Saturday Box Score
With their season on the line, the Nanooks came away with an impressive 4-1 victory on Saturday night in the 2nd game of the first round CCHA series. The Spartans actually did get more rubber on goal (33 shots compared to 15 in the 2-1 overtime victory), but it didn't translate into more goals.
The glaring stat is the power play. Michigan State went 0 for 9 on Saturday, and this followed an 0 for 3 effort on Saturday. If Michigan State doesn't win this series, they could simply point to the power play, which actually has given up a shorthanded goal. Alaska's power play hasn't been much better, but they finally scored with the extra man last night in the 3rd period. Alaska went 1 for 5 last night and is now only 1 for 10.
Will Yanakeff made 31 saves last night.
Game 3 is tonight at 11:05 pm. If Alaska wins, the Nanooks will advance to play Western Michigan, Michigan (which swept Northern last night) will play at Notre Dame, and the winner of tonight's 3rd game between LSSU and Bowling Green will play at Miami.
If Michigan State can pull off the upset, the Spartans will move on to Miami, the LSSU-BGSU winner will play at Notre Dame, and Michigan will take on Western Michigan. Ferris State is already in place to play Ohio State next weekend.
Friday's loss to Alaska may prove fatal when it comes to the NCAAs. The Nanooks fell from 15th to 19th in the Pairwise with the loss, and even with the victory last night - they remained in 19th (using the RPI as the tiebreaker in both cases). Right now only Miami is safely in the NCAA tournament from the CCHA. Western Michigan is in a tie for 10th and is probably in even with a loss next weekend. Notre Dame looks like it needs to win next weekend, as they sit in a tie for 16th. Ohio State is looking like they need to win the CCHA tournament as they sit in a tie for 27th. Ferris State is in the same situation sitting in 26th.