With Bowling Green next in the schedule and the end of the regular season drawing closer, the MSU hockey team is looking to follow the path the Falcons did last season.
Bowling Green head coach Chris Bergeron was in his second year in charge of the hockey program, and the Falcons fought through the entire 2011-12 season. It was far from a pretty ride, ending with a 14-25-5 overall record.
The story is strikingly similar to MSU’s current season.
“Bowling Green is a team that has gone through what we’re going through, really,” MSU head coach Tom Anastos said.
“When Chris Bergeron went there, he went there to change the culture and make a lot of changes.”
Anastos is in his second season as head coach of MSU hockey (7-19-3 overall, 5-14-1-0 CCHA), and is trying to implement a culture change in the program.
To this point, the Spartans have been struggling through weekends, unable to sweep a series.
“If you look at a team like Bowling Green, they’re going through a little bit of a transition as well,” freshman forward Michael Ferrantino said.
“They’ve actually been playing really well as of late. They’ve won a lot of games, so we’re not taking anything for granted. We’re going to go in and work hard and do everything in our power to win.”
At about this time last year, Bowling Green hit a hot streak.
They went 5-5-0 in the final 10 games of the season. As an 8 seed in the CCHA playoffs, they came from behind and made it to the semifinals, losing in double overtime to Michigan.
With eight games left in the regular season, the Spartans are looking to catch a similar bug and make an underdog run in the playoffs as the Falcons did last year.
“When the playoff season starts, it’s a whole new season,” Anastos said.
“The most important thing in the end is that you’re playing your best at the right time of year.”
Bowling Green has a record of 10-13-5 overall and 7-10-3-0 in the CCHA, and swept Lake Superior State last weekend.
“They’re a hard-working team, that’s for sure,” freshman forward John Draeger said.
“They’re going to come out flying — that’s their game: get pucks in, get pucks out. We just have to show up and have a little confidence and a little swagger going into the game, a little chip on our shoulder.”