EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State grabbed one of 10 available at-large bids in the 2007 NCAA Hockey Tournament, and will play second-seeded Boston University in the first round of the Midwest Regional. The teams will face off on Friday, March 23 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids at 8:30 p.m.
The winner of the MSU/BU match-up will play either CCHA Champion Notre Dame or College Hockey America tournament champ Alabama-Huntsville in the regional final Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.
This is the Michigan State's third national tournament appearance under fifth-year head coach Rick Comley and 25th all-time. MSU owns an overall record of 24-28-1 in its previous trips, having won two national championships (1966 and 1986). MSU has made ten trips to the Frozen Four (most recently in 2001), and has played in four National Championship games. Last season, MSU shut out New Hampshire in the opening round, 1-0, before falling to Maine in the East Regional Final, 5-4. Overall, the Spartans are 1-2 in NCAA Tournament play under Comley.
Friday's matchup will be the seventh meeting of MSU and Boston University in NCAA Tournament play. The Spartans and Terriers last faced off in the 1992 first round, with MSU taking a 4-2 victory en route to a spot in the national semifinals. The teams also met in a best-of-three quarterfinal round in 1990 in East Lansing. The Spartans took game one by a 6-3 score before the Terriers rallied for a pair of 5-3 victories to advance to the Frozen Four.
Friday's first-round game features two of the top five winningest coaches in the history of the college game. Jack Parker has won 762 games in his head coaching career, all behind the bench at his alma mater. Rick Comley joined the 700-win club on Jan. 6 at Miami, and has 710 victories on his resume. The pair rank second and third behind Boston College mentor Jerry York (775) among active coaches.
The Spartans enter the tournament with a record of 22-13-3, having won three of their last four games. MSU most recently defeated Lake Superior State, 7-6 in overtime, in the CCHA consolation game after falling to Michigan, 5-2, in the semifinals. BU, 20-9-9 overall (despite losing four of six) fell to archrival Boston College in the Hockey East semifinal.
A limited number of tickets will be available through the MSU ticket office to undergraduate students, season ticket holders and donors. Tickets may also be purchased through Van Andel Arena by calling (616) 456-3333 or visiting www.vanandelarena.com