The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced today that junior goaltender Jeff Lerg of Michigan State University has been named the RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month for January.
Lerg, a 21-year old native of Livonia, went 5-0-3 with a 1.32 goals-against average and .959 save percentage while sweeping all four CCHA Goaltender of the Week awards in January. He’s backstopped the Spartans to the nation’s current longest unbeaten streak (5-0-3) and an unbeaten run of 12 games (9-0-3) in conference action. The 5-foot-6, 155-pound product of the Omaha Lancers (USHL), who has lowered his GAA by half a goal in the past eight games, leads the nation in minutes played (1574:05) and ranks fifth among netminders in percentage of his team’s minutes played.
In MSU’s last six contests, which includes two games each against No. 6 Notre Dame, Ohio State and No. 1 Michigan, Lerg boasts a 0.81 GAA and .971 SV %. Four of those games were played on the road - Lerg allowed just two goals in those four road games and pitched shutouts at Ohio State on Jan. 19 (4-0) and at Michigan (1-0) on Jan. 25 for the first consecutive shutouts of his career and the first by a Michigan State goalie since Feb. 20-21, 2004 at Munn Arena against Nebraska-Omaha.
Lerg’s two shutouts in January give him eight for his career, which is fourth-best in MSU history. He also established a new career mark by not allowing a goal in 190:54 of action. The shutout streak started on Jan. 18 following a goal late in the first period of a 4-1 win at Ohio State and extended through all or parts of 11 periods before being snapped by a power-play goal scored by Michigan in the second period of a 2-2 tie on Jan. 26.
Special mention for RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month honors goes to Bowling Green senior forward Derek Whitmore, Ferris State junior forward Brendan Connolly, Miami senior forward Ryan Jones, Michigan junior goalie Billy Sauer, Nebraska-Omaha senior forward Bryan Marshall (Livonia), Notre Dame junior goalie Jordan Pearce and Western Michigan senior defenseman Nathan Ansell.