March 5, 1998
Note of the Night
Talkin title Michigan State is in search of its first CCHA league title since 1989-90 and its fifth overall with a three point lead over second-place Michigan. The Spartans could clinch the title outright with one victory this weekend or one Michigan loss. MSU would clinch a share of the title with a tie this weekend or a Michigan tie.
Five More Notes No Media Person Should Be Without 2. Best of both worlds Michigan State is the leading goal-scoring team in the CCHA, with 105 goals in league play, and the top defensive team, allowing only 48 goals. Michigan (103 and 65, respectively), is second in both categories. MSUs goals-against per league game of 1.71 is significantly better than the best defensive team in CCHA history (2.25, Ron Masons 1978-79 BGSU team).
1. Surpassing Muzzatti Michigan State senior goaltender Chad Alban will become the schools all-time winningest goalie with his next victory. He currently has 83 career wins, tied for the record with Jason Muzzatti. Albans next win will also put him in fourth all-time among all NCAA goaltenders in victories, behind only Marty Turco, Steve Shields and Gary Kruzich (next with 88 wins). Alban has reached this elite company despite spending only three years as Michigan States primary starting goaltender.
3. A special team Michigan State leads the CCHA in both power play and penalty killing. The Spartan power play is clicking at 24.8% in league play and 40.7% over the last six games. Meanwhile, MSU has killed off 91.5% of its opponents power plays in league games, including 42 of their last 43 (97.7%).
4. Shooting for a scoring title Junior center Mike York (39 league points) and senior center Sean Berens (38 points) both enter the weekend within striking distance of the league scoring crown, despite both playing two fewer games than their rivals. Ohio States Hugo Boisvert (41 league points) and Michigans Bill Muckalt (40) are both narrowly ahead of York and Berens. Bryan Smolinski (1992-93) was the last Spartan to win the league scoring crown.
5. They call them the streaks Michigan States seven-game unbeaten streak is the longest active streak in the nation. The Spartans have had two previous eight-game unbeaten streaks this year.
All About Alban
Goaltender Chad Alban scored a 185-foot empty-net goal in his last game.
Other notes: 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 CCHA in GAA and save percentage in league and overall games, the first Spartan since Bob Essensa (1986-87) to lead the league in league GAA 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
Two for 50 Junior center Mike York and senior center Sean Berens both have 49 points for the season. The Spartans last had a 50-point scorer in 1994-95, when Rem Murray (56), Anson Carter (51) and Steve Guolla (51) all surpassed the half-century mark.
Two for 25 Berens (31 goals) and York (24) are on the verge of becoming the first Spartan teammates to both score 25 goals since Dwayne Norris (44), Bryan Smolinski (30) and Peter White (26) all had over 25 in 1991-92.
More on the centers of attention York and Berens have combined for 40.7% of Michigan States goals and 28.2% of the teams points.
Big guns have big games Michigan States top five scorers have accounted for each of the Spartans last 11 game-winning goals.
Builder of leads Senior goaltender Chad Alban has a .945 save percentage in the first period, helping MSU outscore opponents 46-13 in the opening stanza and score first in 27 of its 37 games (MSU is 24-1-2 when scoring first). Protector of leads In his three years as MSUs primary starting goaltender, Alban has a 54-0-3 record when leading after two periods, including 20-0-2 this year.
Looking out for ... Michigan State is ranked No. 1 in the nation this week, the third time this year that the Spartans have reached the top spot in the polls.
Offense from the blue line Michigan States top five defensemen all have double digits in points.
Laker killer: Andrew Bogle has scored two of his three career goals against Lake Superior.
Comebackers: Michigan State has won both meetings with the Lakers this year. Both came at MSUs Munn Ice Arena, and both were come-from-behind wins in which Lake Superior led in the third period.
Are you free for lunch? Michigan State head coach Ron Mason will speak at two Blue Line luncheons this weekend, at Lake Superior and Northern Michigan.
NCAA leaders Where the Spartans rank among the NCAA stat leaders (as of 3/1). 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 12th 3.74 goals/game Scoring Defense Michigan State 1st 1.65 goals/game Scoring Margin Michigan State 3rd 2.09 goals/game Winning Percentage Michigan State 2nd .824 Penalty-Killing Percentage Michigan State 1st .917 Power-Play Percentage Michigan State 5th .246 Points Per Game Sean Berens T-13th 1.50/game Mike York T-17th 1.47/game Goals Per Game Sean Berens 2nd 0.97/game Mike York 14th 0.73/game Power-Play Goals Sean Berens 2nd 13 Mike York 4th 11 Game-Winning Goals Sean Berens T-3rd 6 Rustyn Dolyny T-5th 5 Goals-Against Average Chad Alban 1st 1.58 Save Percentage Chad Alban 2nd .924 Goalie Winning Percentage Chad Alban 4th .839
INJURY REPORT: Andrew Bogle (Fr., C, PROBABLE, right shoulder strain); Brody Brandstatter (R-Fr., D, PROBABLE, right shoulder strain); Jon Gaskins (Sr., LW, OUT, right knee sprain, out for the season).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 10-0-1 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 BrindAmour (Canada) recently became the ninth Spartan to play in the Olympics ... Michigan State has only been outshot eight times this year, but twice in the last three games.
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 Feb. 20 which will sideline him for the season
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 +52 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 4-18-22, 15 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 MSUs 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 hockeys finest citizen... last seasons 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 +33 rating and has had only three games with minus ratings... MSU is 29-2 all-time when he scores a point, including 11-0 this season... 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)... tied for team lead 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 weekends games due to a broken right thumb...11 of his 22 career goals are PPGs
12 Kevin OKeefe (Sr., RW)... has played more games and scored more points at MSU than he did at UIC before transferring... two years ago at this time was in last place at UIC; now the fourth-leading scorer for MSU
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 Feb. 20 plays LW on Mike Yorks line
18 Sean Berens (Sr., C)... leads the CCHA with 25 goals in league games and 31 goals overall...his 31 goals are most by a Spartan since Anson Carters 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 (31-18-49) leading the nation with 13 PPGs... MSUs best faceoff man, he wins 71.8%
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 MSUs all-freshman line
27 Jeff Kozakowski (Jr., D)... tied for team lead with 10 power-play assists
29 Chad Alban (Sr., G)... owns best-ever career GAA at MSU (2.51)...currently shares the all-time victory record at MSU... leads the nation in GAA (1.58) and second in save percentage (.924)... 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... featured in Sports Illustrated as that magazines Hobey Baker selection
30 Joe Blackburn (Fr., G)... has a 1.32 GAA and a .930 save percentage
61 Mike York (Jr., C)... 11 of his 24 goals have come in the first period, and 19 have come when MSU trails, the game is tied or the Spartans are up by one goal...leads MSU in assists (25) and points (49)...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 +21 ...has scored MSUs first goal 10 times
SERIES INFORMATION VS. LAKE SUPERIOR: MSU leads, 39-27-8 In Sault Ste. Marie: MSU leads, 13-11-6 Last meeting: MSU 4, LSSU 2 (2/27/98; MSU scored twice in 36 seconds to come back and win) First meeting: MSU 5, LSSU 2 (12/19/80) This years series: MSU leads, 2-0-0 Last years series: Tied, 1-1-2 MSU has come from behind in the third period vs. LSSU in both games this year MSUs last four visits to the Soo have been ties, including back-to-back 4-4 games last year
MSU CAREER LEADERS vs. LAKE SUPERIOR Player (Yr., Pos.) GP G-A-P Mike York (Jr., C) 8 GP 5-5-10 Sean Berens (Sr., C) 13 GP 6-3-9 Kevin OKeefe (Jr., RW) 11 GP 3-2-5 Tyler Harlton (Sr., D) 13 GP 0-4-4 Andrew Bogle (Fr., C/RW) 2 GP 2-1-3 Bryan Adams (Jr., LW) 8 GP 2-0-2 Shawn Horcoff (So., C) 5 GP 2-0-2 Goalie (Yr.) GP GA Sv% Chad Alban (Sr., G) 9 GP 30 GA .870 SPARTAN CAREER STATS Player GP G-A-P Pen/Min Sean Berens 156 79-73-152 55/140 Mike York 109 54-81-135 43/98 Jeff Kozakowski 116 9-43-52 41/96 Bryan Adams 95 18-33-51 31/92 Chris Bogas 116 12-34-46 82/175 Shawn Horcoff 67 22-23-45 27/62 Kevin OKeefe 73 16-24-40 13/26 at Ill.-Chicago 68 18-12-30 15/30 Rustyn Dolyny 37 16-21-37 14/28 Tyler Harlton 154 5-31-36 113/241 Brad Hodgins 75 4-25-29 48/134 Mike Weaver 76 4-25-29 47/102 Mark Loeding 100 14-6-20 51/129 Jon Gaskins 119 3-17-20 21/42 Sean Patchell 34 6-8-14 21/53 Damon Whitten 36 4-8-12 18/47 Chad Alban 126 1-9-10 12/35 Curtis Gemmel 62 6-3-9 9/18 Mike Ford 98 4-4-8 8/16 Andrew Bogle 36 3-6-9 9/18 John Nail 36 2-2-4 6/12 Matt Kruzich 14 1-0-1 5/10 B. Brandstatter 25 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 126 83-29-10 2.51 2,590 .895 Blackburn 4 2-1-0 1.32 53 .930 Gresl 4 0-1-0 5.07 32 .821
1997-98 MULTI-POINT GAMES (75) Mike York (14; MR: 2/21 vs. Mich.) Sean Berens (13; MR: 2/28 vs. Ferris) Rustyn Dolyny (11; MR: 2/20 vs. Mich.) Kevin OKeefe (8; MR: 2/28 vs. Ferris) Bryan Adams (6; MR: 11/15 vs. Mank.) Shawn Horcoff (5; MR: 1/31 vs. MIA) Mike Weaver (3; MR: 2/27 vs. LSSU) Andrew Bogle (3; MR: 1/24 vs. LSSU) Jeff Kozakowski (3; MR: 2/14 vs. OSU) 3 players with 2 each: Harlton, Whitten, Bogas 3 players with 1 each: Alban, Hodgins, Nail 1997-98 MULTI-GOAL GAMES (22) Sean Berens (7; MR: 2/20 vs. Mich.) Mike York (5; MR: 2/21 vs. Mich.) Kevin OKeefe (3; MR: 2/28 vs. Ferris) Rustyn Dolyny (3; MR: 2/14 vs. OSU) Shawn Horcoff (2; MR: 1/31 vs. MIA) 2 players with 1 each: Weaver, Bogas
CURRENT POINT-SCORING STREAKS (Two games or more) 6 games: Sean Berens (8-6-14), Mike York (3-8-11) 5 games: Kevin OKeefe (3-4-7) 3 games: Jeff Kozakowski (0-3-3) Damon Whitten (2-2-4) 2 games: Mike Weaver (0-3-3)