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!