Spartans Tie, Beat UAH

The Spartans should be a little disappointed that they let a late lead slip away on Friday night, but they rebounded on Saturday to get the win and remain unbeaten. MSU was up 4 to 1 late in the third period, but UAH came charging back and scored their fourth in the final minute to tie up the game. The overtime session did not see much scoring chances and there are no shootouts played in non-conference games. On Saturday night the Spartans had to kill off almost a 4 min penalty to secure the win. It was a tough, emotional game and they were able to persevere.

Daultan Leveille and Brett Perlini scored their third goals of the season on Friday night. Perlini added his fourth the next game. The big story is all the goals scored by defensemen this season. Jake Chelios got one goal on Friday and Grassi netted one Saturday. So far it is Perlini and Leveille leading the way offensively, but look for Derek Grant to get back in the mix like he did last season. The consensus is that the Spartans have to cut back on the penalties and turnovers if they want to continue to stay undefeated.


Palmisano Gets CCHA Honor

Drew Palmisano earned CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors for his performance in the Alaska series, as announced by the CCHA office on Monday, Oct. 25. Palmisano earns the honor for the second time in his career and the first time this season... Full Article

Spartans Keep Rolling

Michigan State tied and beat #9 Alaska Fairbanks this weekend. MSU only allowed one 5 on 5 goal all weekend. They are unbeaten against two top ten teams this season and have 4 points already in the CCHA. It was important for State to get off on the right foot to start CCHA play. Drew Palmisano had a great weekend in goal and our special teams was particularly good. I would say that Friday was kind of a sloppy game by both teams, but we were able to fight back and get the tie. The Spartans fell in a shootout on Friday night with a controversial call disallowing Dean Chelios' goal.The Spartans will have it a little easier this weekend against Alabama-Huntsville, but we can't take a tourney team from last year lightly. MSU is currently ranked #11/#14. They are playing as good if not better than any team in the CCHA.


Scouting the Nanooks

#16 Michigan State will take on a tough #9 Alaska team this weekend in their first CCHA series. Alaska already has two wins against ranked opponents by beating Union and Colorado College. The games should be more physical than in the Maine series. Alaska has a lot of size and experience this year. They are led in points by senior forward Kevin Petovello and junior defenseman Joe Sova with 4 points apiece. Junior Scott Greenham is the starting goaltender and has a 1.75 GAA.


Shelgren- CCHA Defenseman of the Week

Michigan State junior defenseman Brock Shelgren (Chicago, Ill. ) has been named the CCHA Defenseman of the Week, announced by the League office on Monday, Oct. 18. It is the first CCHA weekly honor in his career... Full Article


Spartans Take 3 Points from Maine

Michigan State came back from a two-goal deficit twice on Thursday night to get a tie in their first regular season game. On Friday night, MSU scored a goal in the first and second period to take a 2-0 lead. In the third period, a five on three power play for Maine cost the Spartans two goals in 10 seconds, but Dustin Gazley's goal with around 7 min remaining proved to be the game-winner. Gazley, Leveille, Perlini, and Merrifield scored for the Spartans on Thursday. Friday's goals were by Gazley, Perlini, and Shelgren. Trevor Nill had great passes to assist on the Merrifield and Shelgren goals.

Overall, the Spartans must be happy with the weekend result. They showed a tremendous amount of fortitude to fight back from a two goal deficit on Thursday night and they kept working hard in the third period after Maine took all of the momentum on Friday night. Michigan State showed that they will be a solid team like last season. There are still some questions defensively, but the seven goals in the series shows that there is plenty of offensive firepower. Perlini continues to look like he did during the second half of last year. The line of Grant-Leveille-Gazley is very speedy and I expect them to stay together. The power play was pretty good all weekend. The penalty kill was shaky on Thursday, but good on Friday. Hayes and Forfar look like the go-to guys on the kill. Palmisano had a solid weekend. I'm sure he would have liked to play better on Thursday, but he made some crucial saves the next night. It was very important for MSU to start their season off on the right foot and that is just what they did.


Scouting the Black Bears

The Spartans will host the Maine Black Bears this weekend to open the regular season. Maine is ranked #6/8 in the country so this weekend will be a big test. The Black Bears defeated UMASS Lowell 8-2 and tied UConn 3-3. Maine is led by Gustav Nyquist, who led the country in scoring last year and Joey Diamon, who leads the team in scoring this year. Maine has seven newcomers and the core of their lineup back from last year. Shawn Sirman will likely be in net this weekend. The Black Bears were projected to finish second in a tough Hockey East conference. Michigan State and Maine split last year's series in Orono.


Western Ontario 5 Michigan State 3

First of all, it was not a very well played hockey game by Michigan State. The good news is that this game does not count towards their overall record and it should motivate the Spartans knowing full well that they will face a big test this weekend in Maine. They cannot afford to turn the puck over and make such costly mistakes. Western Ontario was a team that did beat Lake St. and played tough against Michigan, but MSU would have liked to play much better. There were many bright spots in the game, though. The Spartans were getting some quality scoring opportunities on their way to outshooting Western Ontario 2:1. Daultan Leveille had two tremendous goals, using his speed to his advantage. The line of Leveille-Grant-Gazley looks like a solid first line, but Coach may decide to change the lines up for this weekend. There will be some forward positions up for grabs this week during practice. There looks to be 7 guys competing for 6 defensive positions, so it will depend on how quickly Grassi comes back from injury. I was most impressed with the first power play line of Grant, Wolfe, and Chelios. Wolfe and Chelios are hard workers down low and they looked to set up Grant or the D men.

For a full press release and stats from the game, please visit msuspartans.com.


Game vs. Western Ontario

The Spartans will host Western Ontario in an exhibition game on Friday at 7 pm. Michigan State was victorious in last year's game between the two teams. I'm looking forward to seeing how the new freshman will fit into the system and who will emerge as the top scoring threat. The Spartans have some big shoes to fill in Petry's departure from the blue line and both Tropp and Rowe's offense. I think Jake Chelios, Greg Wolfe, and Lee Reimer will get significant playing time as freshman. Chelios will likely battle to fit in as the 6th defenseman. I assume the D pairing of Grassi and Josepher will stay together, but I have no idea how the rest of the pairs will turn out. This should be a breakout year for Daultan Leveille and Derek Grant should have another good scoring campaign. The lines will likely be mixed and matched for the first couple of weeks, but expect to see the combo of Hayes-Forfar-Walrod as one of the top lines on Friday. Palmisano is one of the best goaltenders in the conference and has a very capable backup in Yanakeff.


Green Wins 3 to 1

The Green team beat White 3-1 in the intrasquad scrimmage today. Grant, Gazley, and Boyd scored for the Green. Dean Chelios had the lone goal for the White.


Preseason CCHA polls

The 2010-11 CCHA Pre-Season poll was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 29, and Michigan State was picked fourth by the conference coaches and third by the league's media... Full Article

I think a third or fourth place finish in the CCHA would be solid for the Spartans, especially after the early departures of Petry, Tropp, and Rowe. I think the Spartans will battle to gain the top spot, but Miami and Michigan will just be too strong to overcome. Michigan State surprised many with their second place finish last year, so anything can happen. Here are my rankings:
1. Michigan
2. Miami
3. Michigan State
4. Notre Dame
5. Alaska
6. Ferris State
7. Northern Michigan
8. Ohio State
9. Western Michigan
10. Lake Superior
11. Bowling Green

Krug All-CCHA

Michigan State sophomore captain Torey Krug has been named to the CCHA Preseason All-Conference Team, as announced today by the CCHA office... Full Article