Spartans Back in Action, Host OSU
Nov. 28, 2012
Michigan State comes back off an idle week and hosts Ohio State in just its second two-game home series of the season and first in CCHA Play.
MSU owns a 84-26-8 record against the Buckeyes all-time, and an impressive 40-8-3 mark in games played in East Lansing.
Last season, the teams split the series in East Lansing, and the Spartans earned a road sweep in Columbus in February. MSU has not swept Ohio State at home since January of 2002, but has earned three sweeps in Columbus since that time.
This will be the only series for MSU this year against the Buckeyes.
The annual Student-Athlete food drive is being held this week. Fans are being asked to bring toiletries or non-perishable food items for donation to Saturday's game, and donations will be collected at the door. During the week, Student-Athletes from several sports have coordinated pickups at homes in several neighborhoods surrounding the MSU campus. Donations will go to both the Greater Lansing and MSU Food Banks.
Several MSU players have grown mustaches during the month of November to support men's health initiatives in the "Movember" promotion. Fans have had an opportunity to vote on facebook this week, and the "Best Mustache" winner will be announced during Friday's game.
Junior forward Lee Reimer received a major and a game disqualification in the Saturday game at Miami. He must sit out Friday's game as a result.
GENERAL TEAM NOTES
Boston College head coach Jerry York earned his 923rd career victory last Saturday vs. Dartmouth. He has a chance to tie or surpass former MSU mentor and college hockey's all-time wins leader Ron Mason (924 wins) this weekend in a home-and-home series vs. BU.
The Spartans split each of their three CCHA series then had a tie and a loss to Miami in their most recent outing.
In Friday's game, the Spartans rallied from a two-goal deficit, scoring twice in the second period in settling on a 2-2 tie through overtime. Matt Berry had the first Spartan tally, then had the primary assist on a Jake Chelios power-play marker which tied the score with 67 seconds remaining in the second period. Miami earned the extra point in the shootout, scoring twice in three rounds.
Saturday's game saw an exceptional effort from freshman Jake Hildebrand in net, making his third consecutive start. MSU managed only 13 shots on net in the game, and Hildebrand turned away 34 of 36 shots that he faced. The Spartans kept it close, as Miami scored the insurance tally with under four minutes remaining in regulation.
MSU has won on a Friday night just once this season, a come-from-behind victory over Niagara at home. On three of the last four Saturdays, MSU has rebounded from a Friday loss to post a victory. Overall, MSU is 1-4-1 on Fridays, and 3-2-1 on Saturdays.
MSU has played eight of 12 games on the road so far this season, and five of the next eight are also away from Munn Ice Arena. Remaining on the schedule through the rest of 2012 are overnight trips to 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.
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.
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 no longer receiving votes in the USCHO.com Top 20 poll and 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 23-22-5 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.
Another side effect of the cancellation of the Winter Classic is that MSU wore its script "Michigan State" logo jerseys in the Saturday game vs. Michigan (Nov. 10). The Spartans had planned on 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's penalty kill has extinguished 13 straight chances against, including going a perfect 7-for-7 in the Miami series (which included killing off a five-minute major in the second game). MSU is 46-for-53 (86.8%) on the season, which is 15th nationally and third in the CCHA.
MSU's power play is 12-of-49, (24.5%), and is second in the CCHA and sixth in the country. The Spartans were 1-for-5 in the Miami series with a man advantage.
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 four assists on the man advantage, and his eight power-play points ranks first in the CCHA. Tanner Sorenson (2g, 2a), Lee Reimer Greg Wolfe (1-3-4) and Matt DeBlouw (0-4-4) are all tied for tenth in the league in power play points.
Berry's four goals on the man advantage is tied for second nationally.
TRENDS, STREAKS, AND TENDENCIES
Michigan State has scored 14 of its 30 goals this season in the third period. Conversely, 26 of the 35 the Spartans have allowed have come in the first or second period.
Michigan State has scored ten of its 12 power-play goals over the last five games.
Matt Berry has points in five of MSU's 12 games, but four of those five games have been multiple-point efforts. Twelve of Berry's 13 points have come in the last seven games, including two four-point outings.
Freshman centerman Michael Ferrantino had his team-best four-game point-scoring streak snapped with the shutout at Miami on Nov. 17.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE
MSU is third the CCHA and ranks 14th nationally in penalty minutes, averaging 14.8 penalty minutes per game. However, the Spartans have only been whistled for more penalty minutes than their opponents in five of their 12 contests.
MSU has allowed its opponent to score first in nine of its 12 games this season; MSU is 3-0-0 when scoring first and 1-6-2 when allowing the first goal.
Fifteen skaters have appeared in all 12 games for MSU, and each of them have at least one point on the season.
Seven different players have each had at least two multiple-point games each this season: John Draeger, Tanner Sorenson, Matt DeBlouw, Brent Darnell, Matt Berry, Lee Reimer, and Greg Wolfe. Berry (four) and Darnell (three) lead the team in 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 (upper body) had season-ending surgery in November 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 has had 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 four CCHA series against Lake Superior, Bowling Green, Michigan, and Miami. He will likely return this weekend against Ohio State.
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 had a goal and assisted on the game-tying score in MSU's 2-2 deadlock with Miami to be MSU's leading scorer in the series.
Berry remains fourth in the league in scoring (13 points) and third in points per game (1.08); he is also third in the league in goals scored.
Berry leads the lead and ranks second nationally in power-play goals (4), and is atop the league leaderboard in power play points (8).
Lee Reimer will not be in the lineup on Friday due to a game DQ assessed against Miami on Nov. 17.
Matt DeBlouw's four goals and seven assists (11 points) has him second among CCHA freshmen in points behind Miami's Riley Barber (5-10-15). He ranks ninth nationally in points per game by freshmen (0.92 ppg).
Freshman goalie Jake Hildebrand, who drew the last three starts for MSU, ranks 11th nationally and third in the CCHA in GAA (1.85). His .941 save percentage finds him second in the CCHA and fifth nationally. Ohio State senior backstop Brady Hjelle (.950 Sv%, 1.45 GAA) ranks ahead of him in both categories, setting up a goaltending duel this weekend.
MSU played both goaltenders in each of its first three CCHA series, but Hildebrand has drawn each of the last three starts. He has gone 1-1-1 in those three games, posting a .943 save percentage and 1.95 GAA against No. 12 Michigan and two games against No. 4 Miami.
Tanner Sorenson had a 2-6-8 scoring line last year as a freshman. Through 12 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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