The Spartans took a 4-1 win on Saturday, getting a goal and an assist from Tim Crowder, Chris Mueller and Jim McKenzie (pictured) in the victory to make their 17th consecutive appearance in the CCHA's showcase weekend and 25th in 26 years.
"I thought we played really well in the first period, probably as good as we have played in a month," Spartans head coach Rick Comley said. "We got a little sloppy there in the second. We lost it a bit and took some penalties, but we got it back with a solid, sound third period. We wanted to play well to get to Detroit - this team has had to work so hard to do that. To win these two games kind of validates us going down to Detroit. We didn't have a single guy that made the top three in any awards or any all-star teams, yet we are one of the top four teams."
Tim Kennedy also scored for MSU (21-12-3) and Jeff Lerg turned aside 20 shots in goal.
The Spartans will play Michigan Friday night with a CCHA finals berth on the line.
"It didn't matter who we played," said Comley. "At first, we thought we were going to play Notre Dame, who is an incredible team with maybe the Hobey Baker winner in goal, but it's not them since Lake Superior played such a great series. We are going down there to win a tournament, so you are going to play two really good teams regardless."
Friday night, McKenzie scored in the 19th minute of the third period and MSU escaped with a 4-2 win.
Bryan Lerg, Jay Sprague and Nick Sucharski scored the other goals and Lerg made 23 saves.
Photo (2006 CCHA finals) by Matt Mackinder