(ISN) – ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 19 Michigan (19-13-0, 11-7-0-0 Big Ten) heads into the final weekend of the regular season with a pivotal home-and-home series Michigan State (16-14-2, 10-6-2-2 Big Ten) with perhaps a Big Ten regular season title on the line.
The Spartans lead the conference with 34 points, with Michigan and Minnesota sitting one point back with 33 points. Penn State (31 points) also has a chance at winning the Big Ten, as the Nittany Lions will travel to Minneapolis this weekend in another pivotal league series. The Wolverines are 2-1 this season against the Spartans, including a 4-1 win in the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field in Chicago the last time the two teams met. Michigan is seeking to win the regular season series against Michigan State for the fourth straight year.
• Michigan is 150-129-19 all-time against Michigan State, with a 45-64-9 record at Munn Ice Arena. The Wolverines will play the Spartans at Munn for the first time this season, Michigan’s last road game of the season. The Wolverines snapped a four game winless streak at Michigan State last season (W, 5-2 on Jan. 24, 2014), but are 1-3-2 in East Lansing since the start 2010-11 season. Michigan has played Michigan State in more games than another team in program history.
• In the last meeting between the two teams on Feb. 7, Michael Downing and Justin Selman each recorded one goal and one assist, helping Michigan defeat Michigan State, 4-1, in the Coyote Logistics Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field. With the win, Michigan improved to 3-3-1 all-time in outdoor games in the modern era (dating back to the Oct. 6, 2001, “Cold War” game at Michigan), including a 2-1-1 record against the Spartans. Goaltender Zach Nagelvoort finished the night with 31 saves, and as a team Michigan blocked 18 shots. U-M outshot the Spartans, 37-32, and neither team scored on three power-play chances each. Boo Nieves added two assists on the night.
• In last Saturday’s 4-3 loss at Penn State, JT Compher led the Michigan offense with his second hat trick of the season, just two games removed from his first hat trick of season against Wisconsin on Feb. 28. Compher is the first Michigan player to have two hat tricks in one season since Louie Caporusso had two during the 2008-09 season. Compher has a four-game point scoring streak (7G, A) and now has 22 points (11G, 11A) on the season.
• Four Michigan players have point streaks of three games or more, led by JT Compher (four games, 7G, A) and Andrew Copp (four games, G, 4A). Tyler Motte (three games, 3A) and Nolan De Jong (three games, 4A) are also pacing the Michigan offense.
• Zach Hyman needs two points to become the first Michigan player to top 50 points in a single season since Carl Hagelin, who had 50 points (19G, 31A) in 2009-10. Hyman leads the Big Ten in scoring with 48 points (19G, 29A). His current scoring pace (1.50 points/game, No. 3 in the nation) exceeds Kevin Porter’s (1.47 points/game) during his Hobey Baker Award winning campaign in 2007-08. Hyman entered this season with 35 points (13G, 22A) in his first three seasons combined.
• Hyman is one goal shy of becoming the first U-M player to reach 20 goals since Louie Caporusso had 21 goals in 2009-10. He is the first Michigan player to top 40 points in a single season since Hagelin, who had 49 points (18G, 31A) in 2010-11. Hagelin was also the last Michigan player to top 50 points in a season (19G, 31A in 2009-10), and the last player to have 25 assists in a single season before Hyman and Dylan Larkin reached that mark this year.
• Michigan’s power play and penalty kill units have both had impressive runs of late. Michigan’s power play is 7-for-22 (31.8%) over the last five games, while the team’s penalty kill success has been impressive over the last 11 games. In that span, the Wolverines have allowed just four power play goals, with a 29-for-33 mark (87.9%) on the penalty kill.