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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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PREVIEW: Michigan State closes out 2023 at Great Lakes Invitational

MSU+fifth+year+forward+Nicolas+M%C3%BCller+%28left%29+and+freshman+defender+Artyom+Levshunov+celebrate+a+goal+against+Wisconsin+on+Friday%2C+November+17%2C+2023+at+Munn+Ice+Arena.
Mia Nishanian
MSU fifth year forward Nicolas Müller (left) and freshman defender Artyom Levshunov celebrate a goal against Wisconsin on Friday, November 17, 2023 at Munn Ice Arena.

No. 7 ranked Michigan State will be back in action on Thursday and Friday in the Great Lakes Invitational in Grand Rapids. The Spartans are the favorites to win and enter the competition with a 12-4-2 record. 

MSU’s hockey program has seen a revival under second-year head coach Adam Nightingale. The Spartans are first in the Big Ten with a 7-1-2 record in conference play. MSU is a much more experienced team heading into this year’s competition with returning contributors and young talent and will face at least one in-state opponent. 

Ferris State

The Spartans will open Thursday against Ferris State. Both teams met in last year’s invitational, where Ferris State beat MSU, 4-2. The Bulldogs enter with a 5-11-1 record and are currently on a four-game losing streak. As last year’s runners-up, the Bulldogs hope to gain momentum. The key for the Spartans will be to start fast. MSU allowed three first-period goals in last year’s matchup against the Bulldogs. Senior forward Antonio Venuto leads the Bulldogs in goals with 11 on the season. Freshman defender Travis Shoudy leads the Bulldogs in assists with 14 on the season. Freshman defender Artyom Levshunov and senior defender Nash Nienhuis are the key contributors to the Spartans’ defense. Sophomore defender Matt Basgall is also a key contributor on defense, leading the team in blocks this season with 28, which is sixth in the Big Ten.  

Michigan Tech

The Spartans will face off against Alaska Fairbanks or Michigan Tech in the second game. The Michigan Tech Huskies are a team MSU is familiar with. In last year’s competition, the Huskies defeated MSU 3-2 in overtime. Michigan Tech enters with an 8-8-3 record and is familiar with Big Ten opponents, having played Wisconsin twice earlier in the season. The key for the Spartans against the Huskies will be defending the forwards.

Freshman forward Issac Gordan and senior forward Ryland Mosley lead the team in scoring and will pose challenges for MSU. Sophomore forward Joey Larson leads the Spartans in scoring with nine goals on the season. Success on power plays is also a key for both teams. Both the Spartans and Huskies rank in the top 15 in power-play percentage in Division I. Joey Larson leads the Spartans in power-play goals with four goals, while freshman forward Gavin O’Connell has also contributed with three power-play goals.

Alaska Fairbanks

Alaska Fairbanks enters with a 9-6-1 record on the season. The Nanooks have won three of their last four games. Alaska Fairbanks has seen stellar performances this season from junior forward Harrison Israels, with 12 goals this season. Brady Risk is also a key contributor with eight goals. The Spartans have the third-ranked scoring offense, while the Nanooks have the 13th-ranked scoring offense and a plus-16 scoring margin, which is 12th in Division I. Alaska Fairbanks ranks in the top 15 in face-off win percentage, winning 53.7 percent. MSU on the other hand has struggled on faceoffs, ranking third worst in Division I, and only winning 48.1 percent of their faceoffs. Sophomore forward Tiernan Shoudy has the best face-off win percentage for the Spartans, winning 53.8 percent of his. If the Spartans can win the faceoff battle, it’ll take pressure off their defense in crucial moments in the game.

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About the Contributors
Caden Handwork
Caden is a sophomore journalist from Gross Pointe, Mich. He is the host of the Hedging the Bet podcast and a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM.
Mia Nishanian
Mia Nishanian, Visual Media Director

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