We have ourselves a full slate of college hockey this week in Michigan. All seven teams are in action, including a pair of in-state conference showdowns.
FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS vs. MI-TECH HUSKIES
RECAP: Ferris State (8-9-1) found themselves a nice rhythm had home last weekend against Alaska-Anchorage, potting seven goals in total en route to a series sweep. Michigan Tech (7-6-4) also shared eerily similar success to Ferris two weeks ago, totaling 10 goals in two victories over the other Alaska-based program in Fairbanks.
UP NEXT: The two in-state conference rivals get together for the 29th and 30th meeting all-time in hockey, with Tech holding a slim 15-12-1 advantage. Both teams split last year’s lone head-to-head series in Houghton during Tech’s annual Winter Carnival.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ferris sophomore goaltender Justin Kapelmaster has been dynamite in net his last four times out against conference foes, albeit against both cellar-dwelling Alaska schools. Kapelmaster has a save percentage approaching .950 and a clean 4-0-0 record in those last four league games. And Tech sophomore Alex Smith tallied consecutive multi-point games last weekend after doing that just once in his first 15 games. Smith becomes the sixth Husky this season to record double-digit points through this point in the season.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/08) and Saturday (12/09) | 7:07 p.m. ET
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE LAKERS
RECAP: Lake Superior (4-9-3) got back into the win column last weekend at home against Alaska, ultimately earning a split with the Nanooks. It’s the fourth consecutive game the Lakers have scored at least three goals, and they have as many wins (2) in their last four games played than they did in their first 12 to start the season.
UP NEXT: LSSU now poses a huge task at home this weekend when they welcome in No. 8 Minnesota State (9-5). The Mavericks of Mankato have endured a pretty touch and largely road-filled schedule early on. They are coming off a bye after losing to ranked in-state rival Minnesota-Duluth during Thanksgiving weekend.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore and Livonia-native Max Humitz recorded his first multi-point game last weekend since before Halloween in the Lakers’ 4-1 win over Alaska on Saturday. Humitz is second on the team with 13 points, more than halfway to his total as a freshman in just under half the games played.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/08) @ 7:37 p.m. ET | Saturday (12/09) @ 7:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 99.5 FM WYSS
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES vs. MI-STATE SPARTANS
RECAP: Michigan (6-6-2) returns to real-time action after partaking in an exhibition with the U-18 national team last weekend. Michigan State (7-8-1), meanwhile, is winless in regulation their last four times out, after getting swept at home against No. 4 Notre Dame last weekend, following a three-game winning streak.
UP NEXT: The Wolverines and Spartans begin a new era of their long, storied hockey rivalry on the ice with a pair of first-year head coaches in Mel Pearson and Danton Cole. It’ll be the first of two scheduled home-and-home series between the two in-state foes this weekend. MSU went 2-1-2 against U-M last year, with the Wolverines’ lone victory coming in the consolation of the Great Lakes Invitational.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Michigan State tallied just one goal in the two games combined against Notre Dame last week. MSU sophomore Taro Hirose was the lone recipient of that score, giving him 18 points on the season, tied for the team lead. And Michigan freshman Quinn Hughes is off to a respectable rookie campaign — 10 points in 14 games — but his lone goal came in the season opener at St. Lawrence. Hughes does have a point in all but four games this season.
SCHEDULE: Thursday (12/07) @ MICH, 7:35 p.m. ET | Friday (12/08) @ MSU, 7:05 p.m. ET
NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS
RECAP: Northern Michigan (8-8) managed to stop a three-game slide with a victory over Alabama-Huntsville last week, splitting the weekend series up in Marquette. It’s just the first victory in the last five games overall for the Wildcats, allowing three or more goals in those four defeats.
UP NEXT: NMU continues a stretch of eight straight games against conference foes to close out the calendar year, hitting the road for two against Bemidji State (5-6-3). The Beavers have just one victory in their last six games (1-4-1) and return home for the first time since November 10-11.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Senior Adam Rockwood potted a goal and helped on two others last weekend against Huntsville, giving him 13 points on the season. Rockwood has now recorded at least a point in six consecutive games (eight total points in that span).
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/08) and Saturday (12/09) | 8:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 FM WUPT
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
RECAP: A couple of tough games out in North Dakota for Western Michigan (9-7-1), dropping both to the Fighting Hawks to open their December slate. Western is now just 1-5 on the road this season. Still, they remain No. 11 in the newest USCHO rankings.
UP NEXT: Losers of three straight, the Broncos return home where they carry an 8-2-1 record this season. They will welcome in conference foe Miami-OH (7-7-2). The RedHawks earned a split last week against a top-5 opponent in Cornell at home. At seven wins, Miami is already two shy of matching their entire win total from a season ago.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Freshman Brett Van Os entered last weekend’s series against North Dakota with just one point in nine games played. Van Os tallied his first collegiate goal and added an assist for Western Michigan, albeit in losing efforts.
SCHEDULE: Friday (12/08) and Saturday (12/09) | 7:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: NCHC.tv | 96.5 FM WZOX