Feb. 26, 1998 The second-ranked Spartan hockey team takes on Lake Superior at Munn Ice Arena Friday, Feb. 27.
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In Lansing-East Lansing, see it live on TCI Ch. 13, MediaOne Ch. 6 or 17 Hear the game on WVFN-AM 730 or Audionet
Note of the Night
The killing fields : Michigan State and Lake Superior stand 1-2 in the nation and the CCHA in penalty killing. The Spartans boast a 90.6% overall kill ratio, while LSSU is at 91.3%. In league play, the Spartans kill off 91.2% of their short-handed situations while the Lakers kill off 92.6%. The most intriguing matchup occus while the Spartans and their CCHA-leading power play (24.8% in league) go up against the Laker penalty kill. Both teams were scoreless on the power play in their earlier meeting (LSSU 0-3; MSU 0-4).
Five More Notes No Media Person Should Be Without
1. Builder of leads : Michigan State has outscored opponents, 42-12, in the first period this season, due in large part to the play of senior goaltender and Hobey Baker candidate Chad Alban. Alban has a .946 save percentage in the first period this season.
2. Protector of leads : In his three years as MSU's primary starting goaltender, Alban has a 53-0-3 record when leading after two periods, including a 19-0-2 mark this season.
3. Scoring stars : Michigan State, well known for its defense, also boasts some of the most dynamic offensive players in college hockey. The Spartans have three of the CCHA,s top seven scorers in league play (Mike York, T-2nd; Sean Berens, 4th; Rustyn Dolyny, 7th).
4. Center of attention : Michigan State's dynamic 1-2 punch at the center position, senior Sean Berens and junior Mike York, are both among the top 12 scorers in the NCAA. The pair has combined for 42.4% of Michigan State's goals and 28.8% of the team's points.
5. Sharpshooting Sean : Senior center Sean Berens, who is second in the nation in goals (and first among CCHA and WCHA players) with 30, leads MSU in shooting percentage at 22.6%. He scored on just 13.0% of his shots the past two years.
All About Alban
Goaltender Chad Alban is enjoying one of the finest seasons of all-time by a college netminder. Among his accomplishments:
* Alban has a better winning percentage, GAA and save percentage than Robb Stauber had in 1987-88, when he became the only goaltender ever to win the Hobey Baker Award
* leads the nation in GAA (1.53) and save percentage (.926)
* leads the CCHA in GAA and save percentage in league and overall games
* ranks among MSU career leaders in GAA (1st, 2.51), shutouts (1st, 12) and save pct. (5th, .895)
* handles the puck over 30 times per game and makes outstanding decisions with it when he does
* Quote board: "Forwards typically win the Hobey, and Boston University center Chris Drury and Michigan right wing Bill Muckalt are leading candidates who are worthy of the trophy. But only Alban, who hails from Kalamazoo, Mich., plays 60 minutes a game and makes an impact on all areas of the ice. He deserves the award." -- Sports Illustrated, 3/2/98
Sweet Sixteen : Former Spartan Tony Tuzzolino made his NHL debut for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Wednesday. He becomes the 16th former MSU player to play in the NHL this season, the most of any school.
Golden connections : MSU's Sean Berens scored the game-winning goal in back-to-back Illinois state tournaments in mites and squirts against Sarah Tueting, who recently earned a gold medal as the U.S. women's hockey goaltender. In addition, MSU defenseman Dan Zaluski played Rhode Island high school hockey against Tueting's Team USA backup, Sara DeCosta. Zaluski and DeCosta share coincidentally the same birthday (6/13/77). Finally, Zaluski and Mike Gresl played junior hockey with the Green Bay Gamblers and were coached by Don Granato, the brother of Team USA captain Cammi Granato. Cammi occasionally skated with the Gamblers in practice.
Two few : Michigan State has held its opponent to two goals or fewer in 29 of its 35 games. It's 1.57 goals against per game is 0.70 better than the best average in school history (2.27, 1984-85).
How's this for balance? : Michigan State's scoring by periods: 42-42-41--125.
Shooting stars : Michigan State is outshooting opponents by an average of 31.3-20.9. The Spartans have held their opponents to 23 shots or fewer in 26 of their 35 games and fired at least 30 shots on goal themselves 20 times.
Matching Muzzatti? : Senior goaltender Chad Alban is within two victories of Jason Muzzatti's MSU record for career wins (83). With 24 wins this season, he is also in range of Muzzatti's single-season record of 32 wins.
Tale of two seasons : Through the GLI, Michigan State was 6-2-2 at home and 10-0-0 on the road. Since the GLI, the Spartans are 7-0-2 at home and 3-2-1 away from Munn Ice Arena.
Deciding the season series : Michigan State has clinched all eight season series with CCHA teams that have been decided and could clinch another with a win vs. LSSU.
NCAA leaders : Where the Spartans rank among the NCAA stat leaders (as of 2/22). Note that NCAA stats do not recognize games in the Ice Breaker Invitational or vs. Canadian teams, but do recognize non-conference schools such as Fairfield and Canisius.
Category Team/Individual Rank Figure Scoring Offense Michigan State 13th 3.66 goals/game Scoring Defense Michigan State 1st 1.59 goals/game Scoring Margin Michigan State 3rd 2.06 goals/game Winning Percentage Michigan State 2nd .813 Penalty-Killing Percentage Michigan State 1st .915 Power-Play Percentage Michigan State 5th .245 Points Per Game Mike York T-12th 1.50/game Sean Berens T-12th 1.50/game Goals Per Game Sean Berens T-3rd 1.00/game Mike York T-12th 0.75/game Power-Play Goals Sean Berens 1st 13 Mike York T-4th 10 Game-Winning Goals Sean Berens T-3rd 6 Rustyn Dolyny T-6th 5 Goals-Against Average Chad Alban 1st 1.52 Save Percentage Chad Alban 1st .927 Goalie Winning Percentage Chad Alban 4th .828
INJURY REPORT : Shawn Horcoff (So., C, OUT, broken right thumb, injured Jan. 31, likely out until the CCHA playoffs); Jon Gaskins (Sr., LW, OUT, right knee sprain, injured Feb. 20).
The fries at the bottom of the bag : MSU alum Tony Tuzzolino recently became the 39th player to play for Ron Mason at Michigan State to reach the NHL ... The Spartans are 9-0-1 when they have more penalties than their opponent ... MSU is 13-2-1 on the road ... sixteen former Spartans have appeared in the NHL this season, the most of any college ... Rod Brind,Amour (Canada) recently became the ninth Spartan to play in the Olympics ... Sean Berens, a Palatine, Ill., native and a Cubs fan, dedicated his baseball-swing first goal last weekend, which was shown on ESPN SportsCenter's "Plays of the Week," to Harry Caray.
Say This About Our Players...
2 * Jon Gaskins (Sr., LW)
* while plagued with injuries his freshman and sophomore seasons, he had played in 76 consecutive games before suffering a right knee sprain last Friday which will sideline him for 3-4 weeks
3 * Brody Brandstatter (R-Fr., D)
* the ninth East Lansing native to play for MSU
4 * Chris Bogas (Jr., D)
* led the team in plus/minus rating as a freshman and sophomore and is +53 for his career
* has the GWG in both games he has scored in this year
5 * Mike Weaver (So., D)
* leading all MSU defensemen with 4-15-19, 12 points more than he had all of last year
* had 2-2-4 vs. Michigan in the GLI, earning tournament MVP honors
* paired with Tyler Harlton as MSU's top defense unit
6 * Tyler Harlton (Sr., D)
* in his third year as a team captain
* one of five finalists for the Humanitarian Award, given annually to college hockey's finest citizen
* last season's CCHA Best Defensive Defenseman and an all-league choice
* earned numerous academic distinctions for his 3.75 GPA in Political Theory and Consitutional Democracy
* had a perfect 4.0 GPA this fall
* leading the CCHA with +30 rating and has had only three games with minus ratings
* MSU is 28-2 all-time when he scores a point
* three times has matched up vs. Hobey candidates (Chris Drury, Bill Muckalt - 10/25 & 2/20) and not allowed a point while he was on the ice
7 * Brad Hodgins (Fr., D)
* leads team with 10 power-play assists
9 * Sean Patchell (Fr., W)
* second among MSU freshmen with 6-7-13
10 * Shawn Horcoff (So., C)
* will miss this weekend's games due to a broken right thumb
* 11 of his 22 career goals are PPGs
12 * Kevin O,Keefe (Sr., RW)
* has now played more games and scored more points at MSU than he did at UIC before transferring
14 * Damon Whitten (Fr., LW)
* has not had a minus rating in a game all year
* played goaltender until his junior year of high school
16 * Bryan Adams (Jr., LW)
* returned from separated shoulder to score the first goal of the game last Friday * plays LW on Mike York's line
* missed 10 games earlier this year and had the GWG in his return vs. Lake Superior
18 * Sean Berens (Sr., C)
* leads the CCHA with 24 goals in league games and 30 goals overall
* his 30 goals are most by a Spartan since Anson Carter's 34 in 1994-95
* has 9-3-12 in nine games vs. ranked foes
* Jan. 3-10 became the first MSU skater to net consecutive three-goal games since Kip Miller in 1989-90
* second on team in scoring (30-16-46)
* leading the nation with 13 PPGs
* MSU's best faceoff man, he wins 70.8%
19 * Rustyn Dolyny (Fr., RW)
* leading MSU freshmen in scoring and third on the team (16-21-37)
* leads all CCHA rookies in league points (15-17-32)
22 * Andrew Bogle (Fr., C)
* the youngest player in the CCHA and third-youngest in Division I (18; 12/22/79)
* has centered MSU's all-freshman line
27 * Jeff Kozakowski (Jr., D)
* a key component on the power play, he has nine power-play assists
29 * Chad Alban (Sr., G)
* owns best-ever career GAA at MSU (2.51)
* second in career wins (81) at MSU and within two of Jason Muzzatti's all-time record
* leads the nation in both GAA (1.53) and save percentage (.926)
* terrific stickhandler who plays the puck over 30 times a game (not counting saves)
* College Hockey Showcase MVP
* has 0.98, .951 and 3 SO vs. ranked teams
30 * Joe Blackburn (Fr., G)
* has a 1.32 GAA and a .930 save percentage
61 * Mike York (Jr., C)
* 11 of his 23 goals have come in the first period, and 18 have come when MSU trails, the game is tied or the Spartans are up by one goal
* leads MSU in assists (24) and points (47)
* was the first sophomore to lead MSU in scoring since Craig Simpson (1984-85)
* was just the 11th American to play in three World Junior Championships
* averaging 1.22 pts. per game in his career
* leads all CCHA forwards at +22
* has scored MSU's first goal 10 times
VS. LAKE SUPERIOR:
* MSU leads, 38-27-8
* In East Lansing: MSU leads, 20-11-2
* Last meeting: MSU 4, LSSU 3 (1/24/98; Bryan Adams scores GWG to cap off MSU comeback)
* First meeting: MSU 5, LSSU 2 (12/19/80)
* This year's series: MSU leads, 1-0-0
* Last year's series: Tied, 1-1-2
* MSU is 3-1-2 in the last six
* MSU has won six of the last eight at Munn
* MSU has not won three in a row vs. LSSU since 12/12/92-11/23/93
* The last four meetings at LSSU were ties
(If you've been with us all season, you,ve probably seen these notes...if not, we hope they help)
All-non-conference : Michigan State finished the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule at 8-0-1. It marks the first time the Spartans were undefeated outside of the league since 1984-85 (6-0-0).
500 and counting : Michigan State head coach Ron Mason won his 500th game at MSU Dec. 6 against Bowling Green, becoming just the fifth coach to win 500 games at one school.
800 and counting : Head coach Ron Mason became the first college hockey coach to win 800 career games with a 5-1 win over Michigan Feb. 20.
Looking out for ... : Michigan State has been ranked No. 1 in the nation five times this season, the first time the Spartans were No. 1 since the final poll of the 1989-90 regular season.
Center of attention : Michigan State is the only team in the nation with two returning all-league centers in Sean Berens and Mike York. In addition, sophomore center Shawn Horcoff was CCHA honorable mention All-Rookie last year.
Bulking Up : MSU players have shown commitment to their off-season weightlifting program. For example, Bryan Adams, Brody Brandstatter, Mike Gresl and Shawn Horcoff all gained at least 10 pounds over last year, while Mike Ford put on 15 pounds.
All-Star at every position : Michigan State returns all four of its All-CCHA selections from a year ago, including two forwards (Sean Berens and Mike York), a defenseman (Tyler Harlton) and a goalie (Chad Alban). No other team returns more than two All-CCHA players from last year.
Like Cy Young : MSU has won over 20 games for the 16th time in the last 17 years.
Shot blockers : A large part of Michigan State's defensive success has been its willingness to go to the ice to block shots, and the ability to do so without getting caught out of position. Through 35 games, the Spartans have blocked 384 shots (11.0 per game) and have a 15-1-2 record when blocking 10 or more shots.
Crazy eights : MSU has had three eight-game unbeaten streaks this season and lost the ninth game each time.
200 and counting : Michigan State sold out its 200th consecutive regular-season game at Munn Ice Arena Nov. 8 against Notre Dame. The streak currently stands at 215 games.
SPARTAN CAREER STATS
Player GP G-A-P Pen/Min Sean Berens 154 78-71-149 55/140 Mike York 107 53-80-133 43/98 Bryan Adams 93 17-33-50 31/92 Jeff Kozakowski 114 9-41-50 41/96 Shawn Horcoff 67 22-23-45 27/62 Chris Bogas 114 11-34-45 81/173 Rustyn Dolyny 35 16-21-37 14/28 Kevin O,Keefe 71 13-24-37 12/24 at Ill.-Chicago 68 18-12-30 15/30 Tyler Harlton 152 5-29-34 111/237 Brad Hodgins 73 4-24-28 47/132 Mike Weaver 74 4-22-26 46/100 Mark Loeding 98 14-6-20 51/129 Jon Gaskins 119 3-17-20 21/42 Sean Patchell 33 6-8-14 18/34 Curtis Gemmel 60 6-3-9 9/18 Damon Whitten 34 3-6-9 16/43 Mike Ford 96 4-4-8 8/16 Andrew Bogle 34 2-6-8 9/18 Chad Alban 124 0-8-8 10/31 John Nail 34 2-2-4 6/12 Matt Kruzich 13 1-0-1 5/10 B. Brandstatter 24 0-1-1 2/4 Mike Jalaba 14 0-0-0 2/4 Joe Blackburn 4 0-0-0 0/0 Mike Gresl 4 0-0-0 0/0 Dan Zaluski 3 0-0-0 0/0 Goalie GP W-L-T GAA Svs. Sv. % Alban 124 81-29-10 2.51 2,552 .895 Blackburn 4 2-1-0 1.32 53 .930 Gresl 4 0-1-0 5.07 32 .821 1997-98 MULTI-POINT GAMES (69) Mike York (14; MR: 2/21 vs. Mich.) Sean Berens (12; MR: 2/21 vs. Mich.) Rustyn Dolyny (11; MR: 2/20 vs. Mich.) Kevin O,Keefe (7; MR: 2/20 vs. Mich.) Bryan Adams (6; MR: 11/15 vs. Mank.) Shawn Horcoff (5; MR: 1/31 vs. MIA) Andrew Bogle (3; MR: 1/24 vs. LSSU) Jeff Kozakowski (3; MR: 2/14 vs. OSU) Chris Bogas (2; MR: 11/22 vs. BG) Mike Weaver (2; MR: 1/31 vs. MIA) 4 players with 1 each: Brad Hodgins, Tyler Harlton, Damon Whitten, John Nail 1997-98 MULTI-GOAL GAMES (21) Sean Berens (7; MR: 2/20 vs. Mich.) Mike York (5; MR: 2/21 vs. Mich.) Rustyn Dolyny (3; MR: 2/14 vs. OSU) Shawn Horcoff (2; MR: 1/31 vs. MIA) Kevin O,Keefe (2; MR: 10/28 vs. Ferris) 2 players with 1 each: Mike Weaver, Chris Bogas CURRENT POINT- SCORING STREAKS (Two games or more) 4 games: Sean Berens (7-4-11), Rustyn Dolyny (4-5-9), Mike York (2-7-9) 3 games: Kevin O,Keefe (0-4-4), Tyler Harlton (0-3-3)
150 career points: Sean Berens has 149
125 career games played: Chad Alban has 124
100 career games played: Mark Loeding has 98
Career victory record at MSU (83): Chad Alban has 81