EAST LANSING-The Michigan State (8-3-2) hockey team returns to CCHA play this weekend in Sault Ste Marie to take on Lake Superior State (2-9-1) for a pair of games.
The Spartans lead the all time series with the Lakers 62-29-10 and are undefeated in the last ten games against them.
The Lakers have struggled all season and are currently in the midst of a five game losing streak and in the cellar of the CCHA having lost all six of their conference games.
The Spartans are winless in their last four games and come off a pair of ties in the College Hockey Showcase. Friday they tied twelfth ranked Minnesota 3-3 and Saturday they surrendered a 4-2 third period lead to the thirteenth ranked Badgers of Wisconsin.
Michigan State's struggles during these last four games stem from careless defensive zone turnovers.
"We saw this weekend that a few mistakes as game cost you either a win or a tie," said Coach Rick Comley. "It's just sloppy turnovers"
Along with the turnovers the Spartans have also struggled on the power play. They are just 2 for their last 26 with the man advantage in the past four games.
"There are a few times we should have just finished on our chances," said senior Defenseman Dan Vukovic "There is no set way to fix it, your going to have struggles during the year and we just need to make these struggles not as long."
Player to Watch:
Lake Superior State Sophomore forward Nick Perkovich
Perkovich is a six-foot-five power forward from Canton, Michigan who is a very talented player who is not afraid to hit and crash the net. This season he has seven goals through twelve games for the Lakers and is the teams leading goal scorer.
Michigan State Senior forward Brian Lerg
The Spartan captain has eight points in seven career games against the Lakers including seven goals. Look for him to continue that pace this weekend has he is reunited with longtime line mate Chris Mueller on the Spartans second line.
Keys to Victory:
The Lakers will need to neutralize the Spartans early and get the crowd into the game. They also need to get more offensive production from everyone as they currently rank last in the CCHA averaging just two goals a game.
For the Green-and-White they simply need to start doing the little things right and making the smart play as opposed to the pretty play. If they can eliminate turnovers and continue to get good play from goalie Jeff Lerg anything less then a sweep this weekend will be a big disappointment.
MSU Hockey Takes on Lake Superior State
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