Friday, February 8, 2013
Know Thy...... (sigh).... Time To Start Calling Sweeps
Michigan State enters this weekend looking for positive momentum to finish the season and perhaps to earn a few points along the way. The Spartans are 7-18-3 overall and 5-14-1 in the CCHA. Michigan State sits four points behind Northern Michigan, and nine points behind Michigan and Bowling Green. This means the Spartans do have a chance to earn home ice advantage still for the first round of the CCHA playoffs. This weekend becomes a must-win for MSU.
Bowling Green comes in with a 10-13-5 overall and a 7-10-3-1 league mark. Bowling Green has been playing better lately going 7-3-1 in their last 11 games. This include sweeping LSSU last weekend 4-1 and 7-3.
The two teams split earlier in the year with each winning on the road. Bowling Green won 1-0 in East Lansing and MSU returned the favor in Bowling Green with a 6-1 victory.
Has it been a tough season? Yes. But there is still a chance to do something, and it doesn't matter if you think that chance is remote, it is still a chance. It's a chance to show up and play the game - and let the pucks fall where they may. It's been getting tougher to write anything here, since it's pretty much the same old thing. But in the end there is a group of kids willing to lay their hearts on the line for a program, and that's reason enough to keep going. You never know what could happen.
Both games this weekend are at 7:05 pm. Friday can be heard on 1240 AM and Saturday on 730 AM. There is no TV for this series.
End of an Era?
MSU holds a 72-31-8 edge in the all-time series - including a 40-10-3 mark in East Lansing and a 25-18-5 record in Bowling Green. But what this weekend may symbolize is an end of an era. Michigan State and Bowling Green became big rivals in the 80s when MSU became a force in the CCHA. Although the rivalry hasn't been as heated recently, it's series like this that are going to make fans miss the CCHA.
MSU has scored one goal or less twelve times this season. MSU is 7-0-1 when scoring 3 or more and 0-18-2 when scoring 2 or fewer. MSU has only won twice this season on Friday night - both were non-conference wins (Niagara, Penn State).
Ryan Carpenter 11 goals, 24 points
Dajon Mingo 8 goals, 19 points
Dan DeSalvo 3 goals, 17 points
Robert Shea 3 goals, 16 points
Mike Sullivan 1 goal, 15 points
Mark Cooper 9 goals, 14 points
Adam Berkle 4 goals, 14 points
Andrew Hammond 8-10-3, 2.52 GAA, .917 save %
Tommy Burke 2-3-2, 2.23 GAA, .905 save %
Andrew Hammond (senior) is turning into one of those guys that I swear has been at Bowling Green for 5-6 years now.
BGSU has done well on the road this season - winning in East Lansing and Ann Arbor. They are 5-6-3 away from home and 5-7-2 at home. Bowling Green has had strong 3rd periods this year outscoring teams 27-19 in the final period. In the first and second periods, BGSU has been outscored 50-41.
We can talk about how MSU's offense ranks 54th nationally. We can talk about how Michigan State has yet to win two straight games this year. We can talk about how MSU is in last place..... But you know what? Screw it. It's time to take the 'Us against the world' attitude. Let's call for the Spartans to sweep - it's bound to happen sometime again (edit: It might take till next season). I Believe.