The mens ice hockey team has been practicing at The Summit, 9410 Davis Highway in Lansing, all week preparing for the Olympic-size ice at the Johnson Nissan Classic in Anchorage, Alaska this weekend.
Seventh-ranked MSU will face host Alaska-Anchorage at midnight tonight and Merrimack on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. Michigan is the fourth team at the Classic, but they will not face MSU.
Alaska-Anchorage finished 15-18-3 (11-14-3 in the WCHA) last year, but only lost five players from that team. Merrimack finished 11-19-6 (6-12-6 in Hockey East) last season.
MSU has never faced Merrimack and holds a 1-0 series edge over Alaska-Anchorage.
Freshman center Jeremy Jackson said the big ice will accentuate some of the teams strengths.
I think itll benefit us. Were a fast-skating team, Jackson said. We are confident in the depth of our lines one through four. Theres not one line that dominates in practice, anyone can get a goal.
Coming off a 1-1 exhibition season, the Spartans fell three spots in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll.
The Classic will be the Spartans final tune-up for CCHA conference play, which begins at home against Nebraska-Omaha next weekend.
The womens crew team hosts its only home meet of the year on Saturday at the Head of the Grand competition.
The event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at Grand River Park in Lansing.
The Spartans were unable to finish their first meet of the season last week as the Head of the Ohio was canceled because of bad weather conditions.
MSU tied its best-ever finish last year, placing eighth in the nation at the NCAA Rowing Championship in May.
The field hockey team has two home games this weekend to try to turn around a 1-4 skid in the past five games that has dropped the team to 7-6 overall.
The 16th-ranked Spartans play host to Big Ten foe Iowa tonight and Ball State on Sunday. Tonights game will be held at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building at 7:30. The Ball State game will be at noon Sunday in Spartan Stadium.
A 5-1 win over St. Louis has been the squads only bright spot for the past three weeks, after losing most recently at Central Michigan on Tuesday.
Junior forward Bridget Cooper leads the squad with seven goals this year and sophomore goalie Mireille Evans has twice earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors with her play in net.