MSU Kicks of 2013 at Ferris State
Jan. 3, 2013
The Spartans will have just one game this week, a Saturday afternoon (5 p.m.) tilt at Ferris State. MSU downed the Bulldogs 3-1 in the final game before holiday break for both teams.
The Spartans are 67-30-15 all-time against the Bulldogs, which includes a 27-13-8 record in games played in Big Rapids.
The Spartans snapped a four-game winning streak in the series by the Bulldogs with a 3-1 win over the national runners-up on Dec. 15. Ferris State had won four straight against MSU, all one-goal games.
The Spartans and Bulldogs will meet four times in a little over a month - The teams played on Dec. 15, will play on Saturday, and a then have a home-and-home Jan. 18-19.
Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels is a 1982 Michigan State graduate, and assistant coach Mark Kaufman earned his degree in 1984.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
Michigan State is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Great Lakes Invitational, its lowest finish since 2007. MSU tied Western Michigan 1-1 in the semifinal, but the Broncos advanced to the championship tilt with a shootout win. In the third-place game, MSU owned a 2-1 lead at the second intermission, but Michigan blitzed the Spartans with two early goals in the third period and added two more in the balance of the frame for a 5-2 win.
MSU is 0-0-3 this season in overtime games. MSU won the non-conference shootout against Niagara in November, and lost the shootout after a 2-2 tie with Miami in conference play. Most recently, a shootout loss to Western Michigan denied the Spartans a shot in the Great Lakes Invitational final..
MSU has won on a Friday night just once this season, a come-from-behind victory over Niagara at home. The Spartans are a much more respectable 4-4-2 on Saturdays.
MSU is in a stretch where eight of 10 games are against Notre Dame and Ferris State (four each). The other two games are here in the Great Lakes Invitational against Western Michigan and Michigan.
Saturday's Ferris State game will be the 13th of 20 games away from Munn Ice Arena this season, but opens 2013 with six of eight January contests in the friendly confines of Munn Ice Arena. After January 1, the Spartans have just one overnight road trip remaining in the regular season - when they play at Alaska (Feb. 22-23).
Michigan State has played nine games against five teams which are among the nation's best in team defense. Miami (1.55 goals per game), Notre Dame (1.61 gpg), Minnesota (1.84 gpg), Ohio State (2.05 gpg) and Western Michigan (2.06) are all in the top eight nationally.
The Spartans split each of their first three CCHA series, but have not come away with a win in any of their last three conference weekends - a tie and a loss at Miami, and sweeps by Ohio State (home) and Notre Dame (road).
The Spartan schedule thus far has featured stiff competition. MSU opened the season at No. 2 Minnesota, and played its other non-conference series against Atlantic Hockey leader Niagara. MSU has played an additional seven conference games against nationally-ranked opponents Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan, and Ferris State. While last night's tie with the Broncos will not register in the conference standings, but is the 10th game this season for MSU against a ranked opponent.
Over the last two-plus seasons, MSU is undefeated at home in non-conference games. MSU was 3-0-1 last season against Robert Morris and Minnesota, and was 2-0-2 against Alabama-Huntsville and Maine in 2010-11. MSU is now 1-0-1 in 2012-13, with a January series against future Big Ten foe Penn State on the docket.
At the game against Michigan on Nov. 10, a new Munn Ice Arena attendance figure of 7,225 was achieved, bettering the previous record of 7,121 set on March 1, 2001 - also against the Wolverines.
Michigan State was selected seventh in the pre-season poll of Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) head coaches, and sixth in a survey of the conference's media.
Michigan State is no longer receiving votes in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll or the USA Hockey Magazine poll (top 15).
A total of 25 Michigan State hockey games - including 16 of 19 home regular-season contests - will be televised during the 2012-13 season. Twenty-four games of the 50-game CCHA regular-season schedule involve the Spartans.
Tom Anastos owns a 24-27-6 overall record in his second season behind the bench. He is the only coach in MSU history to lead his team to an NCAA Tournament berth in his first season at the helm. He was a CCHA Coach of the Year finalist in 2012.
In addition to moving indoors to Joe Louis Arena, another side effect of the cancellation of the Winter Classic is that MSU debuted its script "Michigan State" logo jerseys earlier than anticipated. The Spartans had planned on unveiling their vintage-look sweaters at the GLI - a return of the script "Michigan State" logo which was an iconic look for the Spartans for nearly 30 years. MSU is 2-2 in the white script jerseys this season.
Heading into the final season of the CCHA, MSU sits second all-time in CCHA regular-season crowns, with seven (Michigan owns 11). MSU's 11 Tournament titles is three more than Michigan's eight.
MSU's streak of 15 consecutive successfully killed penalties was halted in the third period of the Michigan game with Kevin Lynch's power-play marker, the Wolverines' only power-play chance in the game. It was MSU's second-longest PK streak of the season - MSU had a streak of 20 consecutive kills snapped at Notre Dame on Dec. 7.
MSU's penalty kill is at 87.0% (67/77), which is good for fourth in the CCHA and 12th nationally.
MSU allowed two power-play goals in five chances on Dec. 7 at Notre Dame, only the second time the Spartans allowed more than one power-play goal in a game this season. The first was a 3-2 loss at Lake Superior State.
Over the last nine games, MSU has killed 40 of 42 chances against (95.2%)
MSU's power play is operating at a 17.3% success rate 13/75), which is good for fourth in the CCHA and 23rd nationally. MSU has not scored an extra-man tally in the last four games (15 chances).
Matt Berry has four goals and four assists on the man advantage, and his eight power-play points ranks as a tie second in the CCHA. Berry's four goals on the man advantage is tied for first in the CCHA and tied for seventh nationally.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
Saturday's 1-1 tie with Western Michigan was the third time this season that the Spartans followed a win with a tie. In all three cases, MSU followed the tie with a loss.
Michigan State has scored 19 of its 40 goals this season in the third period. Conversely, 37 of the 54 the Spartans have allowed have come in the first or second period.
Matt Berry lead the Spartans with points in 10 of MSU's 18 games. Matt DeBlouw, Brent Darnell and have points in eight, Tanner Sorenson and Lee Reimer have points in six, and Greg Wolfe has points in five.
Matt Berry owns the team's current scoring streak, with a point in each of the last five games. He had goals in each of the GLI contests.
Jake Hildebrand has allowed more than two goals in just two of his 11 starts this season, a 3-2 loss at Notre Dame on Dec. 7, and the 5-2 game against Michigan at the GLI.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE
MSU has allowed its opponent to score first in 14 of its 19 games this season; MSU is 4-1-0 when scoring first and 1-10-3 when allowing the first goal.
MSU has been outshot in nine of its last 11 games. On the season, MSU averages 26.6 shots per game, compared to 30.9 per game for its opponents.
Thirtreen skaters have appeared in all 19 games, and each of them have at least one point.
Freshman netiminder Jake Hildebrand has six losses on the season, and the Spartans have scored just five goals in those six games combined. He is in the top 10 nationally in both GAA (1.93, 15th) and GAA (.938, ninth), but is 65th in winning percentage (3-5-2, .364)
Seven different players have each had at least two multiple-point games each this season: John Draeger, Tanner Sorenson, Matt DeBlouw, Brent Darnell, Matt Berry, Lee Reimer, and Greg Wolfe. Berry and Darnell each have four, leading the team in multiple-point efforts.
The Spartans were shut out three times in eight games in the month of November. After scoring seven goals against Michigan on Nov. 10, the Spartans scored a combined six goals during the six-game winless streak. MSU had three tallies in its win over Ferris State on Dec. 15.
MSU is 0-11-2 when scoring two goals or fewer.
On four occasions, the Spartans have allowed just one goal - but are 1-2-1 in those games. MSU has suffered 1-0 losses to both Bowling Green and Ohio State.
Redshirt freshman Branden Carney has been medically disqualified from continuing his hockey career. Carney fractured his C1 and C2 vertebrae in a practice fall last October. While his career in a "collision sport" is over, he is expected to lead a full life with virtually no limitations.
Matt Berry had goals in each of MSU's games at thte GLI. He scored with 16.4 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime with Western Michigan, then had a first-period marker against the Wolverines. He has tied his freshman-year total with 11 goals, which currently leads the CCHA and is the second-most nationally.
The line of Berry, Brent Darnell, and Matt DeBlouw have a combined 20-25-45 scoring line this season - that accounts for half of MSU's 40 goals, more than a third of its 73 assists, and just shy of 40% of its total offensive output (113 points).
Tanner Sorenson has more than doubled his freshman-year goal output, and he scored fifth marker of the season against Michigan.
Jake Hildebrand allowed the most goals in any of his 11 starts with four against Michigan. He owns a 1.93 GAA and .938 save percentage, which still ranks fourth and third, respectively, in the CCHA. He is 15th in GAA and ninth in save percentage nationally.
Hildebrand made his sixth consecutive start on Dec. 7 vs. Notre Dame. He is the first freshman to make six consecutive starts since Jeff Lerg in 2005-06, who's first six consecutive starts came in January that season.
Matt DeBlouw's four goals and nine assists (13 points) has him second among CCHA freshmen in points behind Miami's Riley Barber (8-14-22).
Brent Darnell has surpassed his freshman-year total of 13 points (five goals, eight assists), and he is in the second spot in the team's scoring chart (5-9-14).
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