Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The recruiting page has been updated :

MSU Recruits

It's going to be a lot of fun to see if the 2014 class, as it gets built, can continue to put points on the score sheet. The most notable thing with the 2012 class is its size. Rhett Holland has managed to tally eight points despite being in the penalty box for over 200 minutes in just 30 games. He stands 6-1, 210 lbs. Picture that next to Torey Krug. Boyd and Gatt, two transfers stand 6-3. So, you will notice quite a bit more size on the team next year.

The 2013 class actually brings more size, including 6-5, 220lbs. Mike McCarron. Justin Bailey stands 6-4 and is 185 lbs, though some people believe he will go the OHL route, I guess time will tell. The 2014 class has some size as well, and of course they all still have time to grow a little bit more before they set foot on campus.

The most recent verbal commitment is Brendon Perlini, the brother of current Spartan Brett Perlini.

2014 commitment Marcel Godbout was named captain of Team USA at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Austria. The team finished in 4th place, losing in the bronze medal game to Canada 7-5. Team USA went 2-4 in the tournament. 

We will continue to update this page as needed. We may even provide a mini-profile for each player in the future. But it's good to see the current coaching staff working hard on the recruiting trail. They are grabbing some top talent.

Afternoon Update....

Another link added - to the MSU Blue Line Club. The MSU Blue Line Club has supported MSU Hockey since 1962. You can find information on their website on how to join, support MSU Hockey, as well as information on luncheons and receptions. The Blue Line Club usually sponsors bus trips during the season as well, to away games, so you don't have to drive yourself. I believe they have one coming up next weekend (read: not this weekend) to the Joe for the annual JLA game with Michigan.

I should mention that this blog is in no way affiliated with Michigan State University or the hockey program, outside of the fact that I am a fan of the program.

Coming up tonight - we will be updating some information on our MSU recruiting link.

Oh Big Ten Network - Where Art Thou?

The links have been updated on the left to include the official MSU hockey website, as well as a link to the Spartan Sports Radio Network. If a game isn't on TV, you can go to that link and listen to the radio broadcast with play by play man Scott Moore and color commentary from Rob Woodward.

All TV games are noted on the schedule on the right hand side. Which brings me to a point, the BTN needs to do a much better job covering college hockey. It's a major sport in the Northern U.S. and certainly in the Midwest. No better indication of this is the future Big 10 conference in 2013. So, why isn't the BTN doing more to cover college hockey?

Currently, there are five Big 10 programs (men's). Those five teams played a total of 18 games against each other:

Michigan State - 10 games (4 vs. UM, 4 vs. OSU, 2 vs. Minnesota)
Michigan - 8 games (4 vs. MSU, 4 vs. OSU)
Ohio State - 8 gamess (4 vs. UM, 4 vs. MSU)
Minnesota - 6 games (4 vs. Wisconsin, 2 vs. MSU)
Wisconsin - 4 games (4 vs. Minnesota)

Of those 18 games only 4 ended up on the BTN. In fact, the total number of games each team played on the BTN isn't really that many:

Minnesota - 4 (vs. Notre Dame, St. Cloud State, Wisconsin, and North Dakota)
Wisconsin - 4 (vs. Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State, and RIT)
Ohio State - 1 (vs. Michigan)
Michigan State - 2 (Both vs. Michigan)
Michigan - 3  (vs. OSU, twice vs. MSU)

So, I suppose the point is why aren't they showing more games between Big 10 teams? Is it simply the Fox Sports Network (FS North & FS Detroit)? It seems like the company should be able to negotiate with itself for those games.

Will the Big 10 consider altering the way the teams play games? Could we see more Sunday afternoon games to get it off of Saturday for potentially more TV coverage on the network? Could there be more weeknight games? Or will they stick to the Friday-Saturday that everyone knows?

I also wonder if they are going to ask teams to play non-conference games early on in the year, then back end the schedule with nothing but conference games to help get it away from football. Right now there are too many meaningful games played in October and early November. It'll be interesting to see.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend In The Books....

The Spartans were unable to come away with any points this weekend in Big Rapids, as Ferris State completed the sweep with a 4-3 win on Saturday night. MSU took an early 1-0 lead, but they were unable to maintain any momentum, as Ferris rolled off three straight goals. You have to give the Spartans credit for coming back to tie the game at 3 before the end of the second period, but credit isn't something coaches and players are looking for when they are scrambling for points.

The weekend put MSU in eighth place in the CCHA standings, but it is still very crowded.

  1. Ferris State  37 points  (8 games left)
  2. Miami   36 points (6 games left)
  3. WMU   36 points (8 games left)
  4. OSU     36 points (6 games left)
  5. LSSU  35 points (6 games left)
  6. Notre Dame  33 points (8 games left)
  7. Michigan 32 points (8 games left)
  8. Michigan State 29 points (8 games left)
  9. Northern  28 points  (8 games left)
  10. Alaska  24 points (6 games left)
  11. BGSU  16 points (8 games left)
So, MSU currently holds the final home ice playoff spot in the first round of the tournament. Since MSU fell to 20th in the Pairwise, the Spartans probably should simply be looking at trying to secure home ice for the first round of the playoffs. The good news for State is they can control their own destiny by moving up the standings since they still have series remaining with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Alaska. Notre Dame and Michigan right now might not be the best match-ups, but the Buckeyes are struggling (0-4-4 in their last 8), Alaska hasn't done well in the lower 48 this season, Michigan is a rivalry series so anything is possible, and the Irish don't appear to be the typical Jeff Jackson type team right now - though that series is at the end of the year, in South Bend, and who knows what both teams will be playing  for by then.

The biggest disappointment this weekend has to be the special teams. The power play did finally get a goal, but it was only the one goal on Friday night. Over the entire weekend, the Spartans gave up three power play goals, and this was after it has been pointed out the PK has been a strength of the  team this year. The Spartans might not have the most talent, but usually their work ethic is among the best in the CCHA, so they don't really have much room for error, and Ferris State took advantage of it. Maybe the struggling Buckeyes will provide what the Spartans need. Columbus isn't the toughest road venue in the CCHA, as they play at the large Value City Arena that typically only brings in 5,000-6,000 fans in a 17,500 seat arena. MSU might draw a few more people in the seats, but let's face it - it isn't football, so the Buckeye fans don't exactly make it a top priority.

Still, MSU needs to continue to come to these games with a lunch pail attitude. I thought Yanakeff played better this weekend than Palmisano, so it'll be interesting to see who Coach Anastos goes with after this week of practice.

For those that follow the NCAA projections, it has been posted on Spartanmag on the Munn board. There is a link to The Mag over on the left. We will try to bring a recruiting update as well.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ferris State edges MSU 2-1

The Spartans rolled into Big Rapids for their first true road game since a December 9th contest at Yost Ice Arena, and the Spartans came out with a little bit of jump and showed no signs of being afraid of being on the road. State battled hard in the defensive opening frame. MSU didn't find much in front of the Bulldogs net mustering only 7 shots on goal. In the second period, State got going late in the period as they tallied their first power play goal of 2012 to take a 1-0 lead. It was a strange play as it took 5-10 minutes for the officials to review it, but the officials overturned the on-ice call of 'no goal' to give the Spartans the lead. Matt Berry charged the net with the puck and flipped it past Taylor Nelson. Berry then crashed over Nelson which caused the official to waive the goal off on the ice. Tim Buttery and Will Yanakeff were credited with assists.

The lead didn't last long though as the Spartans took a late penalty and once again gave up a last minute goal when the Bulldogs tied it with under 18 seconds to go in the period on the power play. That was the first power play goal given up by the Spartans in four games. What might be more amazing is that it was the first 5 on 4 goal given up by MSU since November 26, 2011 - a 4-4 tie against Minnesota. Since that time the State PK has done the following:

vs. Bowling Green 7 for 7
vs. Michigan 3 for 3
GLI vs. Tech 3 for 4 (a 5 on 3 PPG allowed)
GLI vs. Michigan 3 for 4 (a 6 on 4 PPG allowed)
vs. Miami 7 for 8 (a 5 on 3 PPG allowed)
vs. Northern Michigan 7 for 7
vs. LSSU 3 for 3

In the third period, Ferris State seemed to control the play a little bit more, and T.J. Schlueter tallied a beautiful goal skating between four Spartan players to beat Yanakeff with 6:40 to go in the game. That goal proved to be the difference maker as MSU struggled to get the puck back in the offensive zone over the final minute with Yanakeff pulled. Ferris State out-shot MSU 30-25.

I don't think it surprises anyone that this was a tight game. Ferris State is the best defensive team in the CCHA right now. Coach Anastos didn't sound pleased after the game with the effort stating that the Spartans needed to do a better job getting to the net. He didn't think the effort was there from everyone, so it'll be interesting to see how the team responds tomorrow night.

Scores Around the CCHA:

Western Michigan 4 Bowling Green 1 (at Western)
Northern Michigan 2 Miami 1 (at Miami)
LSSU 1 Ohio State 0 (at LSSU)
Notre Dame at Alaska (Inc.)

Western Michigan moves into first place in the CCHA with 36 points. Ohio State is 1 point behind, and Western still has two games on hand. I'd say the Broncos are in a pretty nice position right now. Ferris State moved into 3rd place just two points behind the Broncos. LSSU ties Miami for 4th place at 33 points, Idle Michigan falls to 6th place with 32 points. Michigan State remains in 8th place regardless of the outcome of the ND-Alaska game. MSU will need to earn some points tomorrow night to keep pace with the cluster in front. The good news, I suppose, is 8th place is the final home ice spot for the first round of the playoffs.

MSU fell to 19th in the Pairwise (at the moment), which would put them on the outside of the NCAA tournament.


Welcome to The Munn Minute. I'm still not sure I like that name, but we'll go for it for now. This blog is going to help communicate and foster a discussion on everything MSU Hockey related. I hope to pass along updates on the season, recruiting, etc... from the view point of a Spartan Fan.

Many of you may know me from Spartanmag.com, so I hope this helps the process of bringing more MSU fans to the hockey program.

Please excuse my dust as the formatting of this takes place over this weekend. I know it looks odd now, but I'm hoping to clean it up soon. In the meantime, Go Green!