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Spartan Hockey eliminated from NCAA tournament in first round

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3-1 loss to Union in the first round. Still, after where the hockey program was the past couple years, making the tournament at all is something of a moral victory.

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Do you dream of bathing in an unending wave of college football goodness? Do you ever feel like you just see too much of your girlfriend, the sun or your Jack Russell, Bo?  If so, do we have...

Hockey on TV tonight!

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(Bumped. We'll use this as the hockey open thread for tonight.) Nationally, too, it's on CBS College Sports Network! Click on this link, then in the lower right hand corner, enter your zip code & TV provider to find the local channel. This is a huge game, as we know from Spartan Dan's analysis, as it has a major impact on seeding for the CCHA tournament, and presumabley, the NCAA tourney as well. Puck drops at 835 pm ET, and here's a link to the gametracker from MSU's athletics site.

Hockey Bracketology

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We're the 4 seed (lowest) in the East by the USCHO projection; first-round matchup with Mass-Lowell, with Union and BC in the other half of the region. Big series this weekend with Michigan - at Munn tonight (7:35 ET, BTN), Joe Louis tomorrow (same time, Fox Sports Detroit). They've been on a major roll since the GLI, aided by Jon Merrill's return from a coach-imposed suspension and some great play from Shawn Hunwick in net. Chris Brown, their second-leading scorer, will be out tonight due to picking up a game DQ for fighting last weekend against Miami. Despite being a matchup of the teams at #3 and #7 in the conference standings, we actually have the two best goal differentials in conference play (Michigan +19, MSU +8; Ferris and Western, the conference leaders, are both at +7). A sweep could vault us up as high as second place; a split probably keeps us in the bracket for next week.

Hockey 12th (Edit: 13th) in Pairwise After Sweeping Ohio State

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(Edit: Late-night results moved us down a spot.) Good way to recover from Ferris sweeping us last weekend. Tied for 7th in the CCHA with Lake State, but Ferris is only two games ahead of us in first place. Next up: Michigan (home Friday, Joe Louis on Saturday) - and their game with Miami tonight featured a late brawl that earned Chris Brown a game DQ (automatic one-game suspension, so he'll be out Friday).

Hockey 14th in Pairwise After Win, Shootout Loss vs. Lake Superior State

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The Spartans recovered from that ugly sweep at the hands of Miami to take 9 points out of a possible 12 over the past two weekends (a win and tie each weekend, winning the shootout against Northern Michigan). MSU sits 8th in the CCHA, which is even more of a mess than the Big Ten in basketball: first-place OSU is just six points ahead, and we have two games in hand on them (as well as on Miami, Michigan, and Lake State). 14th in the Pairwise is a key spot: assuming two auto-bids that would not get at-large bids (which is typical), 14th is the last spot in the tournament. Up ahead: a two-week road stretch at Ferris State this weekend, Ohio State next.

Hockey: Miami 2, MSU 1 (OT)

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Link is to the boxscore. The teams traded goals 12 seconds apart in the first period, but Jimmy Mullin won it for Miami just 1:24 into OT. That drops us to 9th in the CCHA, albeit as part of a major logjam - a win would have left us tied for 4th. Edit, 1/7: Miami 4, MSU 0 on Saturday. Outshot 44-20. With the CCHA being as jammed up (outside of the top two and bottom two) as it is, the Spartans will have to break out of this slump in a hurry.

Amo Bessone passes away at 93.

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[Bumped. --LVS.] The "father" of MSU hockey as we know it has passed away in New Mexico. Rest in Peace Coach Bessone. Thanks for the memories and NCAA championship in 1966.
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