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.