Michigan State 10 Michigan Tech 1

Michigan State completely dominated Michigan Tech in the semis of the Great Lakes Invitational tournament. They will face the RPI Engineers in the finals tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN-Detroit. Michigan and Michigan Tech face-off in the consolation of the tourney.

The ten goals by the Spartans was the second-most ever in the GLI tourney. All but two of the Spartans had at least a point. Zach Golembiewski and Matt Crandell scored their first collegiate goals. Brett Perlini scored his first goals of the season and was the only MSU player to have a multi-goal game. Andrew Rowe added a playmaker (0-3-3). Drew Palmisano made 28 saves in the win. There can be nothing but positive things to say about the Spartans after a game like that. Every player stepped it up in the game, but I think Brett Perlini and Trevor Nill deserve some recognition tonight. They are two sophomore role players who made the most of their opportunities in the game tonight. Perlini had an assist along with his two goals and Nill added a goal and two assists. Also, it was great to see Nick Sucharski get a goal since he had been in a drought and his linemate, Tropp scored one to further his national scoring lead.

GLI Starts Today

Michigan State will take on the Michigan Tech Huskies at 4:05 p.m. today at Joe Louis Arena in the first game of the GLI. Michigan plays RPI in the game following game at 7:35 p.m. The consolation game will be played Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. and the championship game follows at 7:35 p.m. The championship game will be the only one televised.


Lerg Will Receive NCAA Award

Former Spartan Jeff Lerg was named a NCAA Top VIII award winner. He is only the second Spartan (Greg Kelser in 1980) and the second hockey player ever to receive this honor. He joins a list of eight outstanding student athletes including Tim Tebow from the University of Florida. Lerg is very much deserving of this award. He represented what a student athlete at Michigan State University should be like. He was one of the best players ever to play at State, he was a fine student, and was active in the community. Congratulations to Jeff Lerg!

News Release


Tropp- CCHA Player of the Week

Corey Tropp leads the nation in goals and points after recording six points (4 goals, 2 assists) in a sweep of Bowling Green this past weekend. He was awarded CCHA Player of the Week honors for his efforts. Tropp has led the Spartans to a 12-6-2 overall record so far this year.


Michigan State 4 Bowling Green 1

Michigan State came out with more energy than Friday night and outplayed the Falcons the entire game. The Spartans finally got it going on the power play with a beautiful goal by Jeff Petry at the end of the first period. Bowling Green tied the score in the second, but Corey Tropp scored with less than a minute to play to put MSU up a goal. It was all Michigan State from then on. Tropp added to more goals in the third to complete his hat trick and lead his team to a 4-1 victory. Michigan State has a lot of confidence heading into the holiday break. They sit at second place in the CCHA at 9-3-2 and are 12-6-2 overall. They will face the Michigan Tech Huskies in the GLI on Dec. 29. Hopefully, the Spartans can get healthy over break and come out with the same fire that they had the first half of the season. This is a team that no one gave a chance before the season and now they are vying for a conference title at this point of the season. It's too early to talk about the NCAA tourney, but the Spartans have 12 wins including a victory at Maine and at Miami.

I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. Come support Michigan State in the GLI on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30. I'm looking forward to a great second half of the season. Go Spartans!!

Michigan State 3 Bowling Green 2 F/OT

The Spartans rallied from a two goal deficit after two periods to tie the score in regulation. Torey Krug scored his first collegiate goal in the overtime period. Zach Josepher and Corey Tropp added the Spartans' other tallies. It was not a great first two periods for Michigan State. Bowling Green was able to get a goal off a Spartan turnover in the first and another off a rush in the second. MSU hit a few pipes, but weren't able to get many shots through to the net. Eight min into the third, Josepher shot it past a screened BGSU netminder and Corey Tropp tied the game with six min remaining. Michigan State had all the momentum going into overtime and Krug buried a huge one for the Spartans. Bobby Jarosz made 29 saves in the win. The guys really needed to pull this game out as a confidence boost. They struggled early, but came through in the end. Good teams learn to win games that they should win even if they don't play particularly well.


Scouting the Falcons

Bowling Green State University has a record of 2-12-2 overall and a 2-8-2 conference mark. They went on the road last weekend and lost both games to Lake Superior State. Their best win was at home against #16 Alaska and they also won at Michigan. The Falcons opened the season on a 9 game win-less streak. Freshman Jord Samuels-Thomas leads the team with 15 points and senior Kyle Page leads the defensmen with 7 points. Nick Eno is the starting goaltender of a team that struggles defensively.


Spartan Hockey Update

The MSU Blue Line Club website has posted a short video from Friday night's win over Northern Michigan. The Spartans remain in second place in the CCHA. They are currently ranked #14 by USCHO and #13 by USA Today. Their victory on Friday matched last year's win total with ten wins. MSU has a home and home with Bowling Green this weekend. After those two games, they do not play again until Dec. 29 & 30 in the GLI tournament.


Northern Michigan 3 Michigan State 2 F/OT

Northern Michigan scored a goal off a Michigan State defensman's skate in the overtime period to beat the Spartans. Northern took the lead 1-0, but Dustin Gazley tied the score 1-1. NMU led 2-1 heading into the third period. Corey Tropp scored with around 6 min to go to tie the game and send it to overtime. Palmisano made 30 saves in net for MSU. Its a tough way to lose, but we played another hard-fought game. The Spartans wish they could have gotten the sweep, but its okay to get a split on the road in the CCHA. Check back for a scouting report on their next opponent BGSU later in the week.

Michigan State 1 Northern Michigan 0

Michigan State ended its losing streak with a 1-0 win over Northern Michigan on Friday night. Bobby Jarosz recorded his first career shutout in the win with 20 saves. Corey Tropp had the lone Spartan goal. MSU out-shot Northern by a wide margin, especially in the third period. Tropp scored with 6 min to go in the last frame. This is the kind of hockey we have seen the Spartans play this season and it needs to continue in order for us to be successful Both teams fought hard the entire game, but State was able to come out on top.


Scouting the Wildcats

Michigan State will be traveling to Marquette this weekend to take on the Northern Michigan Wildcats. NMU has a record of 5-5-4 overall and 4-4-3-0 in the CCHA. Last weekend, they tied Alaska twice, losing both games in the shoot-out. Their best win came early in the season against Minnesota-Duluth and they also swept Nebraska-Omaha. Junior forward Mark Olver leads the team with 10 goals and 9 assists for 19 points. Erik Gustafsson is the top defenseman and is second in points with 14. Brian Stewart (3.45 GAA) has played the most in net for Northern. Expect two tough games for the Spartans this weekend. NMU always comes to play against their former coach.


Minnesota 2 Michigan State 1

Michigan State lost a tough one at the hands of the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday night. Drew Palmisano played really well with a season-high 4o saves, but the Spartans managed only one goal on 38 shots. Andrew Rowe scored the lone goal, his 7th of the season. Michigan State will move down in the rankings this week after slipping to 9-5-2 on the season.

The coaching staff made some lineup changes to start the game to try and get the Spartans going. Trevor Nill played in favor of Mike Merrifield and Tim Buttery replaced Brock Shelgren. Rowe and Sucharski switched places on their respective lines, and Hayes and Chelios moved up on the wings of Forfar's line. That left Golembiewski, Nill, and Walrod on the other line. The lines were changed throughout the game and they ended up close to what they have been all season long towards the end of the game. The guys really hustled and got some good scoring chances, but were just unable to put the puck in the net. It will be interesting to see what the lineup will look like next weekend at Northern Michigan. There is no need for anyone to panic after three straight losses. All the teams they lost to are very good and the Spartans will get back to playing well soon.

Wisconsin 7 Michigan State 3

The first game of the College Hockey Showcase for 2009 was one for the Spartans to forget. Give credit to Wisconsin because they are a very good team. Five of the six of their defensemen are either first or second round draft picks. We did not give ourselves a chance to win though. We turned the puck over way too many times and the goaltending was not what we're used to. There is no one thing or one person to blame the loss on. I think it's just a sign of a young team going through a rough patch. We will learn from a game like this and move on. The power play was a bright spot for the Spartans because we were able to score two goals after not recording one in several games.


Scouting the Badgers and Gophers

Michigan State will play host to the Wisconsin Badgers and the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Friday and Saturday night game. The games will begin at 7:05 and are part of the College Hockey Showcase. Friday's opponent, Wisconsin, is 7-4-1 on the season and ranked #15 in the USCHO poll. The Badgers split with unranked St. Cloud State last weekend. The only currently ranked team they have played was #5 Colorado College in which they lost and tied the two games. Wisconsin also has a split against our Saturday night opponent, Minnesota. Junior defenseman Brendan Smith (13) and senior forward Blake Geoffrion (10) are the top two point-getters. Scott Gudmanson and Brad Bennett share the net-minding duties. Craig Smith is the team's top freshman with 9 points. Minnesota is unranked and 4-7-1 on the season. They lost both their games against #14 Minnesota-Duluth last weekend. Their best win came against #6 Bemidji State. Senior forward Tony Lucia leads the team with 11 points. Zach Budish is the top freshman with 5 points. Alex Kangas is the starting goaltender with a 4-5 record and 2.49 GAA.

This will be the last time that the College Hockey Showcase will be played at Munn Ice Arena. Next year will be the final year of a great Thanksgiving tradition. I will miss watching MSU play two fellow Big Ten schools. Hopefully, we are able to keep one or both of them on the schedule. There is talk that a Big Ten conference would be formed, along with keeping the CCHA in place. I know I would like to see the Spartans play more games against Big Ten schools. Who knows what will happen? There should be a big crowd at Munn this weekend as we face-off against two stellar opponents. Go Spartans!


Notre Dame 4 Michigan State 1

The Spartans fell 4-1 to the Fighting Irish on Sunday afternoon in a game played at the Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Michigan State out-shot Notre Dame, but just couldn't seem to bury the puck. The Irish did a good job in capitalizing on their scoring opportunities, as well. Maybe MSU needed to have a weekend like this to get them back down to earth after going from an unranked team to #6 in the country. They have played so well throughout this season and did not play too bad in either game this weekend, but were not able to come out with wins. They must refocus this week in practice and prepare for the College Hockey Showcase. They will face a tough Wisconsin Badger team on Friday night. The Spartans have shown a lot so far this year and will continue to improve. They need to get their power play back on track this weekend after starting out so good and then hitting a bit of a lull lately. The Spartan defense was supposed to struggle as a unit, but they have been impressively sound so far. I will be coming out with a scouting report on both Wisconsin and Minnesota later this week.


Notre Dame 1 Michigan State 1; Notre Dame wins shootout 2-1

Derek Grant had the lone goal in a 1-1 tie against Notre Dame on Thursday night. The Spartans went on to lose to the Irish in a shootout by the score of 2 to 1. Notre Dame was one of the toughest teams MSU has faced all season. The Spartans played an average game in which they started off really slow and progressively played better. Palmisano kept up his great play in net, making 25 saves. Michigan State had two 5 min power plays in the game that they couldn't capitalize on. The game was very physical throughout with big hits by both teams. Michigan State has lost in their only two shootouts this season. They really miss a guy like Kurt Kivisto, who seemed to score in every shootout opportunity. Andrew Rowe made a nice move in the ND shootout, and hopefully a couple guys will step up for the Spartans in future shootouts. MSU will face Notre Dame tomorrow afternoon in Ft. Wayne, IN at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum at 4 p.m.


Two New Spartans for 2010

Michigan State hockey coach Rick Comley has announced that Lee Reimer (Landmark, Manitoba) and Willie Yanakeff (Jerome, Mich.) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Spartans, beginning in the fall of 2010... News Release

Palmisano Named CCHA Goalie of the Week

With the loss of the all-time saves leader and one of the greatest goalies in Spartan history, Michigan State was relying on young sophomore, Drew Palmisano to fill big shoes in the 2009-2010 season. Palmisano has really come through so far this year. In the last six games, he has a 1.30 GAA and a .954 save percentage. He has compiled a 5-0-1 record in that span with two shutouts. Against Michigan this weekend, he allowed only two goals in two games and recorded a shutout on Saturday. His efforts in the two victories earned him the weekly CCHA Goaltender award.
News Release


Scouting the Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has an overall record of 5-5-2 and a 2-2-2 CCHA record. They are ranked #14th in the nation by USCHO and are tied for sixth in the conference. Last weekend, they lost one game to Northern Michigan and won the other game in a shootout. The Irish split with Alaska in Fairbanks and got five points in a weekend set with Ohio State in their other CCHA contests. Notre Dame has a road win against Boston University, but BU has since fallen out of the rankings. Junior forward Ben Ryan leads the team with ten points (3 goals, 7 assists). Riley Sheahan is the top freshman with seven points. Brad Phillips (1-3-2) and Mike Johnson (3-2) have split time in net this season. Notre Dame has started the season slow, but they should be one of the top teams in the CCHA at the end of the season. They play well on both ends of the ice and have some very talented young freshman. Michigan State will have two tough games this weekend against the Fighting Irish.

Michigan State Moves to #6

The Spartans garnered one first-place vote and moved from #13 to #6 in the country according to United States College Hockey Online. MSU has the most wins with 9 and split with the #1 ranked Miami RedHawks. They face-off against #14 Notre Dame this weekend.


Michigan State 2 Michigan 0

The Michigan State Spartans overtook the CCHA lead with their 2-0 victory over the Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans took six points this weekend over the #6 ranked team in the country. They swept Michigan for the first time since 1997-1998. Chris Forfar and Andrew Rowe had the Spartan goals. Drew Palmisano recorded a 31-save shutout. State has the national lead with a record of 9-2-1 and a conference lead at 6-1-1.

First of all, I would just like to congratulate the Spartans on two huge wins this weekend. Beating Michigan always feels good, especially after struggling against them last year. The fans were amazing at Munn on Saturday night, and hopefully it will be that way for the rest of the season. It was such a great atmosphere for the team to play in and they are really on a roll. We need to stay humble after the weekend, knowing that the CCHA is such a tough conference and any team can beat you on a given night. I'm not going to say that we should win the conference right now, but we will sure contend for it. I took a look at the pre-season conference picks and they are pretty far off at this point of the season. The next couple weeks are crucial for the Spartans with tough games against Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Why the Spartans are playing so well...
There are nine freshman all contributing significantly so far on both offense and defense. Corey Tropp is leading the nation in goals and points. Derek Grant was the National and CCHA player of the month in October. Jeff Petry and all the defenseman have been blocking shots, moving the puck well, and stopping odd-man rushes. Drew Palmisano has really played well replacing one of the top goaltenders in Spartan history in Jeff Lerg. The Michigan State power play has been real successful so far (just not this weekend). The Spartans are executing their system well, and they have great team chemistry. I credit all the coaches for developing the young players in such a short time and providing that positive mind-set in the locker room after a rough 08-09 campaign. Also, there is no question that the leadership of captains Jeff Petry and Nick Sucharski is another main reason why they are winning games.


Michigan State 3 Michigan 2

The Spartans defeated the Wolverines in their first match-up this season in Ann Arbor. Michigan State ended its six-game losing streak against Michigan. They will play the second game of weekend set tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena. Michigan State's goals were scored by Rowe, Tropp, and Leveille. Matt Crandell dished off two assists and was named the first star of the game.

The Michigan State-Michigan game is always a heated rivalry and the teams seem to be evenly matched year in and year out. The Spartans needed this win after they lost all their games to Michigan last season. I think its a big confidence boost to win on the road at such a tough rink. We stay disciplined all game and never took any bad penalties. We weren't able to score on the power-play, but we killed off all five Michigan power-plays. The game never got out of hand after-the-whistle, but I expect some more emotion tonight out of Michigan because they have lost three straight games. Leveille came up with a big goal that turned into the game winner. I had said earlier that he will start scoring and it couldn't have come at a better time. Palmisano was sharp in net, facing 19 shots. Corey Tropp added to his national lead in goals and points with a snipe last night. Michigan State will look to extend its second-longest in the country winning streak to seven games tonight in East Lansing.
News Release



Michigan State has moved into #13 in the USCHO poll and to #14 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. The Spartans sat at #17 in USCHO and unranked in USA Today/USA hockey Magaizine polls a weeks ago. It's nice to see MSU getting some respect for a great start to their season. Two wins over Michigan this weekend could jump them into the top ten.

Scouting the Wolverines

Michigan State will play the Michigan Wolverines in a home and home series on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday's game is at 7:35 at Yost Ice Arena and Saturday night's game is at 7:05 at Munn. Michigan is 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play. They are coming off two home losses against Miami, but they defeated LSSU in their CCHA opening weekend. Penalties really hurt the Wolverines in a 5-1 loss on Saturday in which Miami scored 5 unanswered goals. They are ranked #6 in the country in both the USA Today and the USCHO polls. Michigan has faced some tough competition in the early-going with Alaska, Boston, and Miami all on the schedule, but those games account for their four losses. Junior Matt Rust is Michigan's leading scorer with eight points (4 goals, 4 assists). Chris Brown is Michigan's best freshman with seven points on the season. Their captain is a solid defenseman, Chris Summers. Junior Bryan Hogan is a very good goaltender, but has struggled so far this year with a 2.51 GAA. I expect two very heated rivalry games. After the incident that happened last year at Yost, look for a ton of emotion early in the contest and there may be some more after-the-whistle hitting than usual. It will be a battle of who can be more disciplined because both teams have spent too much time in the box so far this season. Michigan State looks to avenge last season's five losses to the Wolverines, while Michigan needs to get back on track after some early losses.


Nebraska-Omaha 3 Michigan State 3 OT/UNO wins shootout

Michigan State tied Nebraska-Omaha 3-3, but lost in the shootout 2-1. Mike Merrifield, Chris Forfar, and Nick Sucharski had the Spartan goals. Drew Palmisano took the shootout loss after a shut-out the previous night.
Overall, a pretty good weekend for Michigan State hockey. They took four points from a very good UNO hockey team, including a dominating 3-0 victory on Thursday night. Friday's game proved to be a little bit of a letdown because we could have gotten the win. It was just disappointing not to come out with a win after the way we played on Thursday, which seemed to be the mood in the locker room. Michigan State is still looking good at second place in the CCHA, but have to two tough tests in the coming weeks against Michigan and Notre Dame. Penalties hurt us again on Friday night, so limiting them will be important especially in the heated Michigan State-Michigan rivalry. On a side note, Derek Grant was named National Rookie of the Month for his play in October. Check back soon for a quick scouting report on Michigan and some other insight into the rivalry.


Michigan State 3 Nebraska-Omaha 0

Michigan State defeated the #10 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 3-0 in a Thursday night match-up. Drew Palmisano made 31 saves in the shutout victory for the Spartans. Derek Grant, Anthony Hayes, and Corey Tropp scored the goals for MSU. Michigan State has moved to 4-1-0 in the CCHA and 7-2-0 overall.

The Spartans started their tough road stretch with a very good win over a team that outscored them 10-2 last year in Omaha. There are a few important things that I think will be key for the Spartans in the next few weeks. First of all, special teams must continue to be a strength for MSU. Their penalty kill was 4-4 last night and they scored a power-play goal. The Spartans have done well on the power-play without an actual unit. The lines have remained intact on the power-play and line match-ups are sought to give us the biggest advantage to score. Secondly, Daultan Leveille is a talented scorer, but he has only one goal this season. Look for him to light the lamp a few times in the next few weeks. He plays on a great line with Gazley and Rowe, and he has great speed and stickhandling ability. Finally, can the Spartans stay out of the penalty box late in games? They did well with that last night, but the last few games before that they have taken some costly ones. With these three things in mind, we'll see how Michigan State plays tonight against UNO, next weekend versus Michigan, and then the Fightin' Irish of Notre Dame the following week.


Grant: CCHA Rookie of the Month

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that forward Derek Grant of Michigan State has been named the CCHA Rookie of the Month for October... Full Release

Derek Grant has been a significant contributor to the Spartans all season. Coach Comley was saying very good things about him before the season, and he has exceeded expectations in my opinion. Michigan State needed a freshman to come right in and score, which is exactly what Grant has done thus far. Grant is on one of the top lines in the country with Tropp and Sucharski. He will be counted on as the season progresses not only to score, but add a physical presence to the game. He should be in the running for the top freshman in the conference. I see nothing but good things in his future this season and in his hockey career. Congratulations to Derek Grant on winning CCHA rookie of the month.

Scouting the Mavericks

Michigan State will host Nebraska-Omaha in a Thursday-Friday set this weekend. The Mavericks are coming off of a disputed shoot-out loss to Bowling Green and a 3-1 victory over the Falcons. UNO has a record of 4-1-1 on the season. On October 10th, they beat a very good UMass Lowell team at home 4-3. The Mavs are led by senior defenseman Eddie DelGrosso,who was named the CCHA's Defensemen of the week for his play against BGSU. Rich Purslow leads the team in goals (5) and points (8). John Faulkner is the starting goaltender and he has compiled a record of 3-1-1. Currently, the Mavs sit at #10 in the USCHO rankings. Michigan State has another tough conference test upcoming in Nebraska-Omaha.

USCHO Rankings

Michigan State moved up three places to #17 in the USCHO rankings. Their opponent this weekend, Nebraska-Omaha moved up to #10. Other CCHA teams are Miami (#1), Michigan (#4), Notre Dame (#9), and Alaska (#13).

Complete Rankings


Michigan State 5 Western Michigan 3

On a Halloween night, Western Michigan was looking for treats at Lawson Arena, but Michigan State only gave them tricks with a 5-3 victory (Thanks to Coach Woodward for the opening to my post). Dean Chelios and Anthony Hayes both had their first collegiate goals in the game. Michigan State looked stronger throughout the game than they had the previous night in East Lansing. It was another close game though and the Spartans had to kill a penalty for the last four minutes of the game after Krug was whistled for checking from behind and Walrod was already in the box for boarding. The Broncos scored one goal to make it 4-3, but Gazley sealed the win with an empty-netter.

The Spartans needed to play better on the road and they did just that. The sweep of Western Michigan puts them into a tie for first place with Miami in the CCHA. Michigan State battled hard all game and were rewarded for their efforts. They received some offensive contributions from two fourth liners and Bobby Jarosz was able to get another win. Coach Comley will continue to hammer out the point that we can't take penalties late in games. I thought Krug's was a penalty, but should not have been a 5 and game. The young Spartans are still learning and I expect to see the team make progress throughout the season. We have Nebraska-Omaha coming to town this week and then a home and home with Michigan the following week. Check back later in the week for a quick scouting report on UNO.
News Release

Michigan State 2 Western Michigan 1

In this game, a tenth of a second made all the difference in a 2-1 Michigan State victory over Western Michigan. The Broncos' goal at the end of the game was disallowed because the time had run out on the clock. The Spartans started off the game well and put pressure on WMU goaltender, Riley Gill. Chris Forfar scored a nice goal off a Jeff Petry pass in the first and Dustin Gazley netted a power play goal in the second. In my opinion, Michigan State played the worst third period that they have all season. With around five minutes to play, the Broncos scored a power play goal and were within a second of tying the game at the end. Palmisano made some great saves in the third period to come away with the win for the Spartans.

It was a win and three points for Michigan State, but it sure wasn't the kind of hockey that the Spartans have been playing. They couldn't seem to sustain momentum after getting the two-goal lead in the second period. It hurt that Matt Grassi received a five minute penalty and a game misconduct, which brought them down to five defensemen. MSU was luckily to escape with a win in regulation. They need to avoid the penalties late in the game, which have been costly as of late. On a positive note, the Spartans have won some close games and beat a previously undefeated team in Western Michigan.
News Release


Scouting the Broncos

Michigan State will face-off against the Western Michigan Broncos on Friday and Saturday night. The Friday night game will be played in East Lansing at 7:05 p.m. and the Saturday night game is a 7:35 p.m. start in Kalamazoo. Friday night's game will be televised on Comcast.

Western Michigan is 4-0 on the season with two of their wins coming against Mercyhurst and two against Alabama-Huntsville. They are off to a good start for a team that is predicted to finish 11th in the CCHA's coaches poll. Trevor Elias, former teammate of Derek Grant, is the Broncos top freshman, who has tallied a point in each game this season. J.J. Crew scored four goals and recorded two assists in their first weekend against Mercyhurst, so the Spartans better keep an eye on him. WMU's Riley Gill is the starting goaltender, and he has three of the four wins this season. Both teams come into the weekend with a lot of confidence with WMU's undefeated start and Michigan State beating the top-ranked team in the country. I suspect it will be two games filled with energy and physical play. I give the edge to the Spartans, who are a more talented team. A sweep and six points is a great possibility this weekend. I'm anxious to see how we play at Lawson Arena, which has always been a tough place to play for MSU.


Early Spartan Hockey Memories

I will be making my first trip to Western Michigan for a hockey game since Jan. 31, 1997. I was seven years old at the time and I still have the Broncos puck that was tossed to me during a promotion event at the end of the period. The game ended in a 3-2 overtime victory for Western Michigan on a disputed face-off in our zone. A bench-clearing brawl ensued afterwards and its a game that I will never forget. If anyone would like to share their Spartan hockey memories on the blog, email me at spartanhockeyblog@gmail.com. I will post a few responses. Also, check back soon for the scouting report on the Broncos.

Game Promotions

Check out the Official Michigan State hockey site for upcoming events and promotions.

Corey Tropp- CCHA Offensive Player of the Week

Corey Tropp had a goal and two assists this weekend to be named the CCHA offensive player of the week. This was his first time receiving the weekly award this season. Tropp's 12 points leads the country. Also, he is atop the CCHA in goals (6), assists (6), power play goals (4), and points (12). Tropp has led the Spartans into the rankings, where they sit at #20 in the USCHO.com poll.


Michigan State 3 Miami 2

Andrew Rowe scored an overtime goal to push the Spartans past the RedHawks in the Saturday night game 3-2. Michigan State led 2-0 through two periods, but Miami came back with two goals in the third. Corey Tropp and Derek Grant scored the Spartan goals. Drew Palmisano saved 35 shots in the win.

Wow, what a great win for the Spartans! They go on the road to the #1 ranked team in the country and play two tough games. They split the series and feel pretty good about their start in the CCHA . I was cautiously optimistic after the first two weekends because I thought the competition wasn't the greatest, but the Miami series shows that the Spartans have, at the very least, significantly improved from last season. I'm not expecting championships this season, but I just want to see competitive games against the top teams in the conference. Hopefully this weekend is a preview of what's to come this season. The line of Sucharski, Grant, and Tropp has carried the load offensively, thus far. MSU scored three power play goals against one of the nation's best penalty killers. Both goalies played solid games and we were able to win a close game on the road. I'm not trying to overemphasize these games, but it's a step in the right direction for Michigan State hockey.

Miami 2 Michigan State 1

Michigan State fell to Miami 2-1 on Friday night in Oxford. They played the RedHawks tough all game, but just couldn't come out on top. Miami's Tommy Wingels scored with 2 minutes left in the game to put the RedHawks ahead. Derek Grant had the lone goal for the Spartans. Bobby Jarosz made his first career road start and finished with 24 saves.

The Spartans showed they are an improved team by hanging tough with the #1 ranked team in the country. It's a hard game to lose when you let up a goal so late in the game, but there were many positives from the game. We stepped up our play from the first four games and showed that we are a force to be reckoned with in the CCHA. Grant continues to impress with all the points he has tallied in the first few games. Bobby Jarosz played a nice game on the road as well.


Friday and Saturday Night- Miami Series

The Michigan State Spartans will take on the Miami RedHawks on Friday Night at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. Both games will be on the radio (Fri. 1240 AM, Sat. 730 AM) or at msuspartans.com. The Saturday night game will be televised on Comcast, which is ch. 900 in the Lansing area. There will also be a live game tracker at msuspartans.com.


Scouting the RedHawks

Michigan State will travel this weekend to Oxford, Ohio to take on the #1 ranked Miami RedHawks. Miami is coming off a win and a tie at New Hampshire. They opened the season with a sweep of St. Cloud St. and their overall record is 3-0-1. Sophomore Matt Tomassoni was the CCHA's defensive player of the week for his play against New Hampshire. He and Carter Camper scored two goals in the series. Curtis McKenzie, Jarod Palmer, and Tommy Wingels had four points each. Palmer leads the team in points with six (2 goals, 4 assists). Camper is on the Hobey Baker list and his three goals leads the team. Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard have alternated in goal with the Friday-Saturday rotation.

Michigan State will have its hands full this weekend. This is without a doubt the toughest team they will have played so far and may end up being the toughest team they will face all season. The young team did have the chance to play in a hostile environment last weekend, so they know what it feels like. Palmisano will have to be real sharp in net and the Spartans must score early to keep the crowd out of the game. Miami has only allowed one power play goal this season, so we'll see how that matches up with a very good Spartan power play. I think that a split would be huge for Michigan State, but we'll take any points we can get against the #1 ranked team in hockey.


Maine 5 Michigan State 3

Maine came away with a 5-3 hard-fought win over Michigan State. The teams were tied 3-3 with 1:39 left in the game before Gustav Nyquist scored a power play goal. An empty-net goal sealed it and gave Maine their first win. Corey Tropp, Mike Merrifield, and Andrew Rowe scored for the Spartans. Drew Palmisano made 20 saves in the loss.

The Spartans are 3-1 heading into Oxford next weekend to play the number one ranked Miami RedHawks. In the CCHA, Michigan State leads in scoring, as well as, Corey Tropp in individual scoring. Penalties really hurt the Spartans on Saturday night with three straight penalties late in the game, which led to a Maine goal. We will need to both improve our penalty killing and take less "avoidable" penalties. A split seems reasonable this weekend with a young team on the road, but it always hurts to lose a close one.
News Release

Michigan State 5 Maine 3

Michigan State beat Maine by a score of 5-3 for their first road win of the season. Corey Tropp recorded a hat trick for the Spartans and Grant had two assists. In the first period, Maine scored an early goal on the power play, but the Spartans responded. They answered another Black Bear goal later in the period with a power play goal of their own. The Spartans never trailed from that point on. They added two more goals in the second period and Maine netted one. Jeff Petry's third period goal sealed the 5-3 win.

The Spartans have shown that they can respond when they get down early in the game. This was a great win, especially on the road. If Tropp keeps up this early offensive production, Michigan State will win a lot of games. I see a team that has put last year in the past and has come out firing on all cylinders.
News Release


Live Blog

Nathan Fournier from the Maine Hockey Journal will have a live blog for Friday night's game. Tune into the radio broadcast from msuspartans.com and follow the live blog from Maine.


Scouting the Black Bears

The Michigan State Spartan hockey team travels to Maine to take on the Black Bears in a two game set. Michigan State is coming off two wins against Clarkson and Maine dropped their first couple to Union. Maine is a member of the Hockey East conference. Last season, they had an overall record of 13-22-4 and a conference record of 7-17-3. The Black Bears are predicted to finish eighth of ten teams in Hockey East. They have six of their top eight scorers coming back this season. Sophomore Gustav Nyquist led the way for Maine with 13 goals and 19 assists a year ago. Senior goalie Dave Wilson started the first two games in losses to Union, so they may resort to playing sophomore Scott Darling (10-14-3, 2.76 GAA in 08-09). Spencer Abbott has three assists on the season to lead the team in points. Maine has nine new freshman on campus just like the Spartans. Freshman Adam Shemansky scored two goals in the Union series.

Michigan State is coming off a very successful first weekend. They have a lot of confidence heading into the Maine series. It will be a test for this young team on the road. I think that getting at least three points this weekend would be great and we couldn't be too unhappy with a split. It's important that we keep up the offensive production this weekend, especially against a team that doesn't look to be that solid in net. The Spartans need the upperclassmen to step up this weekend just like they did against Clarkson. Games are at 7:05 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.


Rookie of the Week

The CCHA named Michigan State's Derek Grant the Rookie of the Week for the first week of the season. This award was well deserved as Grant had a goal and an assist in each game for the Spartans in their two victories over Clarkson. Its a great accomplishment for the freshman and the Spartans expect that kind of play out of Grant to continue all season long.
News Release


Michigan State 4 Clarkson 3

With under three minutes to go, freshman forward Chris Forfar scored the game-winning goal to defeat Clarkson 4-3. Sucharski, Grant and Leveille also added goals for the Spartans, and Petry notched two assists. Bobby Jarosz made 28 saves in his first start since 2007.

The Spartans played another solid game on both ends of the ice. Clarkson definitely played a better game on Saturday night and Michigan State was able to answer with a clutch goal at the end of the game. The freshmen seem to be stepping up so far this season with all of them playing except for the injured Grassi. The line of Grant, Sucharski, and Tropp looks to be without a doubt the top line. Jarosz will compete for time in net after a nice performance last night. He let in a weak goal on the first shot of the game, but was very steady thereafter. I think the Spartans are feeling pretty good right now heading to Maine next weekend with a 2-0 record.
News Release


Michigan State 6 Clarkson 1

The Spartans opened up the season with a 6-1 victory over the Golden Knights of Clarkson. Freshman defenseman, Zach Josepher led the way with a pair of goals and assists in a four point outing. Andrew Rowe, Derek Grant, Dustin Gazley, and Corey Tropp added the other goals for the Spartans. Drew Palmisano was solid in net, making 28 saves and only allowing one goal. MSU was 3 of 8 on the power play on the night.

Overall, it was a well played game by the Spartans. After a lack-luster first period by both teams, Michigan State really took over in the second period and did not let up the rest of the game. They showed that they can really produce offensively, especially on the power play. Palmisano looked sharp and our defense seemed much improved from last season. I was disappointed on faceoffs because that was one thing that really hurt us a season ago and we struggled with them last night, but we will get better. A win tonight would be huge for the our confidence going into Maine next weekend.
News Release


Clarkson Game Tonight

The Michigan State Spartans open the regular season with two home games against Clarkson. Tonight's game starts at 7:05 p.m. and tomorrow's game is at 5:05 p.m. It will be interesting to see how the Spartans come out and play tonight. I'm sure they are just looking to put last season behind them and get off to a fast start. They need to get a couple of wins this weekend because the schedule looks pretty tough with a trip to Maine next weekend and to Miami the weekend after. The key will be the Spartans coming out fast and setting the tone physically. I wouldn't be surprised if we got 3 or 4 points this weekend. Check out the season preview here.


Clarkson Series

Here is a look at Clarkson from their athletic site. I don't know too much about their hockey team, other than what is listed on the site. The Golden Knights are a member of the ECAC conference. Last season, they were 10-19-7 overall and finished tied for eighth in the conference with a record of 8-10-4. Clarkson leads the series against Michigan State 7-4-1, but the Spartans did defeat the Golden Knights in the 1966 National Championship game.
Clarkson Season Outlook

LSJ Season Preview and Palmisano Story

If you haven't checked out the Lansing State Journal today, there are two articles about Michigan State hockey. Both are written by Neil Koepke, one discusses the upcoming season and the other features Drew Palmisano.
Season Preview
Drew Palmisano


Line Combinations (As of 10/5)

Grant Sucharski Tropp
Rowe Leveille Gazley
Walrod Forfar Golembiewski
Chelios Nill Hayes

Krug Petry
Josepher Buttery
Crandell Shelgren

MSU 5 Western Ontario 2

Michigan State won its lone pre-season exhibition game last night. Tropp, Leveille, Grant, Golembiewski, and Nill all had tallies for the Spartans. They beat a very good Western Ontario team that had beat Ohio State the previous night. It was nice to see the freshman get involved offensively with a couple of goals and assists. Tropp and Leveille are two players that will be counted on heavily this season, and it was good to see them put a couple of pucks in net. The goaltending seemed fine with Palmisano and Jarosz letting in just one goal apiece. The Spartans did not capitalize on some power play opportunities, but they were sure getting scoring chances. Grant had one goal, but he could have easily had a hat trick. Also, the Spartans looked more physical in that game than they did probably all of last season.
Press Release

Green wins 3-2

The Spartans played the annual Green and White game on Sunday. Green was able to prevail 3-2 with goals from Crandell, Sucharski, and Grant. The White team was led by goals from Gazley and Perlini. It's always hard to tell how the game went in an inter-squad scrimmage, but the Spartans did appear much bigger and stronger out there. I was awed by the breakaway goal that Grant scored off a turnover and I thought Perlini's snipe was equally impressive. The game had its sloppy moments, but it seems like the Spartans are ready to go this year.

Spartans in the NHL

Eleven former Michigan State hockey players are on opening-night rosters for teams in the National Hockey League. Only one former Spartan was in action when the 2009-10 NHL season officially opened on Thursday evening, but five more will join action today when games get underway at noon eastern time... continue.


Green and White Game Tonight

Don't forget that the Green and White game will be played tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena. Ticket sales will benefit the Blue Line Club. It will be interesting to see how the Spartans look tonight and we will get a chance to see all the new freshmen. Hopefully, many of you will be at the game tonight and can give your analysis of the team for us.


My Pre-Season CCHA Picks

1. Notre Dame
2. Miami
3. Michigan
4. Ohio State
5. Nebraska Omaha
6. Michigan State
7. Northern Michigan
8. Alaska
9. Ferris State
10. Lake Superior State
11. Western Michigan
12. Bowling Green

Any thoughts? What would your rankings be?


CCHA Pre-Season Polls

In CCHA pre-season polls Michigan State was placed ninth in the coaches poll and eigthth in the media poll. Press Release

I think that Michigan State will surprise a lot of teams this year. They have nine new fresman that will all see playing time. Freshman, Derek Grant should be one of the leading goal scorers this season and another freshman, Torey Krug will possibly be the second best defenseman on the squad. Their co-captain, Nick Sucharski, will be back from a shoulder injury last year. Corey Tropp missed most of last year, and he was one of the top goal scorers two seasons ago. Drew Palmisano will fill in nicely for Jeff Lerg after gaining some experience in games last year. NHL prospect, Jeff Petry stayed at MSU for another season. The combination of new freshman forwards and the experience the others gained last year should allow them to increase their scoring productivity greatly. The defense will shut more teams down with the addition of Krug and the other two freshman (Grassi and Josepher) and the experience gained by last year's freshman (Buttery, Shelgren, and Crandell). I see MSU finishing in the top six this season.

Media Day

Yesterday at Munn Ice Arena, the Michigan State players and coaches met with the media for a press conference and interviews. The players took individual, team, and class photos. Also, video headshots were taken for the videoboard.
Press Release


Official Start to Hockey Season

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3rd Michigan State will have its first official practice of the season. Munn Ice Arena will be open to the public, so come out and support the Spartans. The Spartans have been skating since they arrived on campus in the summer and will have had six one-hour practices with the coaches permitted by NCAA rules.


The Week Ahead...

The Michigan State Spartan hockey team will open the season with the annual Green vs. White scrimmage game on Sunday, October 4th at 7:05 PM. The following day the Spartans host Western Ontario at 7:05 PM in their lone pre-season exhibition game. The meet and greet/T shirt handout for Slapshots will be held on Tuesday, October 6th at 5:45 PM. There will be a discussion panel with the players and an autograph/picture session held.


Captains Announced

The Michigan State hockey team has announced co-captains for the 2009-2010 season. Fifth-year senior, Nick Sucharski and junior, Jeff Petry will wear the 'C' on their chest. Both are great leaders on and off the ice. It comes as no surprise that they would be elected as captains by their teammates.
Press Release

Open Practices

The Michigan State hockey team practices are open to the public. The Spartans practice this week Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3-5 PM. After October 3rd, they will practice Monday-Thursday from 3-5 PM. If practices are well attended, we will set up a tour of Munn Ice Arena for everyone.


Freshman Class- Matt Grassi

Matt Grassi is a 6-3 defenseman out of Burnaby, British Columbia. He had 42 points in 54 games with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the BCHL last year. Grassi is the biggest player on the Spartan roster and should bring a great amount of physicality to the lineup. He is a solid defender and has a big shot from the point. Once he's healthy, Grassi will be one of the top Spartan defensemen.

Freshman Class- Dean Chelios

Dean Chelios is a 6-2 forward from Bloomfield, Michigan. Chelios broke out in scoring last year with 19 goals and and 34 assists (53 points) on the USHL's Chicago Steel. He is considered to be amongst the top twelve forwards and will compete for ice time with a few fellow freshman. He has a big, physical body and showed last year that he can put the puck in the net. Chelios will add depth and scoring to the Spartan's forward unit.

Freshman Class- Zach Golembiewski

Zach Golembiewski is a 6-0 forward from St. Clair, Michigan. He and fellow teammate Torey Krug, played for Indiana (USHL) last season. Zach displayed great offensive production for Indiana with 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists). It looks as though he will end up playing on one of the top lines for MSU. He has a great scoring touch and is always looking to set up his teammates. Zach will be a top player for the Spartans and should battle Grant for top freshman point-getter in 2009-2010.

Freshman Class- Anthony Hayes

Anthony Hayes is a 5-11 forward from Canton, Michigan. He scored 18 goals and put up 18 assists with Green Bay (USHL) last year. Hayes is one of the top nine forwards on the Spartan roster. He is a physical player and an extremely hard worker. Hayes will bring a great intensity to Michigan State hockey this season.

Freshman Class- Zach Josepher

Zach Josepher is a 6-0 defenseman from Wantagh, New York. He was a member of the Penticton Vees (BCHL) last year. He led his team's defense in scoring with 14 goals and 38 assists. Zach will be one of the top six defensemen for the Spartans this season. He has the ability to play excellent defense as well as put up a lot of points. Josepher will be a great addition to the Spartan's lineup and will see a great amount of ice time.

Freshman Class- Chris Forfar

Chris Forfar is a 6-0 forward out of Darien, Illinois. He spent the last two years with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. Last year, he scored 11 goals and had 27 assists for 38 points. Chris is expected to play on the third or fourth line for the Spartans. He plays the game very hard and has great hockey sense. Forfar will add much needed depth to the forward unit of the Spartans.


Freshman Class- Kevin Walrod

Kevin Walrod is a 6-1 forward out of Westside, British Columbia. Last year, he put up 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists) with the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL. He will be a valuable asset to the team with his scoring abilities and should play on the second or third line. Walrod finds a way to put the puck in the net and sets up his teammates well with his great vision of the ice. He will improve over the course of the season as he gets used to the speed of the college game.

Freshman Class- Torey Krug

Torey Krug is a 5-9 defenseman from Livonia, Michigan. He skated with Indiana of the USHL last year, where he scored 10 goals and had 37 assists in 59 games. Krug will be one of the top defensemen this season for the Spartans. He is a smart player and speedy skater, which help him overcome his size. Krug has a bright future ahead of him at Michigan State.


Freshman Class- Derek Grant

Derek Grant is a 6-3 forward from Abbotsford, British Columbia and is a 4th round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators. . He played last season with the Langley Chiefs (BCHL), where he scored 25 goals and had 35 assists in only 35 games. He will be counted on to play right away on possibly the top line for Michigan State. Grant possesses excellent speed and great hands. By adding more physicality to his play, he will become a force for the Spartans this season.

Blog Followers

Hopefully all of you are enjoying the blog so far. The season is much closer to starting up than it was in May when I started it. I would like to thank all of you for following the blog and welcome all of you who are new to the site. I appreciate all the comments and feedback that I am receiving. I would like to take a count of all of my blog followers, so if you could just comment below the post or send me an email at spartanhockeyblog@gmail.com that would be great. Please include your name (optional) and your reason for following the blog (hockey fan, MSU student, Blue Line Club Member, etc.). Any suggestions for the blog will be duly noted. Thank you and Go Green!


I have been in contact with the directors of Slapshots, which is the student section for hockey games. This year they really want to attract as many students as possible to fill the seats of Munn. To become a member, just buy student tickets online ($99 for all 14 home games) and email them at slaps@msu.edu so you can be added to their mailing list. Slapshots members get a free long-sleeve student section shirt, get priority over tickets for the Michigan game at the Joe, and have guaranteed seating for the Michigan and Notre Dame games. The first game is slated for October 9th against Clarkston. Order your tickets today at msuspartans.com or by calling the ticket office at 517-355-1610.

Line Combinations

I attended the second practice of the season today. It's so early in the season that it is tough to gauge how things will shape up over the course of the season. Although, I did see some very positive things from the Spartans. I came away impressed with freshman Derek Grant, who will be counted on heavily in his first season as a Spartan. Both Grant and fellow freshman Torey Krug, were featured as top recruits by the Western College Hockey blog. It was good to see Nick Sucharski back on the ice after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. Jeff Petry was leading the stretching before practice. I think he will be the captain this season, but captains have yet to be named. Leveille looks primed to score a lot of goals this year and Palmisano looked sharp in net. I jotted down the lines, which were very interesting and should draw some debate among fans. I thought that the line of Tropp, Rowe, and Gazley looked the best this afternoon. Please leave some comments with your take on the lines.

The forward lines are:
Grant Sucharski Golembiewski
Tropp Rowe Gazley
Walrod Leveille Hayes
Chelios Forfar Nill
Merrifield Perlini Shean Warda
The D pair are:
Krug Petry
Josepher Buttery
Crandell Shelgren
Sturges Johnson

First Day of Practice

The Michigan State hockey program had its first day that coaches were allowed on the ice Tuesday (Sept. 15), as they were allowed to join their players to start preparation for the 2009-10 season. From Sept. 15-Oct. 2, coaches can be on the ice with their teams for up to two hours per week. Full Release.


Icers Join Rowing Team

The Michigan State hockey team joined the rowing team on Friday, September 11th for a great workout and some fun. It looked like the guys had a great time and hopefully will really come together as a team this season through unique bonding activities like this one. Click on the photo gallery link to see pictures from the event. Photo Gallery


MSU Blue Line Club

Join the MSU Blue Line Club, the official booster club for Michigan State hockey. Established in 1962, the Blue Line Club strives to set the standard for all other college hockey booster organizations. Members can join the hockey team on away trips this year that include Maine, Northern Michigan and Alaska Fairbanks. Membership includes receptions with the players and coaches, and reduced prices for luncheons held prior to most home games. Best of all, you will be supporting a great college hockey program. Go Green!

Click the link MSU Blue Line Club. Read about the benefits of membership, learn about upcoming events, and fill out a membership application.


Jeff Petry

Awhile ago I was asked about the status of Jeff Petry for the upcoming season. I received confirmation that he is expected to be back with the Spartans this year. He has been leading summer workouts and skating with his teammates. Petry is a second round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers and will be a junior this year.


Skate With the Pros

During the annual Pro Camp at Munn Ice Arena, there will be an opportunity to skate with the professional players as a fundraiser for the Shoot for a Cure initiative. The "Skate With the Pros" will take place on August 19th at 2 p.m. The cost of admission is $10. For more information check out the Official Michigan State hockey website.


Thoughts on the Blog

It has been nearly three months since the Michigan State hockey blog was created. Some people may think it is crazy to start a hockey blog during the summer, but it was nice to get all set-up before the hockey season starts in. The summer has been relatively quiet when it comes to MSU hockey news, but there were some great stories about our Spartans in the NHL. Please spread the word about the blog to everyone you know. I would appreciate your feedback either in the comments section or by emailing me at spartanhockeyblog@gmail.com. Let me know how you like the layout, what I should include in the posts, or anything related to the blog. Thank you!

As the season closes in, I will be starting daily blogs to keep you hockey fans updated on all the latest Spartan hockey news. There will soon be posts on joining the MSU Blue Line Club, how to purchase your student tickets, and an in-depth outlook for the 2009-10 season.


Pro Camps

The annual Michigan State Pro Camp has been moved up to August 10- August 14 in order to help Ryan Miller and David Booth prepare for their Olympic Camp later in the month. The professional players will skate from 1-2 in the afternoon. Some of the players expected to attend are: Mike York, Mike Weaver, Corey Potter, Jared Nightingale, Colton Fretter, Matt Schepke, Andrew Hutchinson, Drew Miller, Jim Slater, and Justin Abdelkader.

The traditional yearly pro camp will also be held August 17-August 21. They will skate from 11 am-1 pm the first four days, and 9 am-11 am on Friday. These camps will feature many NHL players and some future NHL players.


Michigan State Announces 2009-10 Schedule

The 2009-10 Michigan State hockey schedule has been released. The Spartans face Western Ontario in their first exhibition game on October 5th and the first regular season home games are against Clarkson on October 9th and 10th. On October 30th, MSU plays Western Michigan in their first home CCHA game.

According to Coach Comley, the Spartans seem to have a more favorable schedule this year. They do have a tough stretch starting out in the second weekend with two games at Maine, and then they travel to Oxford to play Miami in the first CCHA weekend. The good news is that they are not on the road for any long stretches, and will get to face Big Ten schools and Notre Dame in eight games. I will give further analysis on the schedule as the season closes in. Let me know what you think about this year's schedule in the comment section.

2009-10 Schedule


Booth and Miller Invited to Team USA Olympic Camp

David Booth and Ryan Miller were invited to the Team USA hockey Olympic Camp in Woodridge, Ill. They will be among 34 players at the camp, who are looking to skate for the 2010 United States Olympic team in Vancouver. Miller was an alternate for the team at the last Olympics. For the official press release go to msuspartans.com.
It is great that two former Spartans may have the chance to represent their country in the Olympics. Both Miller and Booth have really shown that they are top players in the NHL, and I believe they would really be an assest to the US Olympic team. I will be watching the Olympic hockey with great interest, especially if Miller and Booth are on the roster. It looks like the US has some young invitees to their camp, so it will be interesting to see what the roster will end up looking like.


Lerg Receives Academic All-America Honor

Jeff Lerg truly exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete at Michigan State University. He has just been named Academic All-America of the Year by ESPN The Magazine. This is the second year in a row that he has received this honor with his 3.814 GPA in finance. Lerg will be greatly missed next year both for his leadership and extraordinary play between the pipes. Click here to read more about Lerg's Award.

On a side note, the Wings were defeated 2-1 in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite the loss, it was a great ride for Justin Abdelkader. Hopefully, we will see him with the Red Wings all season next year... I have already begun to think about our Spartans in 2009-10. I'm looking forward to seeing an improved Michigan State hockey team. We have brought in some skilled recruits and the return of Sucharski and Tropp will be crucial. I think Palmisano has the capability to become another great Spartan goaltender. We have some young forwards that gained a great deal of experience last year, and we should be solid on defense. I'm not expecting a CCHA championship team , but we should see steady improvement all season.


Game 6 Tonight

The Red Wings could win the Stanley Cup tonight in Pittsburgh. It is hockey so anything can happen, but I think the Wings win in a close 1-0 or 2-1 game. The city of Detroit needs some positives right now, and the Red Wings could provide a morale boost with a Stanley Cup. I wish game 6 was in Detroit, so they could win it at The Joe in front of all their fans.

Our Spartan on the Wings, Justin Abdelkader has been a great story with a goal in each of the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals. He has been replaced in the lineup by some veterans the last few games, but he has been a large part of Detroit's success. I read a great article about him on msuspartans.com. I'm glad to see that he is as good of a person as he is a hockey player. This is the kind of professional that young hockey players should look up to and want to be like for what he does both on and off the ice.


Abdelkader Nets Insurance Goals in Wings' Victories

In the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, former Spartan Justin Abdelkader scored his first and second career playoff goals. The Detroit Red Wings had 3-1 victories over the Pittsburgh Penguins in both games. After only playing a few games with the Wings during the regular season, Abdelkader has scored two crucial goals in the finals. He has definitely earned the trust of Mike Babcock and the commentators of CBC were really singing his praises throughout the game.

I hope his performance thus far in the playoffs will earn him the chance to start out the season with the Red Wings next season, instead of with the Griffins. He has really shown that he can compete with the very best players in the NHL. Spartan fans have plenty to be proud of with Abdelkader's two clutch goals. I am changing my prediction for the finals. I think the Wings will win one game in Pittsburgh, and finish them off at the Joe in game five.


Abdelkader, Wings Punch Ticket to Finals

Justin Abdelkader and the Detroit Red Wings advanced to the Stanley Cup finals with a thrilling overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Red Wings will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in a repeat of last year's finals. Abdelkader was called up in the Anaheim series to replace an injured Red Wing. He logged quite a bit of ice time and played very well. He remains the only Spartan alum still alive in the playoffs. The Wings knocked out Duncan Keith's Chicago Blackhawks and the Penguins swept Rod Brind'Amour's Carolina Hurricanes. The Stanley Cup finals will begin on Saturday, May 30.

Abdelkader has a chance to win a second Stanley Cup in only two years in the NHL. I may be biased when it comes to the Detroit Red Wings, but I have them winning in seven games. The Wings' superior depth will overcome the scoring firepower of Crosby and Malkin.


Spartans in the NHL

There are currently three former Spartans still playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They are Rod Brind'Amour with the Carolina Hurricanes, Duncan Keith with the Chicago Blackhawks, and Justin Abdelkader with the Detroit Red Wings. Check out the article at msuspartans.com. Who will bring home the Stanley Cup? I'm pulling for all of these players to do well, but my favorite has to be Abdelkader. I hope the Wings win it all for the second year in a row.


Spartan Hockey

Today marks the first day of my Michigan State hockey blog. This is the official blog of Spartan hockey. I will be blogging about the 2009-10 hockey team and our former players in the NHL. I am very excited about a great year of Spartan hockey even though its only May. Feel free to contact me with suggestions/comments at spartanhockeyblog@gmail.com. Go State!