MSU ice hockey hopes to pick up big wins in weekend series
The MSU hockey team got a taste of sweet victory last weekend, and as Travis Walsh put it, when you get a taste of something good, you’re going to want more.
The Spartans (6-13-3 overall, 5-10-1-0 CCHA) split last weekend’s series with then-No. 2 Notre Dame, losing 1-0 Friday night and winning 4-1 Saturday night.
MSU is looking to carry the win over to a home-and-home series with Ferris State this weekend.
This will be the second time the two teams meet this season, each winning a game on home ice.
“We just need to do the simple things right every time and try to play a complete game,” Walsh, the freshman defenseman, said. “When we played there, we had times that we played good, then we let it get away. We tried to do our own thing, maybe, and I think we just need to get pucks out, get pucks in, finish every check and play simple — a lot like we did against Notre Dame.”
MSU’s 3-1 win over then-No. 19 Ferris State on Dec. 15 looked to be the turning point out of an otherwise downward slump, but things seemed to fall back off following that game.
“We need to match that work ethic, that’s for sure,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “Ferris does something in their own end and how they move up the ice that we have to make sure we’re aware of, which we did a pretty good job of when they were here last time.”
The Spartans were winless in the Great Lakes Invitational two weeks later, then lost games in consecutive weekends against Ferris State and Notre Dame.
The 3-0 loss to Ferris State is a sore spot in the Spartans’ locker room, but Anastos said now the team is prepared to enter the hostile Ferris State environment and, hopefully, come out with a better win this time around.
“We’ll have to focus on Friday night, and given that kind of effort, (we’ll) regroup (Saturday) with whatever kind of effort it is to go on the road and play in a hostile environment,” he said. “It’s not an easy place to play.”
He also noted the home-heavy schedule the second half of the season. MSU will play nine of the next 15 games at home with one of the away games located at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit — a neutral site.
“Now we’re going into this stretch where we’re home-and-home with Ferris, and we have a lot of home games coming up between now and the end of the season,” Anastos said. “The only overnight trip we have is Alaska. While the teams we play are good, at least it’s home favorable, and hopefully we can continue to grow some confidence.”