Home-and-Home with Bowling Green On Tap for MSU
Feb. 6, 2013
MSU prepares for a home-and-home series with Bowling Green this weekend.
The teams met back in the first weekend of November, with each team winning on the road - BG took a 1-0 win in East Lansing on Friday before MSU posted a 6-1 win in Bowling Green on Saturday. Friday's game is at the BGSU Ice Arena, then the teams play at Munn Saturday evening.
MSU owns a 72-31-8 all-time record in the series against the Falcons. MSU is 40-10-3 in games played in East Lansing, and 25-18-5 in contests played at BGSU Ice Arena.
Freshman center Matt DeBlouw led the Spartans' 6-1 win on November 3 over the Falcons with two goals and two assists, while Matt Berry scored one goal and had three assists. Connor Kucera had the lone score in BG's win the previous night at Munn, as goalie Andrew Hammond made 29 saves.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
Michigan State is coming off a sweep at the hands of archrival Michigan, 3-2 in Ann Arbor and 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena. Michigan captured the season series, 4-1 - which includes a win at the GLI.
MSU's 18 losses is more than it recorded in the 2011-12 season (16). The 2008-09 team lost 23 games.
Michigan State has yet to record back-to-back victories this season - MSU is 0-4-3 in games after a win.
MSU is 8-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season, and 0-18-2 when scoring two or fewer. On 12 occasions, the Spartans have scored one goal or less.
MSU's 2.07 goals per game this season ranks 11th in the CCHA, and 54th of 59 teams nationally.
MSU's crowd for the Jan. 26 game vs. Penn State was 6,132, the eighth time in the last nine home games that the Spartans had a 6000+ attendance at Munn Ice Arena this season.
MSU's eight near-capacity crowds is the most games of 6,000+ fans since the 2006-07 National Championship season, which also had eight.
Three of MSU's crowds of 6,000 or better 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).
MSU ranks seventh nationally in home attendance, and is the top team in the CCHA. MSU has averaged 5,844 fans over its 13 home contests this season.
The Spartans have played a majority of their games on the road this season (16 of 28), and are 2-12-2 in games away from Munn Ice Arena.
MSU's win over PSU on Jan. 25 was just it's second Friday night victory this season - the first was a come-from-behind victory over Niagara in October. The Spartans are 5-7-2 on Saturdays.
MSU is 0-0-3 this season in overtime games. MSU won the non-conference shootout against Niagara in November, 4 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.
The Spartans have just one two-game road series remaining in the regular season - when they play at Alaska (Feb. 22-23).
Michigan State has played 19 of its 28 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 10. Miami (1.54 goals per game), Western Michigan (1.82 gpg) , Minnesota (1.85 gpg), Notre Dame (2.18 gpg), Ohio State (2.14 gpg) and Niagara (2.27) are all in the top 10 nationally, while Ferris State (2.39 gpg, 15th) and Bowling Green (2.50 gpg, 19th) and round out MSU opponents in the top 20 defensively.
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.
The Jan. 26 loss to Penn State snapped an 11-game non-conference unbeaten streak for the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena. MSU's last loss to a non-conference foe at home was on Nov. 28, 2009 - a 2-1 loss to Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase.
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 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.
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 26-34-7 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 3-4-1 in the white script jerseys this season, and is 0-2-0 in the script road greens.
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 went 6-for-8 in the weekend series against Michigan. The kill is 91/107 (85.%) on the season, good for fourth in the CCHA and 13th nationally .
MSU went 0-for-9 on the power play in the Michigan series, and is without an extra-man tally in its last three games and 12 chances overall. MSU's power play is operating at a 14.3% success rate (16/112) on the season - that ranks eighth in the CCHA.
MSU is 6-3-1 when scoring a power play goal, but 1-14-2 when failing to score with a man advantage.
MSU has now allowed five shorthanded markers this season, and is 2-3 in those games.
Chris Forfar scored MSU's first shorthanded goal of the season last Saturday at the Joe against Michigan. Forfar has scored MSU's last two shorthanded markers overall.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
MSU has struggled to keep the puck out of its net in the last five games. In those five contests, MSU has allowed 3.8 goals per game (19 total), as compared to 2.63 goals per game over the first 23 games of the season (61 goals).
MSU has allowed five goals in a game twice over the last five contests, and has allowed five goals or more seven times this season.
The Spartans have scored 14 goals in Jake Hildebrand's 13 losses. MSU has scored 18 goals in his four wins.
MSU is 0-8-1 in the first game of a two-game CCHA series this season, but is 4-5-0 in the second game.
MSU has been unable to win back-to-back games this season - the Spartans are 0-4-3 in games after a victory.
MSU has allowed its opponent to score first in 19 of its 28 games this season; MSU is 6-3-0 when scoring first and 1-15-3 when allowing the first goal.
MSU is 0-18-2 when scoring two goals or fewer this season. The Spartans are 7-0-1 when scoring three or more.
Eleven skaters have appeared in all 28 games, and each of them have at least one point.
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. The sophomore trio of Berry, Darnell, and Sorenson 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 2008-09 and 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.
On four occasions, the Spartans have allowed just one goal - but are 1-2-1 in those games.
Senior forward Dean Chelios (upper body) and freshman defenseman Rhett Holland (upper body) each had season-ending surgery in November will miss the 2012-13 season. Both plan to apply for a medical redshirt.
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.
Jake Hildebrand has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of 18 starts. He owns a 2.27 GAA and .932 save percentage, which ranks 10th nationally in save percentage.
Hildebrand has made 28 saves or more in 15 of his 19 starts (and 10 consecutive), including a career-best 47 in the Jan. 26 game vs. PSU. His previous high was 40 in a 7-2 win over Michigan on Nov. 10. He stopped 74 of 82 in the Michigan series (90.2%), including his third game with 40 or more in the Saturday game at Joe Louis Arena.
The Spartans have scored 14 goals in Jake Hildebrand's 13 losses. MSU has scored 18 goals in his four wins.
Hildebrand has allowed 18 goals over his last five starts, compared to 25 in his first 14. He has allowed more than two goals in just six of his 19 starts this season, but has allowed three or more in each of his last four games.
Hildebrand made his career-best seventh and eighth consecutive starts in the Jan. 18/19 Ferris State series. His six straight starts back in November/early December made him 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.
Three of MSU's last six goals have scored by defensemen - Matt Grassi netted his first of the season, while RJ Boyd had his second of the year in the Jan. 26 game vs. Penn State, and Jake Chelios scored his first goal since Nov. 16 in last Friday's game at Michigan.
Chris Forfar's shorthanded goal on Saturday was MSU's first since last February - Forfar netted a shorthanded tally at Notre Dame in the regular-season finale (Feb. 25).
Greg Wolfe has two goals and two assists over his last five games. He had one of MSU's two goals in the game at Joe Louis Arena against the Wolverines. He will play in career games 98 and 99 this weekend for MSU.
Matt Berry's 11 goals and 20 points has him 14th in the CCHA in points, and tied for sixth in goals. However, he has not scored a goal in his last eight games - his last score came in the GLI game vs. Michigan. Eighteen of his 20 points came before Jan. 1.
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 (7-9-16). He missed the two PSU games with an upper body injury, but scored MSU's first goal of the game on Friday night in Ann Arbor.
Freshman John Draeger leads the team with 63 blocked shots. He ranks fourth in that category among Division I players, behind Lake Superior's Matt Bruteneau (73), Boston University's Alexx Privitera (71) and Sean Escobedo (66).
Defenseman Travis Walsh had 10 blocked shots in the two-game series with Michigan, and now has 48 on the season. He ranks second on the team to classmate John Draeger, and 16th nationally in that category.
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