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Hockey Prepares to Face Michigan

Feb. 18, 1998

See the game live on FOX Sports Net
Hear the game live on WVFN-AM 730 or Audionet

Note of the Night: Summit meetings: No. 2 Michigan State and No. 5 Michigan meet this weekend in back-to-back games which will have profound CCHA and national implications.

The Spartans are 5-0-2 this season vs. ranked foes, including two victories over the Wolverines.

Senior goaltender Chad Alban has earned the decision in each of those games and boasts a 0.98 goals-against average, a .950 save percentage and three shutouts against opponents ranked in the nation,s top 10.

Five More Notes No Media Person Should Be Without:

1. Top two teams : Michigan stands three points ahead of Michigan State in the CCHA standings, although MSU is ranked higher nationally (No. 2 to No. 5). The two schools have established a five-point cushion between second and third place in the league. Not only are Michigan State and Michigan two of the best teams in the CCHA this year, but they are historically the class of the league, winning nine of the last 13 regular-season league titles.

2. Top two scorers, two different ways : Michigan State's Sean Berens (20 goals) and Michigan's Bill Muckalt (18) stand 1-2 in CCHA league goals. In addition, Muckalt (53 points) and Michigan State's Mike York (43) stand 1-2 in the CCHA in overall scoring.

3. A special team : The Spartans have not allowed a power-play goal in their last 10 games, a stretch of 34 consecutive short-handed situations. Meanwhile, Michigan State has scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of its last 13 games and has a 34.4 percent success rate in that time (21-for-61). More on the power-play:

  • Sean Berens (first with 11 PPGs) and Mike York (fifth with nine) rank among the nation,s leaders in power-play goals. They have combined for 20 of MSU,s 37 power-play goals (54%)
  • MSU's first power-play unit of Berens, York, Rustyn Dolyny, Jeff Kozakowski and Brad Hodgins has accounted for each of MSU's last 20 power-play goals
  • Nine times in the last 12 games, Michigan State has scored its first goal on the power play

4. Rivalry renewed : Nine of the last 14 Michigan State-Michigan games have been decided by one or two goals, including the two Michigan State wins this season.

5. Three to get ready ... : MSU has not beaten Michigan three times in one season since 1988-89 (four of six that year). The Spartans need to win Friday night to have a shot at taking over first-place in the CCHA Saturday.

Approaching 800: Head coach Ron Mason is on the verge of becoming the first college hockey coach to win 800 career games. Some notes on the milestone:

* Mason has defeated 78 different teams on his way to 799 wins. He has the most victories vs. Ohio State (77). Among the 21 teams Mason has defeated just one time is Michigan State, which he beat while at Bowling Green in 1974-75.

* Mason has 46 wins vs. Michigan, tied for seventh among schools he has won against most often.

* Dec. 6 Mason became just the fifth Division I coach to win 500 games at one school

* Mason is 46-34-4 against Michigan in his 19 years at Michigan State

* Quote board:



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