It's a new season, and starting the year off with double digit freshmen, you can probably expect a lot of highs and lows this season. The good news for Spartan fans is that they have nowhere to go but up right now. The Spartans were blitzed at Minnesota this weekend losing 5-1 and 7-1. On Friday, Michigan State looked like they got stronger as the game went along, despite what the score might tell you. Saturday was a different story though as Minnesota kept pouring it on. The Gophers jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Friday, and they managed to top themselves with a 4-0 opening period the second night. The second didn't start out much better for MSU as the Gophers tallied the 5th goal of the night just 30 seconds into the period. Brent Darnell broke up the shutout early on in the third period, but MSU was simply out classed in this one. Will Yanakeff had 18 saves (6 GA) in two periods of play. Jake Hildebrand saw his first action of his college career playing the final frame giving up 1 goal on 9 shots.
Michigan State returns home next weekend to take on Niagara in another non-conference series. Right now MSU has a lot to work on, so it will be interesting to see the level of improvement from week to week.
Around the CCHA
Only three CCHA teams got through the weekend undefeated. Miami swept Colgate (3-0, 5-1), Northern Michigan swept Wisconsin (2-1, 4-2), and Notre Dame beat Maine (1-0) and UNO (3-2) at the Icebreaker tournament.
Alaska, BGSU, and Ferris State went winless this weekend. Alaska lost to Canisius (3-1), and tied Air Force (3-3). BGSU was swept by Union (5-3, 4-1), and Ferris State lost and tied at Rensselaer (3-1, 2-2).
LSSU, Michigan, Ohio State, and Western Michigan all split. LSSU beat Michigan Tech at home 4-2, but lost at Tech 8-4. Michigan split a home series with RIT losing the opener in OT (5-4) before winning the next night 7-2. Ohio State split at UMD losing 6-2 the first night and winning 3-2 the second night. Western lost the opener at home against St. Lawrence in OT (4-3), but won 3-2 the next night.
CCHA Power Rankings:
1. Notre Dame (2-0-0, LW: 3). The two teams in front losing moves them up, but the Irish played well this weekend. A Thursday-Friday home series against UMD awaits the Irish this upcoming weekend.
2. Miami (2-0-0, LW: 5). A good home series to start off the season in Oxford, and Miami looks to continue the home dominance with a series against Providence coming up.
3. Western Michigan (1-1-0, LW: 1). A little surprised the Broncos lost at home to St. Lawrence. They'll get another chance to win a pair as Canisius comes back to the lower 48.
4. Michigan (1-1-0, LW: 2). It wasn't a good start at Yost, but Michigan's offense really overwhelmed RIT the next night. Michigan hosts Bentley in a single game on Friday.
5. Northern Michigan (2-0-0, LW: 7). A good series against Wisconsin at home, but let's see if Northern can do it on the road as they go to UNO this week.
6. Ferris State (0-1-1, LW: 6). Not the greatest weekend for the Bulldogs as many question marks remain.. They host Mercyhurst this week.
7. LSSU (1-1-0, LW: 8). A split against Michigan Tech is no longer considered a bad weekend. They move on to Bemidji State this week.
8. Ohio State (1-1-0, LW: 9) The Buckeyes won a game at UMD, which could come in handy come March. They continue on the road this week at Quinnipiac.
9. Alaska (0-1-1, LW: 10) Although they didn't win, they showed some positive signs against Air Force. They get Merrimack & North Dakota at home this week.
10. Michigan State (0-2-0, LW: 4). A tough start in year two for Coach Anastos', but there is still a lot of season left to be played. MSU hosts Niagara this week.
11. Bowling Green (0-2-1, LW: 11). It's looking like another long year in Bowling Green. Let's see if a road series at Colgate could fix things.
Big Ten Power Rankings
1. Minnesota (2-0-0, LW: 1). The NCAA has been put on notice.
2. Michigan (1-1-0, LW: 2). Can't move Michigan down because of what happened behind them.
3. Ohio State (1-1-0, LW: 5). The Buckeyes won a road game.
4. Wisconsin (0-2-0, LW: 4). Losing a pair at Northern isn't the worst thing in the world.
5. Michigan State (0-2-0, LW: 3). They did lose to the #1 team in the country.
6. Penn State (1-1-0, LW: 6). They did win - and congrats on that victory, but they lost & won in OT to a team that went 8-26-3 last year, 8-24-1 the year before, 8-24-1 the year before that (see a pattern?).