Michigan State picked up two much-needed wins last weekend as they swept Notre Dame in a home-and-home set that started Friday in East Lansing and culminated Saturday in South Bend.
The Spartans open up CCHA playoff action this weekend as they host Miami-Ohio Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary) at 7:00 p.m. each night at Munn Ice Arena.
Last Friday, senior captain Jim Slater had a goal and an assist as MSU rallied from a 2-0 deficit to post a 3-2 win. Drew Miller and Jim McKenzie scored the other Spartan goals and goalie Dominic Vicari stopped 17 shots for the win on Michigan State's Senior Night.
"For whatever reason, (Senior Night) just takes them out of their pre-game routine and there was nothing; it was lifeless (in the first period)," MSU head coach Rick Comley said. "Even in the locker room after the second period - nothing. Over the years, I've had very few good senior nights as far as quality of play. And Notre Dame played well; they were smart, stretching their guys and they scored. But once we got one, I really thought we would be okay."
Michigan State's senior class is comprised of Slater, Kevin Estrada, Ash Goldie, Mike Lalonde, Matt Migliaccio and Adam Nightingale.
Saturday at Notre Dame, Slater and McKenzie scored in the 2-1 win. Vicari made 23 saves and Tyler Howells added two assists.
"It was a flurry night," said Vicari. "I wouldn't get a lot of action, and then all of sudden it would be back and forth. I had to stay calm and take each shot one at a time."
MSU finishes 17-15-4 overall and 12-13-3, good for sixth place, in conference play.
McKENZIE NAMED CCHA ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
McKenzie was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week on Monday following his two-goal performance in MSU's sweep of Notre Dame last weekend. It marks the first time in his career that he has earned CCHA Rookie of the Week honors.