Weekend Hockey Preview

Things may get interesting again this weekend as the Michigan State Spartans (2-5-5-3) visit Penn State University (1-9-0-0) for the first time this season. Coming off of a weekend that saw both the Spartans and the Gophers get swept and Penn State get its first win, everyone is holding their breath to see if there are more upsets in the works.

The Nittany lions are coming off of their first Big Ten conference victory in program history, upsetting No. 9 Michigan 4-0 last Saturday. MSU on the other hand, is coming off of a frustrating weekend, coming away with only two points in their series against Ohio State. While MSU did sweep the Nittany Lions in East Lansing in January, Penn State will look to return the favor this Friday.

Penn State comes into this weekend with momentum on their side, having shutout Michigan, they will be looking to capitalize against MSU who has yet to win a road game outright. The stats may not be in their favor, but Penn State now believes that they can win in this conference. That may just be enough to edge out the Spartans.

Michigan State comes into this weekend desperate for points. They currently sit 5th in the Big Ten with 14 points. Sophomore goaltender Jake Hildebrand has been keeping the Spartans alive this season and this weekend will be no exception. MSU’s offense will have to perform and the defence will have to be effective if the Spartans hope to overcome the Nittany Lions. The Spartans have not had much success on the road this season and that needs to change.

Things won’t get easier for MSU after this weekend. A back-to-back series with No. 8 Wisconsin and a home-and-home against No. 9 Michigan round out the remainder of the season. With a tough finish looking them in the face, the Spartans need to regroup and reorganize for a late season surge.

Happy Valley seems like a good place to start.

Jason Ruff is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports