It's been several years since Michigan State's hockey team made the 16-team NCAA tournament and the Spartans are no lock for this year as their post season runs begin Friday. MSU drew a bye in the CCHA playoffs, but their best of three quarter-final match up is no picnic-- I watched Ohio State struggle all week end a couple of weeks ago against the Red Hawks. And they will be very tough to beat in their own building. MSU is 19-13-4 on the regular season and ranked 16th and I'm thinking they may have to win the series to make it into the field.
Of course MSU could win the CCHA playoffs and that would seal the deal but that's a tall order. the Spartans are done with home games. The other three series look tough too, except for Ferris State at home against last place Bowling Green. But then Bowling Green shocked Northern Michigan last week end in the Upper Peninsula. Notre Dame is at Michigan and Lake Superior State at Western Michigan in the other best of three match ups. All the survivors head to Detroit's Joe Louis Arena the following week end for the single game semi-finals and Saturday finals.
The Spartans have been off for nearly two weeks. They had some injury issues but whether they return sharper or duller against a physical team that swept two games in East Lansing earlier in the regular season remains to be seen.