Saturday, February 18, 2012

Palmisano, Spartans Shut Down Nanooks

I'm not sure Drew Palmisano could have scripted a better senior night.

In front of over 6,900 Spartan fans, the senior goalie stopped all 27 shots he faced for his sixth career shutout leading Michigan State to a 3-0 victory and weekend sweep over the Nanooks.

Alaska started up with a lot of jump early on carrying the play over the first ten minutes of the game. MSU finally got some pressure in front of the net, and Dean Chelios buried a loose puck in front of the Nanooks goal in a gritty effort. Alaska out-shot State 10-9 in the opening period.

The second period saw the Nanooks carry the play early on, but Palmisano shut the door. Failing to get much offense going, MSU slowly started to get more pressure as the period progressed. It wasn't until Torey Krug though ripped a shot on goal - that was deflected by Tanner Sorenson with just over four minutes to play in the period that gave MSU a 2-0 lead. The goal was reviewed briefly, but it stood. Then just over two minutes later, Lee Reimer scored a power play goal to really put the game out of reach. MSU ended up out-shooting the Nanooks 12-10 in the middle frame.

In the final period, MSU out-shot Alaska 12-7, but neither team could get the puck behind either goaltender. Much like Friday night, State carried the play in the final period, getting a couple close chances - including a 5 on 3 power play, but Greenham kept the game from really getting out of hand. Drew Palmisano did the same earning the first start of the night.

Hopefully we'll be able to get some videos up of some of the action, pre-game, and post-game.

You got called for what?

On a lighter note, it was an unusual penalty call night for the officials.

Nolan Youngmun might have gotten the penalty of the year called on him last night. After taking a shot on goal, he crashed the net - like any good hockey player is taught to do. The problem was Palmisano had it covered and the whistle had long since went. Youngmun, stopped short giving Palmisano a nice little snow bath - again just like any hockey player you've seen do.

Official Rodney Tocco thought his actions went above and beyond a normal hockey play, and tagged Youngmun with a 2-minute minor. The penalty was announced as 2 minutes for "spraying the goalie - unsportsmanlike conduct".

I feel dirty now.

It was followed up by perhaps on honorable mention penalty call on Alaska's Chad Gehon. Gehon got called for clipping (similar to the football move - typically called when a player trys to hip check and gets too low - close to the knees). Michigan State took the 15 yards and an automatic first down.

The clipping hit in hockey is actually a very dangerous hit, one that at the professional level can be reviewed for further punishment. A good example of it is below:

 Around The CCHA

Ferris State beat Bowling Green to clinch a share of the CCHA title. They will just need to earn one point next weekend against Western (or have Michigan drop just 1 point against Bowling Green) to earn the outright title and number one seed in the CCHA tournament. Michigan beat Northern to pass Western for second place in the conference. LSSU beat Western, and Miami sent Notre Dame packing with their fifth straight defeat. 

So, with one weekend to go the CCHA standings look like this:

1. Ferris State  53 pts  
2. Michigan     47 pts
3. Western        45 pts
4. Mich. St.      44 pts
5. Miami          42 pts
6. LSSU           41 pts
7. OSU             39 pts
8. N.D.             36 pts
9. Northern      36 pts
10. Alaska       30 pts
11. BGSU        19 pts

What we do know - Alaska will finish in 10th place, and Bowling Green will finish in 11th place. We also know that Miami AND Ohio State cannot both finish ahead of MSU - one could, but not both (they play each other). Notre Dame, Northern, Alaska, and Bowling Green cannot finish higher than MSU either. This means Michigan State cannot finish worse than sixth place.

That does NOT mean MSU is guaranteed a home series though. If Michigan State finishes in 5th place, they will get a first round bye, but they will play at the 4th place team.  

MSU moved up to 10th in the Pairwise rankings. The NCAA projection will come tomorrow - along with hopefully some videos. 

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