Hockey Preview-MSU versus Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska-Fairbanks will be rolling into Munn Arena as the second round of the CCHA playoffs begin. GSN takes a look at how these two teams matchup against each other.

OKEMOS,MI-The CCHA playoffs are here for MSU as the "Road To The Joe" begins for Rick Comley's bunch on Friday night as Alaska-Fairbanks comes to town.

The Nanooks are a solid team that has relied on good defense, and solid goaltending to reach the second round after getting past Notre Dame by the scores of 3-1 and 1-0 last weekend in an upset.

Offensively the Nanooks struggle, and were last in the regular season in scoring goals at 2.38 per game.

These are also near the bottom in assists at 3.68 per game, which is dead last.

However, they do have some offensive weapons in Curtis Fraser, who has seven power play goals and three game winning goals. He also gets help in the shot making department from Kyle Jones, and Kyle Greentree, who leads them in scoring with 26 points.

Where the Nanooks really shine is on defense, with four of the best defensemen in the league in Tyler Eckford, Darcy Campbell, Jordan Henry, and Nathan Fornatara.

UAF only allowed 2.65 goals per game, which was fifth best in the CCHA. UAF also had the best penalty killing team in the entire CCHA at eighty-eight percent.

In goal for the Nanooks is Wylie Rogers, who is third in the league in save percentage at .917%. He had two regular season shutouts, and one in the postseason last week.

During the regular season, MSU had a 3-0-1 record versus the Nanooks, tying 3-3 and winning 3-0 in Alaska back in December. Later they beat UAF at the Munn by the count of 4-0 and 2-1.

As we look at this game, the Nanooks are going to try to keep the score low by grinding away and hoping to keep it close to snag a goal near the end for victory.

They don't have the weapons to get in a shootout with the Spartans. So MSU will have to continue to pressure the Nannook's solid defense and get them tired and hope for a mistake.

Jeff Lerg will also have to be solid for MSU in goal in what figures to be a low scoring series.

MSU is 30-9-1 all-time versus UAF , and 18-3 in games at the Munn. In fact, MSU has beaten UAF 15 straight times at the Munn. Let's home that streak continues for the Spartans.

GSN will have more MSU hockey as this exciting series unfolds, so stay tuned for more MSU hockey news. Note: Six Spartans became All-CCHA selections as Jeff Lerg and Corey Potter were Honorable Mention Selections, and Lerg was named First Team goalie on the All-Rookie team.

Freshmen Justin Abdelkader, Tim Kennedy, and Tim Crowder were Honorable Mention selections on the All-Rookie Team as well. Also, Jeff Dunne made the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team for MSU.

The Spartans Drew Miller is still in the running for the the best defensive forward in the CCHA, and Tyler Howells is in the running for the best offensive defensemen. These two awards will be announced on March 16th. Rick Comley is also up for Coach Of The Year.


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