Spartan Road Show Continues at Miami
March 13, 2013
The Spartans travel to Oxford, Ohio for a best-of-three CCHA Quarterfinal series against the Miami RedHawks. This is the second consecutive season these teams will meet in the quarterfinal round - the RedHawks earned their first-ever post-season victories over the Spartans last season, sweeping MSU by 6-0, 4-1 scores.
Michigan State earned a spot in the CCHA quarterfinal round with a 2-1 series win over Alaska in Fairbanks. MSU won the first game in overtime (2-1), fell 4-1 in game two, and posted a 4-3 win in the rubber game.
The Spartans lead the all-time series by a 68-32-6 margin, which includes a 28-14-3 mark in Oxford.
Miami has had a firm control on this series in recent seasons - the Spartans have not recorded a win in the last seven meetings. MSU's last win in the series came on Jan. 21, 2011, a 7-4 win. Since that game, the RedHawks are unbeaten in seven games (6-0-1) and outscored the Spartans by a 24-4 margin with four shutouts.
The teams last met in November in Oxford. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie in the Friday contest, and Miami took game two by a 2-0 margin.
CCHA TOURNAMENT NOTES
MSU owns an 82-33 record all-time in the CCHA Tournament, which includes a 36-13 record in quarterfinal series. MSU is 9-2 all-time in the postseason against the RedHawks, and is meeting Miami for the fourth time in a quarterfinal series. MSU is 4-2 in those previous meetings, but Miami swept the Spartans in last year's quarterfinal round.
This is the first time MSU has been the 11 seed in the CCHA Tournament. Its lowest previous seed was 10th - in 2011, when the team also traveled to Alaska.
With last Friday's overtime win, MSU snapped a streak of 10 consecutive losses in CCHA Tournament games, dating back to the 2008 postseason. That year, MSU won the first quarterfinal series game against Northern Michigan, but lost the series in three games, which included a 3-2 loss in overtime in the third and deciding game.
Michigan State won its first post-season CCHA series since defeating Nebraska-Omaha in the 2007 quarterfinals at Munn Ice Arena.
Two of the three teams which advanced out of this year's first round are the nine and 11 seeds (Bowling Green and MSU), which had to travel in the first round as well. Both won their first-round series in three games, while No. 7 Michigan dispatched Northern Michigan in two games.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
MSU is in its best stretch of 2012-13, having won six of ten games since February 9.
The Spartans have already won three games in the month of March, tying February as the month with the most MSU victories this season.
Michigan State will play its 40th game of the season on Friday. It will be the first time the Spartans reach 40 games since the 2007-08 season.
When scoring first, MSU owns a 10-5-0 record - but is 3-17-3 when allowing its opponent to do so. MSU's third win in that situation came on Sunday vs. Alaska.
On the season, MSU is 5-9-0 in one-goal games - and three of those five one-goal wins have come in MSU's last four contests.
MSU's loss on Friday, Feb. 15 was the 20th of the season for MSU. The Spartans have lost 20 or more games in a season on six previous occasions: 1976-77 (21), 1977-78 (27), 1978-79 (21) under Amo Bessone; 1979-80 (24) and 1980-81 (22) under Ron Mason; and in 2008-09 (23) under Rick Comley.
MSU is now to 11-1-1 when scoring three or more goals this season, and is 2-21-2 when scoring two or fewer. On 15 occasions, the Spartans have scored one goal or less. MSU's only loss when scoring three goals or more came on Feb 15 against NMU, a 5-3 loss. MSU captured 1-0 wins over Alaska on Feb. 22 and WMU on March 2.
Michigan State improved to 19-12 all-time in games which ended in a 1-0 score, with five of those games occurring in this season. MSU has been on the wrong end of three of those four decisions in 2012-13, suffering 1-0 losses to Bowling Green, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. MSU won 1-0 games against Alaska and Western Michigan.
On the season, MSU is 5-9-0 in one-goal games - and three of those five one-goal wins have come in MSU's last four contests.
MSU's 2.10 goals per game this season ranks 11th in the CCHA, and 55th of 59 teams nationally.
The Spartans have played a majority of their games on the road this season (22 of 39), and are 5-15-2 in games away from Munn Ice Arena.
MSU is 1-0-3 this season in overtime games, with its first win coming in game one at Alaska. 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. A shootout loss to Western Michigan denied the Spartans a shot in the Great Lakes Invitational final.
Michigan State has played 19 of its 36 games against seven teams which are among the nation's top 21 in team defense: Miami (1.61 goals per game), Western Michigan (1.92 gpg) , Minnesota (1.97 gpg), Notre Dame (2.25 gpg), Ferris State (2.38 gpg), Ohio State (2.39 gpg), and Niagara (2.50 gpg),
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 a total of 14 games against nationally-ranked opponents, 10 of them in Conference play. That schedule continues with games this weekend against No. 3/3 Miami.
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.
Munn Arena hosted a sellout crowd of 6,540 fans on Saturday March 2, the fifth sellout of the year. The Spartans were a perfect 5-0 in games which featured a sellout crowd at home this season.
Ten of MSU's last 13 home games featured crowds of 6,000+ - the building seats 6,470 spectators. The Spartans averaged 5,869 fans over 17 home games, which ranks eighth nationally in attendance and first in the CCHA. Munn averaged a 90.7% capacity in 2012-13.
MSU's 10 near-or-over capacity crowds is the most games of 6,000+ fans since the 2003-04 season, which featured 20. That year, every regular-season home game was a sellout.
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 - were televised during the 2012-13 season. Twenty-four games of the 50-game CCHA regular-season schedule involved the Spartans.
Tom Anastos owns a 32-39-7 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 4-4-1 in the white script jerseys this season, and is 2-3-0 in the script road greens.
In this 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 senior night photo of the five seniors kissing the Spartan helmet logo at center ice went viral during the March 2 game vs. Western Michigan, and eventually was shown on the 11 p.m. edition of ESPN's Sportscenter.
The Spartan penalty kill allowed two goals in 15 chances in the three games in Alaska. The penalty kill is 130/155 (83.9%) on the season, good for seventh in the CCHA and 23rd nationally.
MSU was a combined 1-for-15 on the power play vs. the Nanooks last weekend, scoring its lone man-advantage goal in Sunday's game three. MSU's power play is at 13.4% (21/157) on the season.
Michigan State ranks 10th in penalty minutes in the CCHA, averaging 13.4 PIM per game.
MSU is 8-5-1 when scoring a power play goal, but 5-18-2 when failing to score with a man advantage.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
Will Yanakeff returned from an injury that prevented him from playing in the Western Michigan series. Over his last four games - all, incidently, against Alaska - he has posted a 1.98 GAA and .948 save percentage. He has made 37, 39, 34, and 31 saves in the four games.
The Spartans have scored 19 goals in Jake Hildebrand's 15 losses (1.26 gpg). MSU has scored 30 goals in his eight wins (3.75 gpg).
MSU went 1-11-1 in the first game of a two-game CCHA series this season, but was 7-6-0 in the second game. MSU's lone Friday CCHA win came at Alaska on Feb. 22.
MSU has scored first in 10 of its last 15 games, but has allowed its opponent to score first in 21 of its 39 games overall this season; MSU is 10-6-0 when scoring first and 3-17-3 when allowing the first goal.
MSU is 3-22-2 when scoring two goals or fewer this season. The Spartans are 10-1-1 when scoring three or more.
Nine skaters have appeared in all 39 games, and each of them have at least two points. Four of those eleven are defensemen.
Ten different players have each had at least two multiple-point games each this season: John Draeger, RJ Boyd, Chris Forfar, Tanner Sorenson, Matt DeBlouw, Brent Darnell, Matt Berry, Kevin Walrod, Lee Reimer, and Greg Wolfe. Berry leads the team with six, Darnell, Reimer, Wolfe, and Sorenson each have four.
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.
On five occasions, the Spartans have allowed just one goal - but are 2-2-1 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 Lee Reimer left Saturday's game at Alaska with a lower-body injury, and did not play on Sunday. His status is day-to-day.
Tanner Sorenson had a goal in each of the first two playoff games against Alaska. Four of his 15 career goals have come against the Nanooks.
Matt Berry was MSU's top scorer on the weekend with a goal and two assists. He continues to lead the team with 14 goals and 15 assists, and his 29 points has him tied for 10th in the CCHA in scoring.
Senior Anthony Hayes has two game-winners in the last two weeks - MSU's lone goal in a 1-0 Senior Night victory over Western Michigan, and in Saturday's deciding game three vs. Alaska. He had a goal and an assist in the Saturday game vs. Alaska, his first multiple-point game of the season.
Both Jake Hildebrand and Will Yanakeff saw time in net this weekend. Yanakeff started the first two games, continuing his strong performances against the Nanooks - he posted a 2.44 GAA and .929 save percentage on the weekend, stopping 65 of 70 shots. Hildebrand played the deciding game three, posting 27 saves
The freshman defensive duo of John Draeger (82) and Travis Walsh (77) rank third and fifth, respectively, in the country in blocked shots. The national leader is Matt Bruneteau of Lake Superior State, with 97.
Freshman Jake Hildebrand has started 25 of MSU's 39 games, and ranks 22nd in the country in saves (767) and 15th in save percentage (.929).
Greg Wolfe snapped a five-game streak without a point when he scored a power-play goal in game three against Alaska. He is tied for third in team scoring with 19 points.
Brent Darnell has surpassed his freshman-year total of 13 points (5g, 8a), and he is second on the team's scoring chart (10-10-20). Classmate Tanner Sorenson is tied for third, and is second on the team in goals (13-6-19).
Jake Hildebrand has made 27+ saves 20 times in 25 starts, and has allowed two goals or fewer on 16 occasions. He has allowed 31 goals over his last 10 starts, compared to 27 in his first 14.
Matt Berry is tied for first in assists in CCHA post-season games, with three.
Freshman Matt DeBlouw had the Spartans' overtime game-winner in the first game of the first-round series against Alaska. It snapped a streak of 12 games without a goal for the freshman - he had last scored at Ferris State on Jan. 19.
Among playoff performers, Will Yanakeff ranks second in the CCHA post-season with a .929 save percentage. His 2.44 GAA postseason GAA is fourth.
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