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NMU Hockey Series Snapshot: Coreau becomes the Spartans’ Valentine

February 15, 2013 - Matt Wellens

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University junior goaltender Jared Coreau issued a warning to everyone on Saturday night following his first shutout of the season and 3-0 victory for the Wildcats over Ferris State at the Berry Events Center.

With a trip to Michigan State on the horizon, ”keep an eye on my Twitter, because it’s about to blow up.”

Then this happened:



Spartan fans began the week by milking last year’s favorite joke, the stolen bike snafu.



Then, MSU fans got on Coreau for the four goals he allowed in nine minutes in the 8-2 loss at Michigan Tech.



By Thursday night, everyone was in the Valentine’s Day spirit.



Yes, there’s a lot of love going around for the Spartans and Wildcats, who sit at the bottom of the CCHA Standings.

In the final year of the CCHA, 10th and 11th place have been seeds of honor with last-place Michigan State and then 10th-place Michigan battling at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

This weekend, the Spartans and Wildcats get both of their games televised regionally at 6:35 p.m. on Friday on Big Ten Network and at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday on Fox Sports Detroit as part of Hockey Day in Michigan.

Like the Wildcats, the Spartans only have six CCHA wins on the season, but unlike Northern with 12 wins overall, MSU only has eight victories all year.

According to Neil Koepke — formerly of the Lansing State Journal, now with — State’s freshman goaltender, Jake Hildebrand, is the one to credit for giving his team a chance at a win any night.

The 19-year-old has a goals against average of 2.21 and save percentage of .934 in 21 appearances (20 starts). He’s now taken over the starting role from junior Will Yanakeff, who was had a mediocre 3.60 GAA and .877 save percentage.

Hildebrand’s rise has only gotten the Spartans five wins, all in CCHA play, however. One of those five — his first — was on the road at Lake Superior State on Oct. 27, which gives the MSU freshman more CCHA road wins this year than the Wildcats.

Northern is 0-9-1 on the road in CCHA play this season and 5-11-1 overall away from the Berry Events Center and it’s wider, Olympic-sized sheet. On the narrower, NHL-sized sheets, the ’Cats are 3-9-1.

The State News did a nice graphical breakdown this week of the Spartans’ special teams. When scoring a power play goal, MSU is 7-4-1. When Sparty comes up empty, he’s 1-16-2.

NMU gave up three power play goals at Tech on Tuesday, but prior to that debacle the Wildcats were killing 88.4 percent of their opponents’ power plays.

Game notes for Northern Michigan can be found here.

Game notes for Michigan State can be found here.

As I said earlier, both games are televised this weekend. Friday’s game is on Big Ten Network and Saturday is on Fox Sports Detroit as part of Hockey Day in Michigan.

There is no online video feed, so if you can’t get to a TV, tune into The Point 100.3 FM, which also offers a free audio stream on its website.

I’ll be back in The Mining Journal offices in Marquette holding down the fort on a busy day in U.P. sports, but give me a follow on Twitter still for updates and insight.



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