Spartans Have Date With Wolverines at Joe

Michigan State has a date with crosstown rival Michigan at the Joe Louis Arena next Friday in the CCHA semifinals after sweeping away Nebraska-Omaha in an impressive 4-1 performance.

DETROIT - Michigan State has a date with crosstown rival Michigan at the Joe Louis Arena next Friday in the CCHA semifinals after sweeping away Nebraska-Omaha in an impressive 4-1 performance.

MSU's Tim Crowder and Tim Kennedy scored early and State goaltender Jeff Lerg made it stand up. Lerg set the tone early with an outstanding save on a breakaway chance by Nebraska-Omaha.

The block seemed to ignite Michigan State who watched as the "Tim's" gave MSU an early 2-0 lead.

But when the CCHA's eight leading scorer Alex Nikiforuk beat Lerg to cut the score to 2-1, visions of the MSU blowing a two-goal lead on Friday began to rear their ugly head.

But MSU's Chris Mueller lit the lamp to give the Spartans some insurance and then defenseman Jim McKenzie scored an empty netter for the margin of victory.

Nebraska-Omaha was not the team that MSU was expecting. They were without the CCHA's leading scorer Scott Parse who was injured in the Bowling Green sweep. MSU watched in amazement during the bye week as UNO swept the Bowling Green team that the Spartans could only manage one point from the week earlier.

That point was just enough to earn State the bye. But UNO sweep was costly as without Parse, they didn't have the same offensive punch they possessed all season.

For MSU, the defending CCHA champions, they head back with hopes of getting to the NCAA tournament. Coming in as the four seed, MSU faces Michigan in a 8:00pm contest that will be televised on Fox Sports Net in Detroit. Lake Superior State upset the Miami Redhawks and will face #1 seed Notre Dame in the earlier contest at 4:00pm.


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