These former CCHA foes broke an eight-year cease fire last season when they met in East Lansing for a weekend series early last season, and Michigan State won both nights.
The teams wrap up the home-and-home contract this weekend, and although the Spartans are 71-34-6 all-time vs. Miami, the RedHawks are 7-2-1 in their last 10 meetings in Oxford.
Michigan State enters this weekend 5-1-1 in its last seven, all against Big Ten foes, including a 7-3 win at No. 6 Penn State last Saturday.
A look at this weekend’s matchup:
WHO: No. 16 Michigan State Spartans (9-4-1) at Miami RedHawks (5-7-2).
WHERE: Cady Arena (3,642), Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday – 7:05 p.m.; Saturday – 5:05 p.m.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Michigan State leads, 71-34-6.
STREAMING: NCHC.tv ($).
MICHIGAN STATE RADIO: Both nights — WVFN-AM (730) and WJIM-AM (1240), East Lansing, Mich.
MIAMI RADIO: Friday — WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.; Saturday — WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio.
NOTES: Michigan State has had no problem putting the puck in the net, scoring 28 goals in its last six games vs. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.
On the season, the Spartans scoring clip of 3.50 ranks No. 12 in Division I, and only Minnesota is netting goals at a better clip in Big Ten play.
And MSU has to be ecstatic that its top two points producers thus far are freshmen.
Undrafted Daniel Russell is leading the Spartans in assists (11) and points (16), and he is already plus-9. Karsen Dorwart — a Sioux Falls teammate of Russell last season — is 4-10-14.
Three other Michigan State forwards have already reached double-digits in points. Swiss-born Nicolas Muller has three goals and nine assists, sophomore Tanner Kelly — who recorded five points last season — is 4-8-12, and Jagger Joshua, who has 11 points, leads the team in goals (6) and power play tallies (3).
Nash Niehaus leads all MSU defensemen with 10 points, including a pair of goals, and freshman Matt Basgall is 3-6-9 and tied with fifth-year senior Cole Krygier in blueliner goals with three.
Dylan St. Cyr, on his third team in three seasons, has logged all but 60 minutes in net, posting a 2.23 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. His save percentages his previous two seasons with Notre Dame and Quinnipiac are .921 and .936, respectively, and he notched a ridiculous 1.16 GAA in 2021-22.
First-year Miami assistant coach Zach Cisek played for two years at Michigan State.
The RedHawks need to play better hockey on their home ice, as just one of their five wins have come in their own rink. Miami enters this weekend 1-3-2 at Cady Arena and have only lit the lamp 10 times in those home contests.
Despite MU’s recent lack of scoring, Matthew Barbolini has points in four straight games (1-4-5) and has picked up points in 11 of 12 games this season. He leads the team with 13 points.
Michigan State has made news in the past few days because Joshua — the team’s leading scorer — posted on social media that a racial slur was repeatedly aimed at him in a home game vs. Ohio State on Nov. 11.
The Buckeyes’ Kamil Sadlocha was issued a game misconduct in that contest.
Following Joshua’s post, Ohio State publicly apologized for the incident and “sent Sadlocha home”, although he played the second game of the series vs. MSU and both games last weekend. Sadlocha is still listed on OSU’s roster.
The Big Ten issued a statement on Nov. 21 stating “due to the absence of indisputable evidence presented to the conference, the conference has not imposed further disciplinary action.” The officials for that game, who issued the game misconduct, work for the league.