Well, I'll keep this recap short for a couple of reasons. First, neither of these games were on TV, so I didn't have a chance to see the games played, hard to give an opinion on something I didn't see. Second, football beat Michigan AND their coach apologized for how his team behaved. I went through a whole season last year being Debbie Downer and I refuse to do that this week.
Friday Night: #12 Boston University 1 Michigan State 0
Well there goes any optimism about this offense being consistently improved, especially against good competition. After scoring 8 goals against UMass, the Spartans were shut-out in Boston by a junior goaltender who had zero shutouts in 42 career games. So since I know my friends here at TOC are into the advanced stats, I have decided to slowly introduce you guys to some hockey stats this season. It can be helpful when not able to watch games on TV but there is not a lot of info out there for college hockey unfortunately.
After a first period Corsi of just 29.55%, the Spartans used a strong third period to finish the game with 44.93%. Corsi is a possession statistic that takes, shots on goal+ missed shots+ blocked shots. It is widely used in hockey analytics as a baseline statistic and shows who is possessing the puck, more than simply shots that reach the net. Boston was all over the Spartans through the first and second period, with 31 shot attempts alone in the first (14 shots on goal). The Terriers scored the lone goal 29 seconds into the second period and survived 14 MSU shots on net in the third to secure the win.
Saturday Night: #7 UMass Lowell 2 Michigan State 1
By all accounts, save for a slow first period the Spartans deserved a much better result Saturday. Lowell came out on fire after being shredded by Michigan 8-4 the night before. The Spartans took four first period penalties and Lowell cashed in once on the power play, with a goal from Dylan Zink. The Spartans were dominant in the second period outshooting the Riverhawks 7-2 and tying the game when defenseman Ron Boyd scored his first of the season.
Once again, however, the Spartans were done in by starting a period slow. The Riverhawks scored shorthanded (the 2nd SH goal surrendered by the Spartans this season) just 57 seconds into the final frame. Like Friday, the Spartans were buzzing the whole third period, winning the shots 16-11 but still have a lack of finishing ability to compete with a top ten team.
Looking back at the 3 keys
- The Ferrantino-Berry-MacEachern Line- Zero points on the weekend and they were broken up on Saturday with Villiam Haag taking MacEachern's spot on the top line.
- Avoid Costly Penalties- Hockey East refs love to call everything and it showed. The Spartans only gave up 1 power play goal on the weekend but still took too many penalties.
- Control the Tempo- Each night had great back and forth action and a lot of shots which is probably not what the Spartans wanted. Jake Hildebrand saved Friday night from being a blowout.
Around the B1G
Michigan split their series in Massachusetts, beating Lowell 8-4 and losing to Boston University 3-2. Penn State swept Holy Cross 3-1, 7-1 and Minnesota swept Bemidji State 5-2, 5-3. Wisconsin and Ohio State were both off.
2-3 #8 Ferris State (likely to move down when the polls are released this week) will come to town for a series. The Bulldogs were swept last weekend at home by Michigan Tech.