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.