>Spartans Roll Into Oxford
>Note: The faceoff times are bit different this weekend to accommodate both games being broadcast on CBS College Sports. The Friday night drop is at 8:05pm, while Saturday’s game will begin at 5:05pm.
From the game notes:
Michigan State comes into the weekend with a record of 6-13-3 on the season and a 3-9-2-2 in the CCHA standings. The Spartans’ 10 points rank 11th in the conference. Matt Schepke leads the Spartans in points with 13 and in goals with 10. Tim Crowder leads the team in assists with nine. Michigan State has split its last four matchups, finishing second to Michigan (5-1) in Great Lakes Invitational after defeating North Dakota in the opening round (2-1). The Spartans opened 2009 with a split against Alaska in East Lansing and did not play a week ago. Michigan State started the season 4-2-1 but then the Green and White went on an 11-game winless streak.
Miami holds an all-time record of 24-65-5 against Michigan State and a mark of 10-27-3 against the Spartans in Oxford. However, in the past few match-ups, things have switched in favor the RedHawks. Miami has won the last four meetings and five of the last six. Michigan State’s last win over the RedHawks came on Jan. 6, 2007 in Oxford (4-1).
Other Notes of Interest:
– Knapp and Reichard only allowed one goal apiece against Michigan State the first time around
– Brandon Smith recorded his first career goal earlier this season against Michigan State. Smith pushed a rebound from the wing back to the center of the ice that hit Michigan State goalie Jeff Lerg and went in the net. The goal proved to be the game-winner.
– Justin Mercier missed his first game since the NCAA tournament in 2007, last week against Michigan. Mercier had played in 63 consecutive games.
– Miami swept Michigan State earlier this season in Munn Ice Arena. The RedHawks were led by Mercier and Andy Miele who both had three-point weekends. Miele posted a goal and two assists and Mercier recorded two goals and one assist.
– Head Coach Enrico Blasi will go for his 200th-career victory this weekend against Michigan State. Blasi is the all-time wins leader at Miami and has the best winning percentage in school history.
– Paula C. Weston over at USCHO predicts a RedHawk sweep:
Here’s the series to watch. The Spartans are coming off a bye week after beating North Dakota in their first game of the GLI (Dec. 27) and splitting with Alaska at home two weeks ago. The RedHawks have begun calendar year 2009 with four straight losses. The teams met in November of this season in East Lansing, with Miami winning both games and the RedHawks swept a pair in Munn in a year before that. The Spartans split the last time they played in Oxford (Jan. 5-6, 2007). Miami 3-2, 2-1