Last night, Ryan Miller's Team USA upset the heavily favored Canadians 5-3. Miller made 42 saves for the Americans, who were out-shot almost 2-1. Ryan Miller was the main reason USA won with his stellar play in net. The game pitted two former Spartans against each other with Duncan Keith playing for Team Canada. USA will play the winner of Switzerland and Belarus on Wednesday after getting a bye into the quarterfinals with an undefeated group play mark. Canada will face Germany on Tuesday and a win would advance them to Wednesday's quarterfinal game with Russia.
Anyone that hasn't seen this article on the MSU website should read it. Brittany McCormick of the Athletic Communications department writes about the great things Trevor Nill does in the community as well as having a tough mechanical engineering major and being an outstanding player on the MSU hockey team. Many of our players have been great leaders in the community with their roles in the Shoot-for-a-Cure and Spartan Buddies programs for example. I commend Trevor for not only balancing a tough school schedule with hockey, but also doing so much to help others in our community. Full Article
Michigan State badly needed a win against Ferris State on Saturday night after a tough loss to them the night before. The Spartans played a much more solid game and were able to come out with a big win. They came out faster to start the game in a sold-out Munn Ice Arena. Rowe scored the first goal of the game for MSU, but Ferris State answered with a goal of their own later in the period on the power play. In his first game of the season coming off injury, Jay Sprague scored to put the Spartans ahead 2-1. Ferris tied the game up with a short-handed goal with about three min to go in the second period. Dustin Gazley scored the game-winner in the third period. Palmisano made 25 saves in the victory.
The Spartans have been mixing and matching lines lately to find the right combinations going for forward. Jay Sprague added a physical presence in his first game and scored a big goal. The first lines of Grant-Sucharski-Tropp and Rowe-Leveille-Gazley will probably stay in tact, but it will be interesting to see who will play in the other two lines. The remaining forwards will be put in the lineup based on match-ups and how they are playing. The D pairs have been set for most of the year and there shouldn't be any changes. Michigan Stat can clinch a first round bye in the CCHA playoffs with a single point against Bowling Green next weekend or a Michigan loss or tie against Notre Dame.
Michigan State struggled on Friday night in Big Rapids in a crucial game in the season. The two teams were tied at zeroes after one, but FSU rattled off three goals in the second period to take a commanding lead. Derek Grant was able to tip a Torey Krug shot in the third to get the Spartans on the scoreboard. Michigan State got off to a slow start and they were completely outplayed by the Bulldogs. Drew Palmisano made 25 saves in the loss, facing some tough scoring opportunities by Ferris State. This was a game for the Spartans to forget, but to also remember that they cannot afford to start out a game like that again the rest of the season. The Spartans committed way too turnovers and did not play physical enough.
Michigan State will face Ferris State in a home and home series this weekend. The two teams are tied for second in the CCHA with 43 points. The Spartans are ranked #12 and the Bulldogs are ranked #14. FSU is 12-8-4-3 in the conference and 18-10-4 overall. Senior forward Blair Riley leads the team in goals and points. He has a 17-15-32 line on the season. Defenseman Zach Redmond leads the team with 18 assists. Pat Nagle and Taylor Nelson have split time in net. This series could very well determine both a second place finish and potentially an NCAA berth.
Michigan State has only four games remaining in the regular season. I want to know what people think about who should win the team awards. I have come up with my MVP, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. I will release them once I get some opinions from my readers. There have been quite a few individual accomplishments this year with weekly and monthly CCHA awards. Three of our players are on the Hobey Baker voting list! Although, it has really been a team effort this year and hopefully we can close out the regular season strong with these last four games.
Michigan State is tied for second place in the CCHA standings with Ferris State. Miami clinched the CCHA championship with a win over BGSU on Friday night. The Spartans take on the Bulldogs in a home and home series on Friday and Saturday night. This series will most likely determine who gets second place in the conference because both teams finish out their season with the last place teams in the conference. Nebraska-Omaha sits in fourth place two points back, but they only have two games remaining and Northern Michigan has the fifth spot four points back. Go to CCHA.com for the full standings.
Michigan State won their second straight shootout after tying Alaska 1-1 in regulation and in a five min. overtime session. Jeff Petry scored the lone goal for the Spartans. Corey Tropp was credited with the assist. He and Andrew Rowe scored the two shootout goals. Rowe has become a go-to-guy in the shootout and it seems that Tropp, Rowe, and Chelios are the three shootout players now. Drew Palmisano got his first shootout victory and made 28 saves. The Spartans 12-7-5-2 in the CCHA and 17-10-5 overall. They hold a slim 3 point lead on Ferris State, who will play two games this weekend as MSU has a bye. The following weekend will be a battle for second place with a few teams lurking closely behind.
The Spartans were shutout for the first time this year. After a scoreless first period, the Nanooks rattled the only two goals in the second period. Bobby Jarosz made 22 saves in the loss. MSU was only able to get 16 shots on goal. After a seventeen-hour travel day on Wednesday, the Spartans were obviously still sluggish. More than half of the guys had never made this trip before, so it was a whole new experience for them. I'm not making excuses, but this could be one of the reasons that Michigan State played poorly in the Friday night game.
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that defenseman Torey Krug of Michigan State has been named the CCM CCHA Rookie of the Month for January. This is the second time he has earned the award this season... continue
Michigan State plays two games up in Alaska this weekend. The Nanooks are 10-9-7 overall and 7-9-6 in the conference. They are tied with Michigan for sixth place in the CCHA. Alaska lost and tied with a shootout loss last weekend at Marquette. They are win-less in their last seven games. Their last win came against Nebraska-Omaha on January 8th. Andy Taranto leads the team with 25 points on 9 goals and 16 assists. Dion Knelsen leads the team with 12 goals. The Nanook goaltender Scott Greenham has started all 26 games this year, so the Spartans will undoubtedly see him in net this weekend. The Spartans can put everything they have into these games knowing that they have next weekend off to recuperate before facing the Ferris Bulldogs in a home and home series.
Torey Krug was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week. He had three assists in the split with Michigan this weekend. Krug has 3 goals and 13 assists on the season, which makes him the highest scoring freshman defenseman. He has a chance to be named CCHA Rookie of the Year.