Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, on behalf of everyone here at Detroit Sports Nation. One of the more underrated gifts that keeps on giving around the holidays is the onslaught of sports action. College hockey is no exception.
Six of the seven college hockey programs in the state of Michigan will be playing this holiday weekend. Lake Superior State (3-8-3) has an exhibition this Saturday against the US U-18 team at home. The Lakers return home after earning a split against Alabama-Huntsville last weekend.
FERRIS STATE BULLDOGS
RECAP: Ferris State (5-8-1) dropped a couple of close games against a suddenly streaking Michigan State team last weekend, including a 3-2 loss in overtime in the front end of the series. FSU has now allowed three goals in three consecutive games played.
UP NEXT: The Bulldogs now look to rebound by paying aforementioned Alabama-Huntsville (4-7-1) a trip for the holiday weekend. The Chargers are 3-1-1 in their last five after opening the year 1-6.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior Corey Mackin has recorded at least a point in three straight games; six total in the last five games played. Mackin (for the moment) has taken over the team lead in points. The Philadelphia product is on pace to surpass his point total from a season ago (26 points in 36 games in 2016/17).
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) and Saturday (11/25) | 8:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 97.3 FM WDEE
RECAP: Michigan (6-4-2) took it on the chin a bit last week in Madison against Wisconsin, going 0-1-1 and allowing 11 goals in the two games combined against the Badgers.
UP NEXT: Once more, the hockey team is following suit with the football team. Michigan this weeks welcome in hated rival No. 15 Ohio State (6-3-3). The Buckeyes have just one win in regulation their last four times out, following a four-game winning streak. Unlike the football rivalry, this one has been tightly-contested in recent years; OSU is 5-4-1 over the last ten games played between the two.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Could be player(s) actually. Sophomore goalies Jack LaFontaine and Hayden Lavigne has virtually split netminder duty all season long so far. LaFontaine allowed four goals and could not survive the second period in a 7-4 loss to Wisconsin last Friday. Lavigne not only finished but got the starting nod in the Saturday tilt of that series as well. There's not a major discrepancy but Lavigne does carry better numbers right now than his counterpart LaFontaine.
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) @ 6:35 p.m. ET | Saturday (11/25) @ 7:35 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: Big Ten Network (FRI) | MGoBlueTV | 1050 AM WKTA
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
RECAP: Michigan State (7-5) picks up a sweep of in-state rival Ferris State last weekend, extending their winning streak to three games. MSU has already matched their win total from all of last season in 23 less games played.
UP NEXT: The Spartans now have sort of a “prove it” series this weekend against Penn State (7-7) in Happy Valley. The once No. 10 ranked Nittany Lions have played their first series of the year last weekend as an unranked club. They responded by exploding for 11 goals and two wins at Arizona State. PSU has gone 7-0-1 over the last two seasons against Sparty.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Freshman Mitchell Lewandowski continues to shine for Michigan State. Four more points (3 G, 1 A) for the Clarkston native last week against Ferris gives him eight goals and 17 points to not only lead all MSU scorers, but also all rookies in the country.
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) @ 7:05 p.m. ET | Saturday (11/25) @ 8:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: Spartan Sports Network (check local listings)
MICHIGAN TECH HUSKIES
RECAP: Michigan Tech (5-6-4) played to not one but two draws last weekend against Alaska-Anchorage. The Huskies peppered Seawolves goalie Olivier Mantha with 77 shots in the two games combined. Four players recorded multiple points for MTU in that series as well.
UP NEXT: Tech will continue their Alaskan voyage and make the trip over to Fairbanks to play Alaska (4-8-2). The Nanooks snapped a four-game losing streak last Saturday when the defeated Northern Michigan to earn a split in that series.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Junior goalie Patrick Munson has allowed one goal or fewer in three of his last four times out, after allowing multiple goals in his first nine games. Despite facing fewer shots in the last couple weeks, and not seeing as much ice time (less than 30 minutes of TOI in two of his last three), the former University of Denver netminder may have found a groove of sorts.
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) and Saturday (11/25) | 11:07 p.m. ET
NORTHERN MICHIGAN WILDCATS
RECAP: Northern Michigan (7-5), as mentioned before, split with Alaska-Fairbanks last week. Both teams combined for 13 goals in the two-game series. NMU scored five goals in a victory before being held to just one score in their loss.
UP NEXT: The Wildcats now step out of conference and take the trip down to Nebraska for a date with Omaha (4-5-1). The Mavericks are reeling a bit, having lost three straight, but now begin a six-game homestand.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore defenseman Philip Beaulieu assisted on three Northern Michigan goals last week, giving him seven on the season; nine points overall. Beaulieu had just one point in his previous five games played coming into the series against Alaska last week.
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) and Saturday (11/25) | 8:07 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: WCHA.tv | 100.3 FM WUPT
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
RECAP: Western Michigan (8-4-1) is also going streaking. Winners of three straight, the Broncos have scored at least four goals in each of those victories, and the sweep of Omaha last week earned them a promotion to No. 11 in the latest USCHO polls.
UP NEXT: WMU stays home in Kalamazoo for the hockey holiday weekend and welcomes in another fellow ranked foe in No. 18 Colgate (7-3-4). The Raiders have won three of their last four, two coming against a pair of top-15 clubs. Not super rich in hockey success, Colgate has just three NCAA Tournament appearances this century and are already two wins shy of their win total from last season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Sophomore Hugh McGing notched four points (1 G, 3 A) last week for Western Michigan, giving him 17 points through 13 games this year after tallying 22 points in 39 games as a freshman. The Chicago native has been stuffing the stat sheet lately, posting multi-point games in six of his last seven contests.
SCHEDULE: Friday (11/24) and Saturday (11/25) | 7:05 p.m. ET
BROADCAST: NCHC.tv | 96.5 FM WZOX