Alaska Trip, BGSU This Weekend

The Spartans split on their long trip to Alaska. They lost the opener 4-1, but played fairly well, the score was not indicative of the game. They persevered through some injuries and won the second game 6-2. Palmisano got the win for Michigan State.

The Spartans will host Bowling Green this weekend in the last series of the regular season. A series sweep would be a great confidence boost heading into the CCHA playoffs.


Tough Weekend Against NMU

It was a disappointing weekend for the Spartans. We went into the Northern series thinking about a sweep to move up the conference standings and ended up getting swept. We played great on Friday night, but we ran into a hot goalie. We were better than Northern on the night and they still beat us. The next night every puck it seemed was going into the net for us as we got off to a 4-1 lead. The Wildcats scored a fluke goal off Grant's skate and that really put some pressure on us. They tied it up, we took the lead again, but were unable to hold it. Give credit to Northern for fighting back, but it could have easily gone the other way in terms of wins this weekend.

The team left for Alaska today. There was a long day of traveling and the team will be skating up there at 1 am ET to get rid of the jet lag. It will be two tough games in an Olympic size rink against a team that we have had some success already this year. We must win out our last 4 games to have any hope of getting home ice for the CCHA playoffs.


Split with OSU

Michigan State once again split the weekend with a win on Friday night and a loss Saturday. They played very hard both nights and were rewarded on Friday. Will Yanakeff has played very well in his freshman year. Also, the overall team defense has vastly improved in the second half of the season and we are starting to see Michigan State play up to their capabilities. The Spartans have been playing well as of late, but they haven't seemed to come through with a sweep. They have another chance to do it this weekend against Northern Michigan. They host the Wildcats after they had been on the road the last two weeks. The next weekend they have a tough road trip to Alaska Fairbanks.


Loss to Ferris, Win Over Rival

The Spartan hockey team ended the weekend with another split. This time against two different teams. It was the Ferris State University Bulldogs that got the best of Michigan State on a Thursday night game in Big Rapids. The Spartan icers started slowly, trailing 2-0 before netting a late goal in the third period to make it a 2-1 game. That was all the scoring for MSU in a 2-1 final.

Saturday's crowd at Joe Louis Arena saw arguably Michigan State's best game of the season. They battled a good U of M team and beat them 2-1. Joe Shean scored the go-ahead goal and Will Yanakeff stopped a late penalty shot to secure the victory.

Michigan State will head to Columbus next weekend to take on Ohio State University. Once again, MSU will be looking to move up the CCHA standings with a big weekend. Could they get their first road sweep of the season? They have a tough task at hand, but the Spartans have been arguably the most improved team since the Christmas break. Will Yanakeff must play solid in goal as he has been and it's time for a big game from Derek Grant. Don't be surprised if he puts a couple in the back of the net this weekend!


Weekend Split With Miami

The Michigan State hockey team knew it was in for a tough test this weekend. They came out playing hard on Friday night and went ahead 2-0 fairly early in the game. Drew Palmisano played extremely well as the Spartans were heavily outshot. An empty net goal made the final score 7-4. It was an unexpected route for the Spartans against one of the top teams in the nation. It shows that when MSU can score first, they are usually able to come through with a victory.

On Saturday night, Michigan State did not come out with the same kind of energy. They were once again heavily outshot and there was nothing Palmisano could do on many of the Redhawk goals. Palmy kept the Spartans in the game until the third period. The final was 4-0.

A split is never bad against a caliber team like Miami, but the effort was not good on Saturday. MSU will look to start climbing up the standing this weekend against Ferris State and Michigan. The Spartan icers have played well in the second half of the season and hopefully it continues.


Scouting the Redhawks

The Miami Redhawks are ranked #11/12 in the country with an overall record of 13-8-3. They are third in the CCHA behind Notre Dame and Michigan with a conference record of 10-6-2-1. Carter Camper and Andy Miele lead the team with 39 points and Reilly Smith has the most goals with 16. Cody Reichard has the most wins in goal with 9. Miami is a very explosive team offensively. They have scored 5 or more goals in more than half of their wins. MSU finished second to them last season and the two teams split at Miami.

Win and a Tie for MSU

The Michigan State hockey team knew that this weekend was going to be big. They were looking for the first road sweep in a long time. The Spartans came just short after losing a shootout on Saturday night. MSU played well in both games and they are starting to play much better than they were in previous conference games. On Friday night, Daultan Leveille broke a 0-0 deadlock early in the third period and the Spartans scored three more goals after that. Brett Perlini had two of the Spartans four goals in the game. Will Yanakeff earned his first collegiate shutout. Brock Shelgren and Derek Grant each had goals in Saturday's 2-2 tie. MSU lost the shootout 2-1.

Michigan State has Miami, one of the top teams in the country coming in next weekend. A split in the series would be good and a 4,5, or 6 point weekend could really help them out in the conference standings.


Spartans Split With Wolverines

In front of a sold out crowd at Munn Ice Arena, Michigan State won a thrilling overtime game 4-3 on Friday night. Torey Krug scored MSU's first three goals for his first career hat trick. Daultan Leveille tipped in a Matt Grassi shot in overtime to win it. The Spartans outworked the Wolverines in every period and a controversial goal with about a minute to play was the only reason that the game even went to overtime. The Spartans showed that they are capable of beating any team in the CCHA. Game puck goes to Krug with freshman goalie Willie Yanakeff in a close second. He played extremely well and that victory should further his confidence.

MSU played equally well in the first period on Saturday, but were unable to convert some great scoring opportunities. It was 1-0 Michigan heading into the third period due to a fairly lucky seeing eye shot that went in the goal. Another lucky bounce netted another goal for Michigan in the third period and the Spartans were never able to recover.

I think that the Spartans did exactly what they needed to do to get back on track. They split with a team that will finish in the top three of the CCHA and they played very hard. They will need to continue to play that way heading into Lake Superior State this weekend.


MSU vs Michigan

The Michigan State Spartans will open 2011 with a home and home series against the Michigan Wolverines. The Spartans struggled in 2010, so they look to start the year out on a good note. A sweep could get some real momentum going, but I think a split would be pretty good as well. The first game is at 7:35 pm on Friday at Munn and Saturday's game is a 7:05 start at Yost. The Wolverines are one of the top teams in the CCHA, so the Spartans will have to play their best hockey. The key to the game will be goaltending. MSU needs Drew Palmsiano or Willie Yanakeff to step up and play two big games. Also, MSU needs to limit the turnovers because UM will put their mistakes in the back of the net. The last meeting between the two teams ended in a 5-0 Michigan win and the Wolverines have won the last three contests. Look for Michigan State to come out firing and keep up the tempo throughout the game.

Great Lakes Invitational

The Spartans lost the opening game of the GLI against Colorado College. They battled back from a three-goal deficit, but came up just short 5-4. Story

Michigan State defeated Michigan Tech in the consolation game of the Great Lake Invitational. Kevin Walrod recorded the first two goals of his career. Story


Michigan Wins Big Chill

The Spartans were a part of a record crowd at Michigan Stadium for the event dubbed "The Big Chill." The outcome was not favorable for MSU. The Wolverines won the game 5-0 and secured 3 points in the CCHA. The Spartans battled all game, but just couldn't get very many quality scoring opportunities. They did have a goal waived off in the second period that appeared to go in before the net was off. This would have made the game 2-1 at that point and maybe it would have been a closer outcome if the goal would have counted.
The Spartans will have some time off for the holidays and then will be right back into it with the GLI. They will need to come out firing with a tough schedule looming and not very many home games. Michigan State will possibly see Michigan in the finals of the GLI and then have a home and home series with them on January 7th and 8th. They head to Lake Superior the following weekend and then host Miami the weekend after that.


Scouting the Wolverines

Michigan State has played well defensively the last two games. They will need to get the offense going against a tough Michigan team. The Wolverines are 10-5-4 on the season and split a pair of games with Ohio State last weekend. They lost a heartbreaker in overtime on Friday night. They are currently ranked #12 in both major polls. The Spartans did well last season against Michigan in the regular season, but were ousted by them in the CCHA playoffs. Louie Caprousso and Carl Hagelin lead the team in points with 16. The Big Chill will set a world record and should be an exciting hockey game. I wouldn't be surprised to see a tie game like what happened in 2001.

Big Chill

Spartans Prepare for Big Chill


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.