MSU Claims 2nd Place After Sweep Of Redhawks

Michigan State's weekend sweep of the Redhawks of Miami gave them sole possession of second place in the CCHA, with a big weekend battle with Lake Superior State coming up.

OKEMOS,MI-Michigan State's sweep of the Redhawks of Miami gave them sole posession of second place in the CCHA, and left them just six points back of Miami for the league's top spot.

The win of Saturday, coupled with the loss of Michigan, gave the Spartans a critical two-point lead over the Wolverines with two games left in the season.

The Spartans wrap up their season with a two-game season finale against Lake Superior State, meanwhile Michigan finishes with a home-and-away series against Ferris State.

State needs just one win to ensure themselves of at least a tie for second in the CCHA, but it won't be easy. Michigan will tangle with one of the league's doormats in Ferris State, while Lake Superior State currently sits in fifth place in the league, just six points behind MSU.

If the Spartans can hang on to second place, it would give them home ice advantage throughout the CCHA playoffs until a matchup with Miami.

It would also likely ensure the Spartans an at large berth in the NCAA tournament if they don't win the CCHA tournament outright.

In other MSU hockey news, Spartan defensiveman Tyler Howells was named CCHA "Defensive Player Of The Week" for his brillant play.

Howells set up a key goal on Friday in the Spartans 3-2 victory, and then scored a goal and had two assists on Saturday in the 3-1 victory. Howells ended up a plus three for the weekend. Tyler leads the Spartans in league play with a +12 (+/-) rating.

Three former Spartans are playing Olympic hockey this year. John-Michael Lyles currently has two assists playing for the USA. Playing for Italy are goalie Jason Muzzatti, and Tony Tuzzolini.

Muzzatti made 31 saves to earn a point for Italy in their 3-3 tie with Germany. He previously made 43 saves in a loss to Canada.

GSN's Kevin Thomas contributed to this article.

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