scored the only goal - a first-period power-play tally - in game one's win at Michigan (1/25), his first power-play and game-winning goal against UM; also assisted on Daniel Vukovic's goal in game two (1/26) for a two-point series against the Wolverines ... Earned CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honor after tallying three goals and two assists in the weekend split with Nebraska-Omaha (2/1-2) ... His third-period extra-attacker goal at 18:56 forced the overtime period in game one; in game two, he potted a goal just over a minute into the game, and then scored again on a power play in the second period, but not before assisting on Andrew Rowe and Crowder's goals earlier in the period; the four-point game ties his career high ... Extended his point streak to seven games with a secondary assist on Jeff Dunne's power-play goal against Northern Michigan (2/8) ... Had a three-point weekend against Western Michigan (2/15-16) with two goals - one in each game - and an assist; his goal in game one held on to be the game winner, while his power-play goal in the first period of game two was his eighth of the season; his assist was on Chris Mueller's empty-netter late in the third period ... Tallied his second-straight three-point weekend with a goal and two assists against Michigan (2/22-23); in game one, he assisted on Crowder's first-period goal before scoring a third-period, power-play goal - his ninth of the season; in game two, he helped on Kennedy's second-period power-play goal ... Wrapped up the regular season assisting on Jeff Dunne's goal in the second period of game two against Bowling Green (3/1) ... Opened the post-season with three points, one in each contest, in the three-game CCHA quarterfinal series with Northern Michigan (3/14-16); he scored the first goal in game one, his 10th power-play goal of the season, and also scored the first goal in game three; in game two, he assisted on Crowder's second-period, power-play goal ... Posted an assist on Jeff Dunne's game-winning power-play goal against Colorado College (3/28) in the West Regional semifinal.
2006-07 (Junior): Led the team with a career-best 23 goals, and ranked second with 36 points ... Led the country with eight game-winning goals, and assisted on five other Spartan game-winners ... Tied the MSU record for game-winners ... Scored the game-winning goal in two of MSU's first three games - vs. Western Michigan (10/13) and Sacred Heart (10/28) ... Notched two goals and an assist in a 6-0 win at Ferris (11/10) ... Scored a goal in his 100th game as a Spartan, a loss to Ohio State (12/2) ... Was named Great Lakes Invitational Tournament MVP with a pair of three-point games in the Spartans' two victories: two goals and an assist against Harvard (12/29) and a goal and two helpers in the 4-1 win over Michigan (12/30). His three goals came three different ways - one even strength, one shorthanded, and one on the power play. Two of his three assists came on game-winning goals ... CCHA Player of the Week honors for his performance at the GLI ... Notched his second shorthanded goal in three games in a 4-1 victory at Miami (1/6) ... Assisted on Tim Kennedy's overtime game-winning goal against Alaska (1/12)... Had a career-best nine-game point streak from the OSU series (12/1) to the Alaska series (1/12), compiling 6-7-13 in that span, including a game-winning goal and assists on three other game-winners ... Collected both game-winning goals, including one in overtime, in the Spartan sweep of LSSU (1/19-20) ... Collected his fourth three-point game of the season (2-1-3) and scored his seventh game-winning goal of the year in a 5-1 rout of UNO (2/2) ... Named CCHA Player of the Week for his four-point (3-1-4) effort in the UNO series (2/2-3) ... Tied the school record for game-winning goals in a season with an overtime tally vs. Ferris State (2/9) ... Scored his 20th goal of the season in a 3-3 tie with Michigan at Joe Louis Arena (2/10) ... Had a career-high six-game goal streak (7-1-8) from game one of the Lake Superior series (1/19) to the Michigan game at Joe Louis Arena (2/10) ... Had points in 16 of 18 games (13-8-21) from game Dec. 1 vs. Ohio State to the Michigan game (2/10) ... Tallied four straight game-winning goals for the Spartans in late January and early February ... Assisted on Jim McKenzie's game-winning goal in the final minute of a 4-2 win over Nebraska-Omaha in game one of the CCHA quarterfinals (3/9) ... Finished the UNO series a +2 ... Started the scoring outburst in MSU's 7-6 victory over Lake Superior in the CCHA consolation game (3/17) ... Assisted on Daniel Vukovic's second-period goal in the NCAA Midwest Regional victory over Boston University (3/23).
2005-06 (Sophomore): Appeared in each of MSU's 45 games, one of just five players to do so ... Team's second-leading scorer with 15 goals and 23 assists (38 points) ... Tied for 11th in the CCHA in scoring and tied for 13th in assists ... Earned the team's Most Improved Player Award in addition to the Outstanding Offensive Player Award at the annual awards banquet ... Tallied three points (1-2-3) in the opener against Wayne State, including an assist on the game-winner ... Had the only assist on David Booth's shorthanded goal in the championship game of the Lefty McFadden Invitational, a win over North Dakota (10/9) ... Collected an assist on all four Spartan goals against Cornell (10/29), tying a career high for points in a game ... Had an assist on Corey Potter's goal in the third period against Northern Michigan (11/4) in a thrilling 5-4 OT victory ... Assisted on Colton Fretter's game-winner, as well as posting a goal of his own, against Northern Michigan (11/5) ... Contributed one assist in a 2-2 tie with Ferris State (11/8) and two in a 7-4 loss to Nebraska-Omaha (11/11) ... Added one assist in 3-2 overtime loss to Nebraska-Omaha (11/12). ... Extended his point streak to seven games with a helper on Jim McKenzie's goal in 3-2 loss to Ohio State (11/15) ... Collected his 20th assist as a Spartan on Drew Miller's power-play goal in 3-1 loss to Wisconsin (11/25) ... Single-handedly carried the Spartans to a 3-0 victory over Bowling Green (12/2) with his second career hat trick. Lerg scored at 10:37 of the first, and added goals at 9:57 (penalty shot) and 12:46 of the third ... Collected his first power-play goal of the season in a 4-2 loss at Bowling Green (12/3) ... Scored a goal in a 4-4 tie at Alaska Fairbanks (12/9), his fifth in three games ... Scored a power-play goal in 3-0 blanking of Alaska Fairbanks (12/10) ... Collected an assist on David Booth's power-play goal in a 5-1 win over Wayne State (1/7) ... Assisted on McKenzie's goal in a 4-0 win over Alaska Fairbanks (1/13) ... First career shorthanded goal came in a 2-0 victory over Michigan (1/17) ... Assisted on the game's first goal in a 4-3 overtime win at Nebraska-Omaha (1/20) ... Potted the 20th goal of his young career with a power-play strike in a 3-2 loss at UNO (1/21) ... Collected an assist in a 5-5 tie against Michigan (1/28) ... Potted the game-winner in the 4-3 victory at Ohio State (2/9) ... Scored a second-period tally in a 3-2 victory over second-ranked Miami (2/17), then collected a pair of assists in a 3-1 win in the second game of the series (2/18) ... Contributed a power play tally at Lake Superior State (2/23) ... Scored a goal in the second game against Alaska Fairbanks in the CCHA Quarterfinals, combining with Tim Crowder and Chris Lawrence to set a CCHA Tournament record for the fastest three goals. Added an assist on a McKenzie power play strike for his seventh multiple-point game of the season (3/11) ... Scored a big goal with under three minutes remaining in an eventual 4-1 victory over Michigan in the CCHA semifinals ... Assisted on McKenzie's tally against Maine in the NCAA Regional Final.
2004-05 (Freshman): Played in 41 games with 10-5-15 totals ... Ranked second among Spartan rookies with 10 goals ... One of just four players to appear in all 41 games ... First collegiate tally came in 5-1 win over New Hampshire (10/17) ... Picked up an assist in 4-2 win over Ferris State (11/5) ... Scored game-winning goal in 2-0 blanking of Cornell (11/14) ... Registered a goal in State's 4-2 loss to Michigan (11/18) ... Tallied MSU's fourth goal in 4-0 win at Miami (1/7) ... First career hat trick came in a 8-0 win over Lake Superior State (1/21) ... Also added an assist for a career-best four-point night ... Picked up a goal and an assist at Alaska Fairbanks (2/11) for his second multiple-point game of the year ... Assisted on State's second goal in 6-3 win over Ohio State (2/18) ... Added empty-net goal on the power play vs. Bowling Green (2/26) ... Scored MSU's first goal in 5-4 OT win over Miami (3/12) ... Picked up a helper vs. Alaska Fairbanks (3/19) ... Participated in the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team Evaluation Camp in August 2005.
PRIOR TO MSU: Spent two years (2002-04) with the U.S. National Team Development Program ... Appeared in 57 games with the Under-18 team in 2003-04, scoring 27 goals and adding 32 assists for 59 points ... Among his 27 goals were eight power-play markers, three shorthanded tallies and four game winners ... Won a silver medal at the 2004 IIHF World U-18 Championship in Minsk, Belarus ... Totaled two goals and six assists at World Championship, including a game winner and a power-play goal ... Member of the U.S. Under-17 Team in 2002-03 ... Won a gold medal at the Four Nations Cup in Ann Arbor ... Played in 65 games, scoring 21 goals and adding 18 assists for 39 points ... Played for Detroit Honeybaked Midget Major in 2001-02 ... Averaged over a point per game with 47 goals and 28 assists for 75 points in 68 games.
PERSONAL: Born Jan. 20, 1986 ... Interdisciplinary studies/human resource management major ... Enjoys golfing and wakeboarding ... Graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Favorite NHL team: Dallas Stars ... Favorite NHL player: Henrik Zetterberg ... Son of Dan and Debbie Lerg ... Father played hockey at Michigan from 1977-80 ... Uncle Ken Lerg played hockey at Ohio State from 1969-72 ... Cousin, Jeff, is a the team's junior goaltender ... Says father is his biggest hockey influence because "I grew up playing hockey because of my dad, and he taught me everything about the game."
GP G A Pts Shots Shot% Pen Min +/- PPG SHG GWG 2004-05 41 10 5 15 74 .135 7 14 +4 1 0 2 2005-06 45 15 23 38 144 .104 13 26 +6 5 1 2 2006-07 41 23 13 36 137 .168 5 21 +15 4 2 8 2007-08 42 20 19 39 161 .124 9 18 -4 10 0 3 TOTAL 169 68 60 128 516 .132 34 79 +21 20 3 15