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Battle of Michigan Begins Tonight

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

All NCAA hockey eyes will be on the state of Michigan tonight as the CCHA-rival Michigan State University Spartans (5-4-1 overall, 3-3-0 CCHA) host the #2 ranked University of Michigan Wolverines (7-2-1 overall, 5-1-0 CCHA) in East Lansing, the first of a two-game set this week. The two teams will square off again on Saturday at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor on Saturday. This is the first of two series between the two schools this season, with their next series scheduled for February 4 and 5.

MSU is coming off a three-point weekend against Cornell - skating to a 1-1 tie on Friday and a 2-0 win on Saturday. The Wolverines enjoyed a bye week after sweeping Miami-Ohio (5-2 and 5-3) on November 5 and 6.

Michigan State junior defenseman Corey Potter returned to action last weekend, making his regular season debut on Friday after missing the first eight games with a shoulder injury. The Mason, Mich., native finished the weekend set with six penalty minutes and a +1 rating.

Michigan will be led by standout netminder Al Montoya, who has posted a 7-2-1 record, along with a 2.28 goals against average and a .903 save percentage in 10 games this season . Montoya has posted a 2-1-0 mark, along with a stingy 1.84 goals against average and a .934 save percentage on home ice vs. Michigan State. On the road vs. MSU, he is winless, posting a 0-2-1 record, along with a 3.25 goals against average and a .875 save percentage at Munn Ice Arena.

The Wolverines hold the all-time series edge at 126-112-11, which began with a 5-1 Michigan victory on Jan. 11, 1922. However, in the last 12 meetings, the Spartans hold a slim 5-4-3 advantage. MSU posted a 2-1-1 mark in the 2003-04 season series.

Michigan State series information >>
University of Michigan series information >>
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