Saturday, January 7, 2012

Icers swept by Red Hawks

Coming off shaky performances in the Great Lake Invitational, the MSU hockey team's struggles continued with a home sweep at the hands of Miami (Ohio).

The Spartans lost 2-1 in overtime Friday and 4-0 on Saturday. 

The biggest culprit on the weekend was the powerplay, which went 0-for-13 over two games. 

On Friday, the two regulation goals were scored 12 seconds apart late in the first period. MSU outshot Miami 34-23 in regulation, but was outshot 4-0 in overtime and the Red Hawks won the game 1:24 into overtime. MSU went 0-for-5 in the powerplay on the night. A win would have moved MSU into a tie for fourth place in the CCHA, but the loss put them in ninth.

Saturday's game was a physical affair, with a total of 20 penalties on the night. Will Yanakeff got the nod in goal and didn't get much help, facing 44 shots. MSU put just 20 on goal.

MSU went 0-for-4 on the powerplay in both the first and third periods. MSU trailed just 1-0 entering the final frame, but was outshot 20-5, similar to the final period of the GLI. With all the powerplay opportunities and goals against, you can't call the third period anything less than a disaster, really.

Coming off a heartbreaking finish to the GLI, the Spartans were hoping to get the momentum back with a six-game homestand. This was the worst possible start. MSU was saved by its goaltending in the GLI, and now they still can't find the back of the net.

Next up are two home games against Northern Michigan, where MSU will look to pick up some ground. They still have two games in hand on most everyone in the conference, but need to get the points in these home games.

This three-game losing streak is the longest of the season for Anastos' bunch. We'll see how the Spartans respond.

Injury update:

According to The State News, Matt Grassi is out indefinitely with a concussion suffered Friday night, and Mike Merrifield should be cleared to practice next week.

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