clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Hockey Preview: Penn State Nittany Lions

New, 1 comment

Michigan State welcomes the Nittany Lions to East Lansing this weekend

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Things have slowly been looking better for the Michigan State Spartans hockey team the past couple of weekends. Granted anything will look better when you are coming out of a streak of one win in fourteen games, but earning a road split at Ohio State, and a win over #5 Michigan is improvement none the less. This weekend the Spartans will look to continue to show development as they face off against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Munn Arena. Penn State swept the Spartans in December 4-2, 6-1 and they have looked like the better program all season, despite being in just their fourth season of NCAA competition.

Since that December series the Nittany Lions have gone 7-6, with a four game losing streak included in that stretch. Penn State over the past couple of seasons has picked up the reputation of being a team that will shoot from anywhere, and that is true again this season. The Nittany Lions don't try to set up perfect plays, or play a hardened system. They are a team that likes to shoot the puck,and crash the net looking for rebounds laying the slot. This weekend will test the skills of the Spartans defenseman as they look to keep Penn State out of the dangerous areas on the ice, and it well test the conditioning of an already overworked defensive corps.

Up front freshman Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, NY-13G) and Chase Berger (St. Louis, MO-12G) have led the Nittany Lions in goals this season, and they are a part of the bright future for the Nittany Lions. The more experience junior David Goodwin (Des Peres, MO- 7G, 18A) is once again leading the team in points but has taken a role of playmaker this season over scoring goals.  In net Eamon McAdam (2013-3rd Rd. NY Islanders) and Matthew Skoff have split the duties this year with each having 14 starts. McAdam sports the better goals against average, and save percentage.

Taking a look at the stats

Michigan State Spartans (6-18-2) Stat (National Rank) #16 Penn State Nittany Lions (17-8-3)
2.39 (43) Team Offense 3.86 (5)
3.46 (50) Team Defense 3.00 (37)
16-of-111 14.41% (44) Power Play % 26-of-107 24.30% (7)
88-of-103 85.4% (8) Penalty Kill % 79-of-94 84.0% (22)
47.5% (43) Corsi For 57.8% (4)
46.2% (45) Corsi For Close 59.6% (2)
5 NHL Draft Picks 2

3 Keys to Spartan Success

  1. Defenseman on their toes- Penn State will push these defensemen to the edge with all their shots, and puck possession. The Spartans need to play a strong defensive system, get in the shooting lanes, and look to slow down the pace of the game.
  2. Jake Hildebrand- As always he is a key, and he will be especially busy this weekend.
  3. Quick Starts- The Spartans need to build on their confidence from last weekend and not fall behind against the Nittany Lions.

Quotable
We have to make sure we stay smart, making sure we have our assignments picked up because it can get confusing with all the shots coming at us

-Joe Cox on this weekend's series from MSUspartans.com

Game Info

Time

7:00 PM both nights

TV

None. Thanks B1G for all that need for a conference

Streaming on BTN2Go ($$Plus$$) both nights

Radio Spartan Sports Network

Prediction

Michigan State earns another split, beating PSU Friday night before falling Saturday.

Around the league

Hey BTN is broadcasting a game yaaaayyyy!! Minnesota plays at Ohio State on BTN Friday night as the only broadcast on a channel that isn't local. They will wrap up the series Saturday. Michigan will play at Wisconsin this weekend.