Posted at 4:00pm -- 1/29/2010
MSU Spartans / Michigan Wolverines Hockey Preview
#20 MICHIGAN (14-11-1, 9-8-1-1) 7th in the CCHA
#12 MSU Spartans (16-8-4, 11-5-4-1) 2nd in the CCHA
Friday 1/29 7:05 pm Munn Ice Arena, East Lansing
Saturday 1/30 7:35 pm Joe Louis Arena, Detroit,Mi.
Television: Friday night: BTN; Saturday night: FSN
In State Rivals Part Deux
Michigan leads the series 137-121-18 according to Spartan records. The record is133-120-18 according to the Wolverines. Michigan lost 3-2 @ Yost and 2-0 at Munn earlier this season. It was the first Spartan sweep of a weekend series since the 1997-98 season.
The Spartans hold court at home with a 60-46-9 all time record, once again depending on whose records you want to believe. MSU is 8-3-4 on their home ice this season, and have lost three of four shootouts. Michigan leads the series at JLA 20-17-5 (12-9-3 in non-GLI or CCHA playoff action), although MSU is 4-3-3 in downtown Detroit since 02-03.
MSU also holds a 4-1-1 mark against top ten ranked opponents, but is 4-3-2 overall against ranked opponents this season.
MSU has come back down to earth since scorching Michigan Tech and RPI in the Great Lakes Invitational tourney during the holidays. Most recently they have been swept in a H&H series with Notre Dame, beaten a much improved LSSU team and then tied/lost a shootout at Munn against the Lakers. Last week, OSU split a series at Munn. This may be a good time to catch the Spartans. MSU does like to play it close, with 20 of the past 28 games this season being settled by 2 goals or less, with 9 of those games decided by 1 goal.
The Spartans vital statistics are very similar to Michigan in many categories. They are tied for 12th in the country with a 3.3 goals per game average. They allow 2.4 goals per game average, good for 11th in the country. Their PK is 24th at 82.8% and their PP is ranked 29th at an 18.5% conversion clip. They also are ranked a respectable 24th in the nation in penalty minutes, averaging 14.7 minutes per game.
Leading The Charge:
Junior forward and Wolverine nemesis Corey Tropp (17-19-36) leads the Spartans (and the nation) in points (36), goals (17) and PP points (17). He is 2nd in assists (19), PPG’s (6) and GWG’s (4).
Freshman Derek Grant (10-17-27) is T4th in points (27) nationally, 13th in goals (10), 5th in assists (17), 2nd in PP points (15) and PPG’s (6). He leads all freshmen in the CCHA in scoring.
Junior Defenseman Jeff Petry is T3rd in CCHA assists (18) and is T2nd in defensemen scoring with 21 points.
Freshman Torey Krug leads the Spartans in PM’s with 53, but is also the CCHA’s top scoring (freshmen) defenseman with a 3-10-13 line which is also 11th overall for blueliners in conference. He also leads MSU with 57 blocked shots.
Not surprisingly, Senior Nick Sucharski (one of the two seniors on the Spartans along with back up goaltender Bobby Jarosz) follows Krug to box with 43 PM’s. Tropp has 34.
Junior Andrew Rowe has also led the Spartan offensive attack, adding 11-10-21 to go with his 26 PM’s. He also has the best +/- rating (+15) on the roster.
The bulk of the netminding has been handled by sophomore Drew Palmisano, (12-7-3) who is 8th nationally in SV% (.927), 12th in GAA (2.17) and is T6th in victories with 12.
Senior Bobby Jarosz is 4-1-1 in limited action, with a 2.55 GAA and a .910 SV%.
Carl Hagelin (12-15-27) still leads the Wolverine offense. Matt Rust (8-14-22) follows, and Louie Caporusso is next at 6-13-19. Freshman Chris Brown has added 9-9-18. Senior Brian Lebler is tied with Rust for 2nd in goals with 8.
Steve Kampfer leads the defensive corps with 1-11-12.
The Wolverines score an average of 3.12 GPG, 22nd in the country. They allow 2.23 GPG, 8th in the country. Their PP is converting at 19.7%, good for 26th. Their PK is now at 88.7%, 5th in the nation. They take on average, 16.5 minutes in penalties per game, 12th worst in the country. Ironically, both Ferris and Miami are ahead of them in that category.
The Wolverines have remained rather healthy this season, with no long term injuries to report. Scooter Vaughn was dinged up two weeks ago, but came back and played a strong series against Ferris.
Goaltender Bryan Hogan (14-10-1) is allowing 2.18 goals on the average, 14th in the nation. He holds a .906 SV%. He is looking to rebound from a rather disappointing effort last Saturday, and looks to return to JLA and perform better than during the GLI.
This week’s keys to the match up:
1. Score the first goal on the road, which takes their crowd out of it. Both teams are very similar in how they defend a lead in a close checking tight rivalry game.
2. Play defensive hockey, first. The tendency is to let emotion take over your discipline, especially against State. No dumb penalties or defensive breakdowns.
3. Hogan has to keep his team in the game.
4. Secondary scoring will be important, since the top line will probably be responsible for keeping Tropp, Rowe and Grant off the scoresheet.
Friday Michigan State 2 Michigan 1
Saturday Michigan 3 Michigan State 2
Written by Yostmeister
Go Blue -- Wear Maize!