Spartans Entertain FSU in Home-and-Home
Jan. 16, 2013
Michigan State will play a home-and-home series this weekend with Ferris State. Friday's game will be played in East Lansing, with a puck drop of 7:35 p.m. on Fox Sports Detroit. Saturday's game in Big Rapids will be at 7:05 p.m.
The Spartans are 67-31-15 all-time against the Bulldogs. The Spartans are 39-16-6 against FSU in games played in East Lansing, and own a 27-14-8 mark in road games.
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. Ferris State returned the favor with a 3-0 win in Big Rapids on Jan. 5. Garrett Thompson had the hat trick for FSU in that game.
The Spartans and Bulldogs are meeting for the third and fourth times in a little over a month - The teams previously met on Dec. 15 and Jan. 5, with each winning on their home sheet.
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 snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over No. 2/3 Notre Dame last Saturday. The Spartans had fallen to the CCHA-leading Irish by a 1-0 score on Friday, the third time this season MSU was on the losing end of a 1-0 score.
Michigan State's 1-0 loss to Notre Dame last Friday was the fifth time this season the Spartans were shut out. That ties the school record set in 2010-11.
The Spartans have played a majority of their games on the road this season (13 of 22), and are 2-9-2 in games away from Munn Ice Arena. The home series against the Irish was just the second set of back-to-back conference games at home for MSU.
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 5-4-2 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 were in the Great Lakes Invitational against Western Michigan and Michigan.
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..
Friday's game will be the third straight at home for the Spartans, a season high. Last week, MSU began a stretch where six of seven games (including an exhibition game) will be played at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans have had just seven home dates prior to last Friday's game against Notre Dame.
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 17 games against eight teams which are among the nation's top 20 in team defense, and 13 of those games came against teams ranked in the top eight. Miami (1.64 goals per game), Notre Dame (1.76 gpg), Minnesota (1.82 gpg), Western Michigan (1.86 gpg) and Ohio State (2.05 gpg) are all in the top eight nationally, while Lake Superior State (2.29 gpg) and Ferris State (2.41 gpg) round out MSU opponents in the top 20.
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 nine conference games against nationally-ranked opponents Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan, and Ferris State. While the GLI tie with the Broncos will not register in the conference standings, it is the 12th 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 series next weekend 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.
MSU has recorded six straight home games with an attendance better than 6,000 fans. Three of those have been sellouts (6,470+), and MSU has won each of those games - vs. Michigan (Dec. 10), vs. Ferris State (Dec. 15) and Notre Dame (Jan. 12).
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 25-29-6 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 3-3-1 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 penalty kill, which has been a strength this season, snapped a streak of allowing a power play goal three straight games by keeping Notre Dame off the board in four chances last Saturday. MSU had not allowed a PPG in more than two straight games previously this season.
Both Michigan (Dec. 30) and Ferris State (1/5) were 1-for-1 on the man advantage in those games, while Notre Dame was 1-for-4 last Friday. MSU has begun a new streak of five consecutive kills - it has previously killed off 20 and 15 consecutive power play chances against earlier this season.
The MSU penalty kill is 74/86 (86.0%), which is still fifth in the CCHA and 16th nationally.
MSU got a power-play marker from Brent Darnell in the Saturday victory over Notre Dame, its first extra-man tally since Darnell scored one against the Irish in South Bend on Dec. 7.
MSU's power play is operating at a 16.3% success rate, (14/86), which is good for fifth in the CCHA.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
The 1-1 tie with Western Michigan in the GLI semifinals 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 20 of its 44 goals this season in the third period. Conversely, 41 of the 59 the Spartans have allowed have come in the first or second period.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE
MSU has allowed its opponent to score first in 16 of its 22 games this season; MSU is 5-1-0 when scoring first and 1-12-3 when allowing the first goal.
MSU is 0-6-1 in the first game of a two-game series this season, but has been 4-3-0 in the second game.
MSU has been outshot in 12 of its last 14 games. On the season, MSU averages 26.5 shots per game, compared to 31.1 per game for its opponents.
Thirteen skaters have appeared in all 22 games, and each of them have at least one point.
Freshman netminder Jake Hildebrand has eight losses on the season, and the Spartans have scored just five goals in those seven games combined.
Jake Hildebrand has allowed more than two goals in just two of his 14 starts this season, a 3-2 loss at Notre Dame on Dec. 7, and the 5-2 game against Michigan at the GLI in which he allowed four.
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.
MSU has been shut out a school-record five times this season, and three of those games were a 1-0 score. MSU was also shut out five times in 2010-11.
Michigan State owns a 17-12 record all-time in 1-0 games. Three of MSU's 12 losses in a 1-0 game have come this season. MSU has suffered 1-0 losses to Bowling Green, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.
MSU is 0-13-2 when scoring two goals or fewer this season.
On four occasions, the Spartans have allowed just one goal - but are 1-2-1 in those games.
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.
Freshman David Bondra has an upper-body injury and is day-to-day.
Jake Hildebrand was named the CCHA Warrior Goaltender of the Week on Monday. He was the second star in Friday's game (32 saves), and the first star in Saturday's win, with 33 saves.
Hildebrand has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 15 starts, and ranks fourth in the nation in save percentage (.943) and eighth in GAA (1.81).
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. He has started six straight dating back to the Ferris State game on Dec. 15.
Matt Berry has tied his freshman-year total with 11 goals, which is the second-most in the CCHA and is the fourth-highest total nationally.
Tanner Sorenson has tripled his freshman-year goal output, and he scored sixth marker of the season against Notre Dame (Jan. 18).
Brent Darnell scored his sixth goal of the season, a power-play marker, in the Jan. 18 win over Notre Dame. Three of his six goals this season have come against the Irish.
Matt DeBlouw's five goals and 10 assists (15 points) has him second among CCHA freshmen in points.
Blueliner RJ Boyd scored his first goal as a Spartan in the Jan. 12 victory over Notre Dame. His blast from the left point served as the game-winner.
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 (6-9-15).
Freshman John Draeger is logging a significant amount of minutes as a first year player, and playing in all situations - he was on the ice for 33:33 in Friday's game, and another 27 minutes on Saturday. On the weekend, he was a +1 with three blocked shots.
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