Spartans Host No. 7 Wisconsin in First Home B1G Series
The teams will meet on Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. both nights.
|Games 9-10: No. 7/10 Wisconsin (6-4-1, 1-1 B1G) vs. Michigan State (4-4, 0-2 B1G)|
|Dates | Times||Friday, Nov. 10 - 7:05 p.m. | Saturday, Nov. 11 - 7:05 p.m.|
|Location||East Lansing | Munn Ice Arena (6,114)|
|Promotions||Friday - MSUFCU Night
Saturday – Military recognition and food drive
|Video Stream||BTN Plus on BTN2Go|
|Live Stats||Friday | Saturday|
|Radio||Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | WVFN 730-AM (Fri.), WJIM 1240-AM (Sat.)|
|Radio (Mobile)||Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android|
|Game Notes||Michigan State | Wisconsin | Big Ten|
|Social Media||@MSU_Hockey | Facebook | Instragram|
On the Fly…
• Michigan State will play its first Big Ten home games of the year as No. 7 Wisconsin visits Munn on Friday and Saturday.
• This weekend’s series starts a three-game homestand – the Spartans’ longest of the year … The Spartans are 4-0 at Munn this season, their best start at home since 2009 … MSU is one of four teams in the nation with a perfect home record.
• The Spartans are averaging 4.75 goals per game in home games, which is third best in the nation.
• Taro Hirose (2g, 7a) and Mitchell Lewandowski (3g, 6a) are tied for the team lead in points with nine apiece … Lewandowski’s nine points are tied for fourth nationally and second in the Big Ten among freshmen.
• Taro Hirose began the year with at least a point in each of the first six games – a career-best streak – and was the first Spartan to do so since Derek Grant in 2009 … Hirose’s point streak was the longest by a Spartan since Mackenzie MacEachern’s eight-game streak in 2016.
• The line of Khodorenko, Hirose and Lewandowski, which has played together in all eight games, has accounted for 41% of the Spartans’ total points.
• Junior Cody Milan has tied his career high already with seven points (1g, 6a) … Milan has points in five of eight games this year.
• Sophomore Logan Lambdin has points in two of the last three games in which he has appeared … He had a goal and an assist vs. Lake Superior State on Oct. 27 and picked up another assist on Nov. 3 at Minnesota.
• As the fourth-youngest team in college hockey, the Spartans have had just one senior skating in the lineup (defenseman Carson Gatt) in four of eight games this season … The sophomore class has accounted for 48% of the Spartans’ total points, while the freshmen have produced 28%.
• Freshman Tommy Apap ranks 16th in the country and fourth in the Big Ten in faceoff winning percentage at .629 (73-43).
• The Spartans rank 18th nationally in faceoff winning percentage at .520.
The Badgers are coming off a home series vs. No. 4 North Dakota where they lost (3-2) and tied (2-2) … Wisconsin ranks second in the nation in total goals with 36 and their 3.27 goals-per-game average ranks 14th … Sophomore Trent Frederic (5g, 5a) and junior Will Johnson (3g, 7a) are tied for the team lead in points with 10 apiece … Ryan Wagner has nine points (5g, 4a) … Peter Tischke is the team’s top-scoring defenseman with six points – all assists … Wisconsin is 19th nationally in goals-against per game at 2.55 … Senior transfer Kyle Hayton has started nine of 11 games in net, posting a 2.45 GAA and .907 save percentage.
Against the Badgers
Patrick Khodorenko had points in three of four games against the Badgers last season, totaling two goals and two assists … Junior Brennan Sanford has more points vs. Wisconsin – five (2g, 3a) – than against any other opponent.
The All-Time Series vs. Wisconsin
MSU has a slim, 53-51-3, lead in the all-time series with the Badgers. MSU is 27-19-1 all-time at home vs. Wisconsin.
MSU has killed seven of the last eight opponent power plays (87.5%) over the last three games, including three of four Gopher power plays last weekend … Despite going 0-for-7 last weekend, the Spartan power play still ranks in the top half of the country at 27th as MSU is converting 21.1% of power-play chances (8-for-38) … Taro Hirose is tied for fourth in the nation in power-play points with six (1g, 5a) … Patrick Khodorenko and Mitchell Lewandowski both have two power-play goals.
KHL Line on the Offensive
The line of Patrick Khodorenko, Taro Hirose and Mitchell Lewandowski has been the Spartans’ most productive so far this season, accounting for 41% of the team’s total points.
Hirose (2-7-9) became the first Spartan since 2009 to have a point in his first six games. He has three multi-point games so far this season and leads MSU with a total of nine.
Dating back to last season, Khodorenko has points in nine of his last 14 games. He is tied for the team lead with four goals. His midget hockey linemate, Lewandowski (3-6-9), was named the Big Ten First Star of the Week on Oct. 24 after a four-point performance that included the game-winning goal in a 6-4 victory over Western Michigan.
The trio is a part of the Spartans’ top power-play unit where they have combined for 13 points (5g, 8a) on the man-advantage.
Young and Productive
With 19 underclassmen, including eight freshmen and 11 sophomores, the Spartans rank as the fourth-youngest team in the nation with an average age of 20 years, 335 days as of Oct. 1. The Spartans have had just one senior skating in the lineup in half of the team’s games. MSU’s 19 underclassmen are tied for the third-most freshmen and sophomores in college hockey.
While freshman Mitchell Lewandowski is tied for the team lead in points with nine, a handful of other rookies have contributed of late. In fact, MSU freshmen have picked up points on five of the last seven goals MSU has scored (Keefer 1-1-2; Miller 0-1-1; Smith 1-0-1; Esteves 0-1-1; Lewandowski 2-0-2). As a whole, the freshman class has combined for 28% of the team’s total points this season.
MSU’s three seniors are tied for the fewest in the Big Ten and the fourth fewest in the nation. It’s the fewest seniors MSU has had since 2010-11 when it had two. Last season, MSU was the sixth-youngest team in the nation.
Like the Old Days at Munn
Upon being hired, one of the first program goals cited by head coach Danton Cole was an emphasis on winning at home and making Munn a tough environment for opposing teams. So far so good for the Spartans as they are off to their best start at Munn – 4-0 – since 2009 (also 4-0). MSU has outscored opponents, 19-9, at Munn and are outshooting opponents by an average of 36.0-22.8. MSU is averaging 4.75 goals per game at home, which is third highest in the nation. The Spartans got their first shutout at Munn in the series finale against Lake Superior State since March 5, 2016 vs. Minnesota (5-0).
A New Era
Spartan alum and Lansing native Danton Cole is back home at the helm as the seventh head coach in Michigan State hockey history. The 18-year coaching veteran spent the last seven seasons with the USNTDP and is returning to the college ranks for the first time since 2010 when he capped a three-year stint as head coach of Alabama-Huntsville with a league title and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
As player from 1986-89, Cole was part of one of the most successful eras in program history as the Spartans posted a .738 winning percentage, won the 1986 National Championship, captured two CCHA tournament and regular-season titles and made three trips to the Frozen Four.
The Spartans have been able to hold leads, going 4-0 when leading after one period and 2-0 when leading after two ... The Spartans have scored first and had at least three goals in all four wins ... MSU is 4-0 when generating at least 30 shots on goal, last year MSU was 3-6 when doing so.
Gatt a Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Senior defenseman Carson Gatt is one of 20 NCAA hockey student-athletes nominated for the Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The 20 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in February, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.
Spartans in the NHL
A total of seven Spartans are currently on National Hockey League rosters: Justin Abdelkader (Detroit Red Wings), David Booth (Detroit Red Wings), Derek Grant (Anaheim Ducks), Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks), Torey Krug (Boston Bruins), Ryan Miller (Anaheim Ducks), and Jeff Petry (Montreal Canadiens).