MSU beats Minnesota, Loses to Wisconsin

The Spartans knew it would be another tough weekend of hockey. They started out in Minnesota on Friday and really took it to them to end their losing skid. MSU won 5-2 for their first win over the Gophers in 10 yrs. This is a Minnesota team that had swept their last two opponents and would go on to beat Michigan 3-1. Friday night's victory was much needed for the Spartans to get a little confidence going into some tough games ahead. They may have run out of gas after a three game week and MSU fell to Wisconsin 4-1. Zach Golembiewski recorded the lone goal, which is a good reward for his improved play as of late. A win on the road at Minnesota is always tough to come by, so that is best thing to take away from the weekend. The Spartans need to start playing every night like they did Friday night and the winning will take care of itself.


Report on Gophers, Badgers

Minnesota is 7-4-1 on the season and Wisconsin is 6-6-2. Minnesota just came off a sweep of Michigan Tech, while the Badgers have lost their last 4 games to North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth. The Golden Gophers' Jay Barriball leads the team in goals (9) and points (15). Erik Haula leads the team with 12 assists. Wisconsin's Mark Zengerle leads the team in assists (16) and points (19). Jordy Murray is the team leader with 10 goals.

Spartans Swept by Irish, Lose to Ferris St.

Michigan State has hit a rough patch in their season after getting swept in their second time on the road. Notre Dame is one of the top teams in the CCHA, but MSU could never get anything going on Friday night. They battled back and played hard on Saturday, but came up short of the win. Notre Dame scored a short-handed goal with 2:33 to play in regulation to take the lead 3-2 and eventually won 4-2 on an empty netter. The Spartans played a fairly good game against Ferris State, but were unable to solve the goaltending of Pat Nagle. Drew Palmisano made some big saves in the 3-0 loss on Tuesday.

I would say that Michigan State just needs to stay persistent during the next couple of weeks. It's much better to struggle early in the season than towards the end. They need to stay aggressive and the puck will start bouncing their way. This is not the same team that finished second last year because they lost two big scoring threats and their top defenseman. It needs to be a collective team effort to get back on track and start winning more games. The college hockey showcase will be an extremely tough test for the Spartans. They would do well to win one of the tough road games this weekend. Both are top programs and Wisconsin made it to the national championship game last year.


Scouting the Irish

Notre Dame is 7-3-1 on the season and ranked number 11 in the polls. They split with Michigan last weekend in Ann Arbor. They are 5-2-1 in the CCHA. Ryan Guentzel leads the team in points with 14 (1 goal, 13 assists). Anders Lee leads the team in goals with 8. This team has a lot of young talent and are playing well together thus far. The Spartans take on Notre Dame at 7:35 pm on Friday night and 5:05 pm Saturday.

Split with Ohio State

Michigan State played good hockey through five periods this past weekend. Their poor play in the third period of Friday night's game resulted in an overtime loss. They were ahead by two goals most of the game, but the Buckeyes were able to storm back and take the win. Saturday was a different story. Michigan State took it to the Buckeyes by getting ahead early and keeping the commanding lead. Drew Palmisano was able to get his first shutout of the season in the 4-0 victory. Grant, Merrifield, and Jake Chelios scored Friday night. Perlini (2), Krug, and Jake Chelios had the goals on Saturday night. Derek Grant recorded three assists, while Krug, Leveille, and Perlini had two point nights.

Overall, it was a fairly good weekend of hockey. Michigan State is disappointed that they could not get the sweep, but to come firing back on Saturday after a tough loss shows a lot of character. They have a tough series in Notre Dame coming up.

CCHA Offensive Player of the Week

Michigan State sophomore forward Derek Grant (Abbotsford, British Columbia) has earned CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors, as announced by the conference office on Monday morning. This is the winger's first weekly honor of the season, and is the third in five weeks of playing season for the Spartans. Full Article


Scouting the Buckeyes

Michigan State opens a home series with Ohio State tonight and the series concludes on Saturday night. The Buckeyes are 4-5 on the season. They beat Alabama-Huntsville both games last weekend. OSU was swept on the road at Northern Michigan and split with Ferris State on the road, as well. Sergio Somma leads the team in goals (6) and is tied with John Albert in points (10). Cal Heeter is the only goalie to play in all nine games.


State Swept at Western

The undefeated streak for the Spartans was ended at the hands of the Western Michigan Broncos. MSU lost a pair of close games on their first road trip of the season. It has to be disappointing for the players and coaches, but sometimes a team needs a tough weekend to get back on track. They got off to a fast start on Friday, but they were not able to hold the two goal lead. I was not able to see Saturday's game, but I would assume that we just did not play within their system and sometimes the puck just doesn't bounce your way. Brett Perlini has continued to stay on fire with two goals on Friday and two goals were waived off on Saturday... Michigan State will look to right the ship next weekend at home against Ohio State.


Scouting the Broncos

The Spartans will make their first road trip this weekend to Western Michigan. Both games start at 7:35 pm on Friday and Saturday and Friday's game will be shown on Comcast 900. The Spartans come into the game ranked #12 in the country with a record of 3-0-3. Western Michigan is 4-2-2. They opened the conference slate last weekend against Notre Dame and were beaten the first night, and recorded a shootout loss the second night. Max Campbell leads the team with six points and Greg Squires is second with five. Campbell also leads the team in goals with three. Nick Pisellini is the starting goaltender with a 4-1-1 record and a 1.80 GAA. The Broncos are always a tough team to play on the road at Lawson arena. Michigan State is in for two very tough tests. It will be up to Drew Palmisano to make some big saves early in the games to not allow Western to gain momentum.