Tom Anastos has his Spartan hockey team sitting at #16 in the nation and hosting Lake Superior this weekend at Munn Ice Arena.Â The Spartans started the season with low expectations, but came out of the gate on fire at 3-2.Â That optimism hit a freight train when they then headed north to LSSU for a big series and promptly got swept.
The Lakers will face a different Spartan squad this time around.Â Anastos said, â€œWere much better organized then we were thenâ€¦A lot was a work in progress,â€ back when the new MSU staff took over to start the season.
Anastos thoughts on one of the big reasons the Spartans are different today?Â â€œI donâ€™t think we worked as hard as we do today.â€Â Not that the Spartans were lazy, but with the new staff coming in they still didnâ€™t know their team and they didnâ€™t know their coaches.
Anastos confessed that both teams will be different.Â â€œWeâ€™ve gotten better.Â I think theyâ€™ll be a better team.â€Â One big area of concern when you face LSSU is their goal play.Â Sophomore LSSU goalie Kevin Kapalka will be a real test for the Spartans is a force in the net.
MSU hasnâ€™t scored a power play goal in five games and when you add to the pressure a very good goaltender it makes the series and even bigger contest.Â Even Anastos who is not given to hyperbole gushed about Kapalka saying that LSSU has, â€œExcellent goaltending.â€
I look for the Spartans to avenge being swept back in October and I think a big weekend in January does that.Â Look for MSU to win them both as they move up the national rankings and the CCHA standings.