Spartans Host NMU for Weekend Series
Feb. 13, 2013
With three weekends left in the regular season, MSU hosts Northern Michigan in one of two remaining home weekends.
Northern Michigan played Tuesday evening at Michigan Tech, and suffered an 8-2 loss at the hands of their future conference mate in the WCHA.
MSU is 34-28-4 all-time against NMU, and owns a 19-10-3 mark in games played at Munn Arena. The Spartans went 2-1-1 against the Wildcats in four meetings last season, including a win and a tie (and shootout win) over the Wildcats at Munn last January.
Friday's game will air on the Big Ten Network with a 6:35 puck drop, followed by Saturday's game celebrating Hockey Day in Michigan at 7:35 on FS Detroit.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
The Spartans are coming off a split with BG, as each team won on its home ice. MSU and Bowling Green split their four-game series this season, each winning a game at home and on the road.
MSU's 19 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 improved to 9-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season, and is 0-19-2 when scoring two or fewer. On 13 occasions, the Spartans have scored one goal or less.
MSU's Friday loss to Bowling Green (2-1) was MSU's ninth one-goal loss of the season. MSU is 1-9-0 in one-goal games.
MSU's 2.07 goals per game this season ranks 11th in the CCHA, and 55th of 59 teams nationally.
MSU's crowd for the Jan. 26 game vs. Penn State was 6,132, the eighth time in the last 10 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 eighth nationally in home attendance, and is the top team in the CCHA. MSU has averaged 5,7944 fans over its 14 home contests this season, putting Munn at better than 89% capacity on average.
The Spartans have played a majority of their games on the road this season (17 of 30), and are 2-13-2 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 6-7-2 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). The Spartans have two games at home this weekend, and play the final regular-season weekend at home against Western Michigan. Michigan State has played 21 of its 30 games against eight teams which are among the nation's top 20 in team defense. Miami (1.50 goals per game), Western Michigan (1.83 gpg) , Minnesota (1.93 gpg), Niagara (2.18 gpg), Ohio State (2.23 gpg) and Notre Dame (2.30), are all in the top 11 nationally, while Ferris State (2.37 gpg, 14th) and Bowling Green (2.47 gpg, 18th) 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 27-35-7 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 5-for-7 in the weekend series against Bowling Green, and has allowed an extra-man tally in six of the last eight games. The kill is 96/114 (84.2%) on the season, good for sixth in the CCHA and 21st nationally.
Michigan State is the least penalized team in the CCHA, averaging 11.8 PIM per game. That ranks 45th nationally.
MSU went 1-for-8 on the power play in the BGSU series, and is operating at a 14.2% success rate (17/120) on the season - that ranks eighth in the CCHA.
Greg Wolfe snapped MSU's streak of four straight games without a power-play marker when he scored on BG's major penalty on Saturday.
MSU is 7-4-1 when scoring a power play goal, but 1-16-2 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. Greg Wolfe scored a shorthanded goal in the Friday game, against Bowling Green - MSU's second straight contest with a shorthanded marker.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
Michigan State allowed just three goals in its two-game series with Bowling Green. MSU had struggled to keep the puck out of its net in the previous five games. In those five contests, MSU 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 or more seven times this season.
The Spartans have scored 14 goals in Jake Hildebrand's 13 losses. MSU has scored 21 goals in his five wins.
Greg Wolfe owns the team's active scoring streak at four games (4-1-5) and goal-scoring streak (three games). Matt Berry owns the team's longest point-scoring streak of the season, five games (Dec. 7-Dec. 30). He also had a season-best four straight games with a goal from Dec. 8-Dec. 30.
MSU is 0-9-1 in the first game of a two-game CCHA series this season, but is 5-5-0 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 scored first in five of its last six games, but has allowed its opponent to score first in 19 of its 30 games this season; MSU is 7-4-0 when scoring first and 1-15-3 when allowing the first goal.
MSU is 0-198-2 when scoring two goals or fewer this season. The Spartans are 8-0-1 when scoring three or more.
Eleven skaters have appeared in all 30 games, and each of them have at least one point. Five of those eleven are defensemen.
Eight 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, Chris Forfar, 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.
Junior captain Greg Wolfe scored three of MSU's four goals on the weekend, andextended his goal-scoring streak to three games. After an 11-game streak without a point, Wolfe has eight points in his last nine games and five goals in his last seven contests. The junior had his first multiple-goal game of the season on Saturday. He scored one of his goals shorthanded, and one on the power play.
Tanner Sorenson had the game-winning goal in Saturday's contest, his second of the year, tying him for the team lead with Matt Berry. The goal was his ninth of the season, good for second on the team. Sorenson had two goals as a freshman.
Wolfe snapped MSU's streak of four straight games without a power-play marker as he scored on BG's major penalty on Saturday. He now ranks third on the team in goals with seven.
Wolfe will play in his 100th career game this Friday against Northern Michigan.
Hildebrand has allowed two goals or fewer in 14 of 19 starts. He owns a 2.21 GAA and .934 save percentage; he ranks third in the CCHA and ninth nationally in save percentage.
Hildebrand has made 27 saves or more in 16 of his 20 starts (and 11 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.
The Spartans have scored 14 goals in Jake Hildebrand's 13 losses. MSU has scored 21 goals in his five wins.
Hildebrand has allowed 19 goals over his last six starts, compared to 25 in his first 14. He has allowed more than two goals in just six of his 20 starts this season, but has allowed three or more in four of his last five games.
Matt Berry's 11 goals and 20 points has him 18th in the CCHA in points, and tied for eighth in goals. However, he has not scored a goal in his last 10 games - his last score came in the GLI game vs. Michigan (Dec. 30). 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).
Freshman John Draeger leads the team with 67 blocked shots. He ranks third in that category among Division I players, six off the national lead.
Travis Walsh has blocked 19 shots over his last four games, and ranks second on the team and 10th in the country with 57.
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