Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spartans Split Series at Lake Superior

As a young squad goes on the road this season, any points they pick up could be seen as a positive. The CCHA expects to be a very competitive league, so road points won't be easy to come by this year. The Spartans managed to earn three of six possible points this weekend by splitting the series with LSSU.

Friday Night

Special teams ruled the night as three of the five goals scored were with the extra attacker. LSSU jumped out to a 2-0 second period lead on goals by Ben Power and Nick McParland just 3:39 apart. Tanner Sorenson brought MSU back to within 1 with a power play tally late in the second period. However, LSSU scored just as the period was about to end to take a two goal lead into the final period.

Sorenson's goal was pretty big considering it was the first goal Michigan State has scored this season before the third period. The final frame continued to be a bright spot for MSU, as the Spartans played hard and Anthony Hayes brought Michigan State back to within one with 4:26 remaining in regulation, but LSSU managed to hang on for the 3-2 victory.

LSSU out-shot Michigan State 29-24 for the game. The Lakers went 2-4 on the power play, and MSU went 1-5. Yanakeff made 26 saves in a losing effort.

Saturday Night

Michigan State had never lost four straight games at the Soo, and the Spartans were trying to avoid this by picking up the win on Saturday. John Draeger got the game going with a power play marker in the first period to put Michigan State up 1-0. This was the first goal MSU has scored in the opening period this season. Tanner Sorenson made it 2-0 on the power play in the second period. Chris Ciotti pulled the Lakers to within 1 with a late 2nd period goal. However, Michigan State controlled the play in the final period as Matt Berry and Anthony Hayes put Michigan State up 4-1. The Lakers added an extra attacker goal late in the final period to make the final 4-2 MSU. Jake Hildebrand earned his first collegiate victory making 28 saves in his first career start.

The Spartans power play was clicking going 3-6 on the night to wrap up a pretty good 4-11 weekend. LSSU was 0-4 with the extra man.

The Spartans have a home & home with Bowling Green next weekend. LSSU vists Alaska.

Final Thoughts: The Spartans are going to need to get every point they can. They almost pulled off a comeback on Friday to potentially steal a point away from the Lakers. However, they regrouped and came back the next night to win and get the split.  The schedule is going to get a little tougher. A home and home against Bowling Green is followed up by another one with Michigan and a road trip to Miami.

Around the CCHA
Miami at Michigan: The Wolverines won 4-2 on Friday, before Miami comeback to earn the split with a 4-3 win on Saturday.

Notre Dame at Northern: The lone clean sweep of the weekend saw the Irish go up north and defeat Northern Michigan 5-2, 3-2.

Alaska at Ferris State: The Nanooks managed to earn a split with a 3-2 win on Saturday. The Bulldogs dominated Friday night in a 6-3 victory.

Ohio State at BGSU: The Buckeyes earned four out of a possible six points shutting out Bowling Green 1-0 on Friday before dropping a shoot-out on Saturday.  

CCHA Standings:

GP W L T SOW Points Total Points Possible
Notre Dame 2 2 0 0 0 6 168
Ohio State 2 1 1 1 0 4 166
Alaska 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Ferris State 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Lake Superior State 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Miami 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Michigan 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Michigan State 2 1 1 0 0 3 165
Bowling Green 2 0 1 1 1 2 164
Western Michigan 0 0 0 0 0 0 168
Northern Michigan 2 0 2 0 0 0 162

Games Next Weekend:


Miami at Ferris State
Bowling Green at Michigan State  (Comcast)
Western Michigan at Notre Dame
Michigan at Northern Michigan
LSSU at Alaska


Michigan State at Bowling Green
Miami at Ferris State
Michigan at Northern Michigan
LSSU at Alaska


Western Michigan at Notre Dame

CCHA Power Rankings

1. Notre Dame (5-1-0, LW: 2). The Irish rise back to the top after sweeping a road series at Northern.

2. Miami (4-1-1, LW: 1). Miami falls from ranks of the unbeaten teams, but they earn a big road split in Ann Arbor.

3. Western Michigan (3-1-0, LW: 3). The Broncos have a big road series coming up.

4. Michigan (3-2-0, LW: 4). The Wolverines are looking to put together back to back nights in the same weekend, but a road trip to Marquette won't be easy.

5. Alaska (3-2-1, LW: 6). The Nanooks earned a split in the lower 48, and now they return how where they are difficult to beat.

6. Ferris State (2-2-2, LW: 7). If Ferris State wants to be a player in the top half of the league, this weekend coming up will go a long ways to showing they can do it.

7. LSSU (3-3-0, LW: 8). The Lakers make the long trek west.

8. Michigan State (2-3-1, LW: 9). The Spartans earn a road split in a tough league.

9. Northern Michigan (3-3-0, LW: 5). Getting swept at home never is a good thing.

10. Ohio State (2-2-2, LW: 10).  .500 seems to be a running theme in the CCHA.

11. Bowling Green (1-4-2, LW: 11). Not a terrible weekend getting two points, but losing more points than winning at home won't help in what is going to be a tight conference race.

Big Ten Power Rankings

1. Minnesota (3-1-0, LW: 1). The Gophers play a non-conference game against Canisius today, but a tie against the USA Development team certainly is going to raise an eyebrow.

2. Michigan (3-2-0, LW: 2). Michigan earned a tough split against a good Miami team.

3. Penn State (4-2-0, LW: 5). Some people might say they haven't beaten anyone, but they have won three straight which constitutes being on a roll right now. Plus, they now have the second highest winning percentage among Big 10 teams.

4. Michigan State (2-3-1, LW: 3). The Spartans look to get on a roll of their own next weekend.

5. Wisconsin (1-2-1, LW: 4). The Badgers won and tied at UMD.

6. Ohio State (2-2-2, LW: 6). The Buckeyes went unbeaten this weekend, and now have a weekend off before back to back home series - could a winning streak be coming?

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