April 5, 2007

St. Louis, MO

NCAA Frozen Four

 
As I left Michigan early this morning the snow was blowing and it was gloomy.  Arriving in St. Louis I found somewhat warmer temperatures but a lot of sun.  Lets hope the sunshine is a good sign for the Spartans today as they begin the quest to capture their third National Championship.

 
Coach Comley has the guys excited and although it is unclear how much he will play, Daniel Vukovic the multi-talented defenseman will suit up and contribute.  The Spartans are riding a wave of emotion after losing in the CCHA tournament and ending the season on a down note.  That message resonated with Comley who kept his kids fighting and even with him saying before the CCHA tournament that they had to win it to even make the NCAA tournament.  They didn’t win it as you know but are here after defeating Notre Dame in the regional finals nearly two weeks ago.

 
The Spartans enter today’s showdown with the biggest little guy in all of sports, goalie Jeff Lerg leading the way.  No sport can have one player carry the load like hockey can and the Spartans emotional firecracker is the 5’6” Jeff Lerg.  Earlier this week Comley acknowledged the importance of a hot goalie this time of year when he said, “I think hockey today is all about goaltending.  There’s no team here that hasn’t had great goaltending.  I don’t think we’ve played a game in I can’t tell you when that goaltenders haven’t been an absolute factor.”

 
He may not be a national award finalist but Jeff Lerg was the regional MVP and if the Spartans can get some magic this weekend, it will be behind him.  If MSU can capture the type of hardware that only comes on championship weekends, Lerg will be the one whose back they ride.