Spartans Off to No. 4 Miami
Nov. 14, 2012
MSU heads back on the road for a two-game set at No. 4 Miami.
The RedHawks currently lead the CCHA with a 3-2-1-1 record (6-2-1 overall), and are unbeaten in their last three games.
MSU is 68-31-5 all-time in the series, and owns a 28-13-2 mark in games played in Oxford.
Miami has won five straight in the series (dating back to the 2010-11 season), which includes a sweep of the Spartans in the CCHA quarterfinals last season.
The Spartans have split each of their three CCHA series to date, winning the Saturday game after falling on Friday night over the last three weekends.
Last weekend, MSU fell at Michigan on Friday by a 5-1 margin, allowing two goals in the final five minutes. The team rebounded with an emphatic 7-2 Saturday victory in which it owned a 4-1 lead 11 minutes into the game and never looked back.
Saturday was the largest victory margin over UM since Dec. 10, 1989, an 11-4 victory. MSU last scored seven goals in a game on Jan. 21, 2011 vs. Miami.
The teams played in front of a record crowd at Munn Arena on Saturday, as 7,225 fans were in attendance to watch the Spartan victory. The old record of 7,121 was set in March 2001, also against the Wolverines.
MSU has won on a Friday night just once this season, a come-from-behind victory over Niagara at home. On each of the last three Saturdays, MSU has rebounded from a Friday loss to post a victory. Overall, MSU is 1-4-0 on Fridays, and 3-1-1 on Saturdays.
MSU has played six of 10 games on the road so far this season, and six of the next 10 are also away from Munn Ice Arena. Remaining on the schedule through the rest of 2012 are overnight trips to Miami (Nov. 16-17), Notre Dame (Dec. 7-8), and the Great Lakes Invitational (Dec. 29-30). After January 1, the Spartans have just one overnight road trip remaining in the regular season - when they play at Alaska (Feb. 22-23).
Over the last two-plus seasons, MSU is undefeated at home in non-conference games. MSU was 3-0-1 last season against Robert Morris and Minnesota, and was 2-0-2 against Alabama-Huntsville and Maine in 2010-11. MSU is now 1-0-1 in 2012-13, with a January series against future Big Ten foe Penn State on the docket.
Michigan State 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.
Michigan State is back to receiving votes in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll, but is not receiving votes in the USA Hockey Magazine poll (top 15)
A total of 25 Michigan State hockey games - including 16 of 19 home regular-season contests - will be televised during the 2012-13 season. Twenty-four games of the 50-game CCHA regular-season schedule involve the Spartans.
Tom Anastos owns a 23-21-4 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.
MSU's strength of schedule in 2011-12 was second in the country, behind Notre Dame. The Spartans have Frozen Four semifinalist Minnesota and Atlantic Hockey entry Niagara on its non-conference docket, and will play NCAA qualifier Western Michigan and potentially Michigan or Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Invitational as its non-conference slate.
With the cancellation of the NHL Winter Classic, the Great Lakes Invitational has been moved back indoors, and will be played on Dec. 29-30 at its usual site, Joe Louis Arena. The Spartans will be debuting 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 will look for it's 12th CCHA Tournament title in school history, the most of any conference school. Heading into the 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 added two goals on the power play in nine chances agaisnt Michigan last weekend, and is at 35% (11 of 44) on the season, best in the CCHA and sixth nationally.
The Spartans killed off nine of 11 power-play chances against in the Michigan series, and is now 39-of-46 (84.8%) on the season. That is good for fifth in the CCHA.
MSU scored four power-play goals in a 6-1 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 3. The last game for MSU in which it scored four power-play goals was Feb. 26, 2005 - a 6-3 win over Bowling Green at Munn Ice Arena in which MSU went 4-for-11 on the man advantage.
Matt Berry has four goals and three assists on the man advantage, and his seven power-play points ranks first in the CCHA. Tanner Sorenson (2g, 2a), Lee Reimer and Greg Wolfe (1-3-4) and Matt DeBlouw (0-4-4) are all tied for sixth in the league in power play points.
Berry's four goals on the man advantage is tied for first nationally.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
Michigan State has scored 14 of its 28 goals this season in the third period. Conversely, 23 of the 31 the Spartans have allowed have come in the first or second period.
Michigan State has scored nine of its 11 power-play goals over the last two Saturdays.
MSU scored four times in the first period in Saturday's victory over Michigan; it was the most goals for the Spartans in the opening frame since Jan. 13, 2012 vs. Northern Michigan.
Freshman Michael Ferrantino has points in each of the last three MSU games (1-2-3), the team's longest active streak.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE
MSU is third the CCHA and ranks 14th nationally in penalty minutes, averaging 14.9 penalty minutes per game. However, the Spartans have only been whistled for more penalty minutes than their opponents in three of their 10 contests.
MSU has allowed its opponent to score first in seven of its 10 games this season; MSU is 3-0-0 when scoring first and 1-5-1 when allowing the first goal.
Fifteen skaters have appeared in all 10 games for MSU, and each of them have at least one point on the season.
Six different players have each had at least two multiple-point games each this season: John Draeger, Tanner Sorenson, Brent Darnell, Matt Berry, Lee Reimer, and Greg Wolfe. Darnell and Berry lead the team with three multiple-point efforts.
Since being outscored 12-2 in its season-opening series against Minnesota, MSU has outscored its opponents 26-19 in its last eight games.
Senior forward Dean Chelios will miss the 2012-13 season with injury. He plans to redshirt and return as a senior in 2013-14, when his brother, Jake, will also be a senior.
Freshman defenseman Rhett Holland (upper body) was injured in the Oct. 26 game against Lake Superior State. He will have season-ending surgery and will also plan on applying for a medical redshirt.
Freshman forward Ryan Keller (upper body) was injured in practice on Oct. 24. He missed the first three CCHA series against Lake Superior, Bowling Green, and Michigan.
Redshirt freshman Branden Carney fractured his C1 and C2 vertebrae in a practice fall last October. Carney wore a "halo" for more than three months, but has had a remarkable recovery from what could have been a devastating injury. He is hoping to receive clearance to once again play hockey.
Matt Berry was named CCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. He was the game's no. 1 star on Saturday, recording a hat trick and adding an assist for his second four-point Saturday in as many weeks.
Berry ranks fifth in the CCHA in points (11) is tied for second in goals (6), and first in game-winning goals (2).
Berry's hat trick was the first for MSU since Lee Reimer had one against Robert Morris last October.
Berry has turned in four-point outings on each of the last two Saturday nights.
Matt DeBlouw's four goals and six assists (10 points) has him second among CCHA freshmen in points behind Miami's Riley Barber (5-9-14). He ranks fifth nationally in points per game by freshmen (1.0 ppg).
Kevin Walrod scored for the Spartans in each game, his first two goals of the season after missing three games with the flu.
Freshman Jake Hildebrand made 40 saves on Saturday, yet the media did not vote him one of the three stars of the game. He improved his save percentage to .944, and lowered his GAA to 1.80.
Hildebrand fails to qualify for national and conference rankings by six seconds (must play in 33% of the team's minutes). Uf he did, his GAA would rank fifth nationally and his save percentage eighth.
MSU has played both goaltenders in each of the three CCHA series.
Freshman Michael Ferrantino scored his first collegiate tally on Nov. 3 vs. Bowling Green, and had assists in each of the two games against Michigan.
Tanner Sorenson had a 2-6-8 scoring line last year as a freshman. Through 10 games, he owns a 3-4-7 line in his sophomore season.
MSU's 27-man roster averages 6-0, 195 lbs.
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