W2W4: Cats vs. Dogs, Huskies in Ann Arbor headline Week 4

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We have two more in-state showdowns this weekend around college hockey. We recap all the action from last week and look ahead to Week 4 around the Mitten.

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NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS @ FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS

northern-michigan-wildcatsferris-state2Ferris is in need of a victory after losing their lone meeting with Michigan last weekend 2-1 at home, while Northern Michigan was swept at home in two games against Bemidji State, both games by a final score of 2-0. The Wildcats now sit at 1-3 and travel to Big Rapids and face the 0-5 Bulldogs.

FSU junior forward Andrew Mayer potted his first goal of the season last weekend against the Wolverines, but it proved to be not enough. These are two teams, Ferris in particular, that were hoping for better starts to the season.

These will be the only two meetings head-to-head for the ‘Cats and ‘Dogs in 2016-17. They hooked up six times a year ago, splitting them two wins apiece in the regular season. Ferris did down Northern Michigan two times in the WCHA conference tournament before clinching the tournament crown and making it to a Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament. These games take place Friday and Saturday in Big Rapids, both set for a 7:07 p.m. ET puck drop.

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS

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The Lakers are off to a scorching start in 2016, after blitzing Michigan State for 13 goals in the two games at home last weekend. The performance earned them six votes to crack the top 20 in the USCHO poll, good for No. 30 overall.

Nine different players accounted for all the goals scored last week for LSSU. And of the 13, nine were from underclassmen. Sophomore defenseman Owen Headrick was responsible for one goal and assisted on five others. Six of the 13 goals scored were on the power play, led by freshman Luke Morgan, whose two goals both came on the man-advantage.

Like Ferris and Northern, the Lakers will stay in-league and travel down south to play WCHA foe Alabama-Huntsville, who has gone winless in four straight games after sweeping Ferris to open the year. They went 0-1-1 at Michigan Tech and were outscored 8-4 in those two games. Puck drop is set for 8:07 p.m. ET on Friday and Saturday.

MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES @ (11) MICHIGAN WOLVERINES

michigan-tech-huskiesU-M WolverinesMan, Michigan Tech just cannot catch a break to start the season. They had had about as brutal of a stretch as anyone to start 2016. However, they did bounce back last week picking up their first victory of the season against Alabama-Huntsville.

But now they will hit the road once more, this time much closer to home as they make the trip down into the lower peninsula to Ann Arbor and face the No. 11 ranked Wolverines, who picked up a victory against Ferris last week.

Scoring one of the two goals for Michigan last week was Sam Piazza, who already has potted three in 2016-17, a team-high. And it took a while for the Husky offense to break out, but they managed to in a big way when they scored seven times against Huntsville. Oddly enough though, their top five players in the points department are all defensemen.

This will be the first two of three meetings head-to-head between MTU and UM this season. The third will take place at the Great Lakes Invitational on December 30 at Joe Louis Arena. They met just one time a year ago, it was also at the GLI when the Wolverines downed the Huskies in the championship game. You can catch the first two games this weekend on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS

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Twas not the best way to start the season if you’re the Michigan State Spartans. As if getting waxed 13-4 in two games up in Sault Ste. Marie was not bad enough, now they return home and host the No. 6 ranked Pioneers of Denver.

Denver has been one of the premier Division I college hockey programs for decades now. Last year, they made the NCAA Tournament for a ninth consecutive season and appeared in their 15th Frozen Four in program history. The seven-time national champions are off to a 2-2, picking up a pair of huge wins at home against (2) Boston University.

These two schools have only played each other three times before. They hooked up at this point one year ago in Denver, where the Spartans dropped both games by a combined score of 7-2. They also met way back in 2002, a 5-0 shutout in favor of the Pioneers in East Lansing. Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. ET, while Saturday’s scheduled puck drop is 5 p.m. ET.


2016-17 DSN MICHIGAN HOCKEY POWER RANKINGS

  1. Michigan (2-1)
  2. Western Michigan (3-0-1) [win and tie last week vs. (20) Bowling Green]
  3. Lake Superior State (2-0)
  4. Michigan Tech (1-4-1)
  5. Northern Michigan (1-3)
  6. Michigan State (0-2)
  7. Ferris State (0-5)

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Posted by Alex Muller
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MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).