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Series Preview: LIU Battles MSU, Goodsir Homecoming

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LIU, Adam Goodsir
LIU forward Adam Goodsir (Photo courtesy of LIU Athletics)

The LIU Sharks Men’s Hockey team is set to face the Michigan State Spartans for a two-game back-to-back set beginning Friday. Opening puck drop on Friday is set for 7 PM ET, while Saturday’s contest begins at 6 PM ET.

Here’s your NYI Hockey Now Series Preview

Alexa play ‘I’m Coming Home’ by P Ditty, Adam Goodsir Homecoming

For Adam Goodsir, this particular series is extra special. This is the first time Goodsir is returning to East Lansing, Michigan, since he transferred to Long Island this fall.

“It’s a mix of emotions. Some great four years at Michigan State, just with the friendships that I’ve made and the memories that I had,” Goodsir told NYI Hockey Now. “It’s exciting too, with the opportunity that I have with LIU and the new guys on the team and the coaching staff.”

“I feel we have a special group here, and I’m excited about this opportunity and the challenges for not only myself but the team as well.”

The Okemos, Michigan native appeared in 131 games with Michigan State from 2018-19 and ’21-22, tallying six goals, 12 assists, and 60 blocked shots. Despite a new coaching staff and new players at MSU, Goodsir shared with NYI Hockey Now some previous knowledge that can benefit the Sharks.

“I feel like I have some knowledge… Well, I’d say the rink, the boards are very lively, and those types of things that I have some knowledge on that I kind of shared with the guys,” the Sharks forward said.

Looking at the Stats

LIU Sharks captain Jack Quinn spoke with us regarding this upmcing series with MSU.

“I think the biggest thing is just, we need to score more. We got shut out last weekend at RPI 1-0,” Quinn said. “So if we can just kind of figure out ways to score more, that’s the biggest thing, and just go from there because we’re getting chances, we just got to find ways to find the back of the net.”

Meanwhile, netminder Vinnie Purpura sits at 12th in the nation with a 1.71 GAA, which has impressed his team and his head coach Brett Riley.

“I think in short, he put in the work to be successful. He came back in unbelievable shape…His confidence is through the roof,” Reilly said. “He’s trusting in his training again, He’s the first into the rink. He takes care of his body. He’s practicing better than ever. So I think it’s just kind of a contagious confidence that he has right now, and it’s very exciting to see and his save percentage is phenomenal and it’s been against some of the best teams and players in college hockey too, so that’s no small feat.”

LIU’s defense has also been putting up some good numbers. Currently, the Sharks are tied for sixth in the nation for best scoring defense average with an AVG. of 1.75.

“I just think the six that have played and the three that haven’t played for that matter, are similar to Anthony [Vincent]. They’re relentless competitors. They don’t take a shift off, they’re willing to sacrifice the body, whether it be blocking a shot, finishing a hit or playing through a guy,” Reilly said. “They focus on just being sound defenders, which is just kind of a staple of our identity, and then adding offense as we go, hopefully here… But the D core has been great.”

Scouting the Spartans

This will be the first-ever meeting between MSU and LIU.

Michigan State is riding high after upsetting no. 16 UMASS Lowell last weekend in game one of a two-game series. With a 2-2 record, MSU has allowed the first goal of the game in all four contests so far this season.

A player to keep an eye on for the Spartan is Senior Nicolas Müller, who is second on the team with four points, already more than halfway to his collegiate career-high (six). Muller recently played in his 100th collegiate game, achieving that milestone against Bowling Green, and is currently riding a three-game point streak.

The Switzerland native had two assists in the most recent game vs. UMass-Lowell and is tied for fifth in the Big Ten in assists with four.

Michigan State’s faceoff skills are second to none. At the dot, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten and 10th nationally, winning 55 percent of their face offs.

Only Penn State (59.5%) ranks higher.

MSU took a whopping 11 penalties last weekend as LIU should be ready to get power-play minutes.

In net, Dylan St. Cyr has played in all four Spartan games this season with a 2.29 GAA (fourth, B1G) and .906 save percentage (fourth, B1G).

Michigan State has a new bench boss this year as well, with Adam Nightingale calling the shots. If the name sounds familiar, it should be because Nightingale was a Detriot Red Wings assistant coach from 2019-2020 and served as head coach of the USNTDP from 2020-2022.

 

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