Friday, March 23, 2012

Scouting Michigan State & Michigan

Torey Krug
Michigan State
19-15-4 (14-11-3-2, CCHA)

Last NCAA Tournament Appearance

How They Got Here
Finished 5th in the CCHA with 47 points... Got swept by Miami in the CCHA Quarterfinals... Picked up victories against Western Michigan (twice), Minnesota, and Michigan throughout the regular season... Finished 15th in the PWR right in front of Northern Michigan

Top Scorers
Torey Krug, Jr., Defense ---- 37GP, 12G, 21A, 33PTS
Lee Reimer, So., Forward ---- 38GP, 9G, 21A, 30PTS
Brett Perlini, Sr., Forward ---- 38GP, 9G, 21A, 30PTS
Greg Wolfe, So., Forward ---- 37GP, 10G, 16A, 26PTS
[Complete Team Statistics]

Will Yanakeff, So. ---- 22GP, 13-8-1, 2.48GAA, .923SV%
Drew Palmisano, Sr. ---- 17GP, 6-7-3, 2.68GAA, .918SV%

Team Stats
2.89 Goals per Game (24th nationally)
2.63 Goals Allowed per Game (t-19th)
16.3% Power-Play Conversion Rate (below 40th)
87.3% Penalty Kill Rate (4th)

Why Union will win
Union is hot, while the Spartans are not. The only reason MSU is in the tourney is because Union beat Harvard for the Whitelaw Cup. Union has been playing some of their best hockey straight into the tournament, while MSU has limped in. I also think the Dutchmen defense is well matched up with the Spartan offense. Union's defense is the top ranked in the nation, while the Spartans are more of a middle of the pack offensive team. If the Dutchmen defense is as good as we think it is, I think they should have no problem shutting down the MSU offense.

Other notes
Like Union, the Spartans are also led by a first year head coach, Tom Anastos. Prior to being named the Spartans' bench boss, Anastos was the commissioner of the CCHA for 13 seasons. He was appointed to this position exactly one year ago today.

The Spartans are led on and off the ice by a tremendous player, Torey Krug. Krug, a junior, is not only the captain of the team, but is also a Hobey Baker finalist. He is also leads MSU in goals and points. Oh, and did I mention that he's a defenseman. For the second consecutive season, Krug has earned First Team All-CCHA honors, while also being named the league's best offensive defenseman. This year he was also given the CCHA's Player of the Year award. I've seen some video of the Livonia, Michigan native, and I must say he's very explosive and loves to jump up in the play. The Dutchmen will have to keep an extra eye on him when he's on the ice.

MSU's roster also features the sons of former college hockey and NHL superstar defenseman Chris Chelios. Dean and Jake, a junior and sophomore, respectively, have each played in over 30 games this season.

Shawn Hunwick
24-12-4 (15-9-4-1, CCHA)

Last NCAA Tournament Appearance

How They Got Here
Finished 2nd in the CCHA... Lost to Western Michigan in the CCHA Championship game... Picked up victories against Ferris State (twice), Western Michigan, Michigan State (3x), Boston College, and Miami (twice) throughout the regular season... Finished second in the PWR

Top Scorers
David Wohlberg, Sr., Forward ---- 40GP, 16G, 17A, 33PTS
Alex Guptill, Fr., Forward ---- 40GP, 16G, 17A, 33PTS
Lee Moffie, Jr., Defense ---- 40GP, 7G, 25A, 32PTS
A.J. Treias, Jr., Forward ---- 39GP, 15G, 16A, 31PTS
Chris Brown, Jr., Forward ---- 37GP, 12G, 17A, 29PTS
Phil Di Giuseppe, Fr., Forward ---- 39GP, 11G, 14A, 25PTS
[Complete Team Statistics]

Shawn Hunwick, Sr. ---- 39GP, 24-11-3, 1.97GAA, .933SV%
Adam Janecyk, So. ---- 5GP, 0-1-1, 3.17GAA, .897SV%

Team Stats
3.25 Goals per Game (10th nationally)
2.15 Goals Allowed per Game (4th)
15.3% Power-Play Conversion Rate (below 40th)
84.5% Penalty Kill Rate (13th)

Why Cornell will win
If the Big Red were to upset the Wolverines, it would be a huge upset. I don't think many are giving  Cornell shot. All the signs, stats, etc. are pointing Michigan's way, but in the game of hockey, any team can win on any day. In my eyes, the only way Cornell can pull off the upset is by winning the game 1-0 or 2-1. The Big Red have a good defense and will have to rely on it against a very good Michigan offense. They will have to pack the middle of the ice and have Andy Iles be on the top of his game. If the defense holds up, and the power-play can convert once, I'd give the Big Red a shot.

Other notes
The Wolverines have gone 1-1-0 against ECAC competition this season. They beat St. Lawrence 10-3  in October, but fell to Union 6-3 in November. The Big Red and Wolverines have met six times, with Michigan holding a 3-2-1 advantage. The last time the two faced off was a 3-3 tie at Yost Arena in 1997.

When the Dutchmen visited the Wolverines, they were in the middle of their November losing streak. At the time, many thought Michigan was on their way to a down year. Obviously, they were wrong. From November 4th to December 2nd, Michigan went 1-7-1, but have only lost four time since then, none of which were back-to-back.

Michigan made it to the national title game last year, where they lost to Minnesota-Duluth in overtime. So, this team is a very battle tested team, especially Hobey Baker finalist goaltender Shawn Hunwick. It also helps that Red Berenson is behind the Wolverine bench, who has led his team to 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including 11 trips to the Frozen Four.

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