By Matt Mackinder/Michigan State Beat Writer
The defending national champion Michigan State Spartans won their final two games of the regular season last weekend in a home-and-home series with Bowling Green.
The Spartans have earned a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs and will host the quarterfinal round on March 14-15. MSU's opponent will be determined based on the results and re-seeding after the opening round.
Friday night, Justin Abdelkader had MSU's first hat trick in two seasons and Jeff Lerg made 28 saves as Michigan State posted a 6-3 victory at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans exploded for three goals in the final 2:30 of regulation to break open a tie game and send the seniors out as winners in the final home game of the regular season.
"This was big because we really wanted to get a win for the seniors," said Abdelkader. "They've meant so much to the program and so much to the younger guys on the team. They've been a real good class, leadership-wise, on and off the ice."
Tim Kennedy, Matt Schepke and Jeff Petry also scored for MSU. Corey Tropp and Daniel Vukovic added two assists apiece.
Lerg made 32 saves, Chris Mueller had a pair of goals and Kennedy chipped in a goal and an assist as Michigan State cruised to a 4-0 shutout victory at Bowling Green on Saturday night to close the regular season.
MSU finishes the campaign with a 23-9-5 overall mark, 19-6-3 in CCHA play.
Jeff Dunne tallied the other Spartan goal Saturday night.
Michigan State held BGSU without a power-play goal in the series. The Falcons were 0-for-3 on Friday and 0-for-6 on Saturday.