Negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA may have broken down, but that doesn't mean that hockey fans are completely left in the cold. Fans looking for their hockey fix can see an excellent match-up between Michigan State and Notre Dame on NBC Sports Network on Friday evening at 7:05 EST.
Notre Dame has briefly slipped out of first place in the CCHA, trailing Miami by a single point, but have two games in hand over the RedHawks. They've only lost one out of their eight league games, and have a league best +18 goal differential. It's been a tougher go for a young Michigan State team. The Spartans are tied for 9th in the CCHA with a 3-6-1 league record, and are winless in their last four games, but have a +1 goal differential.
Notre Dame is a team loaded with potential NHL talent, including 12 players that have been drafted by NHL teams. The threat of labor issues in the NHL may have been all that kept Notre Dame leading scorer Anders Lee in college for another year rather than signing with the New York Islanders. Columbus pick TJ Tynan is off to a slower start this year after two great years to start his college career, but is a dangerous and fun player to watch. Defenseman Shayne Taker is one of the few undrafted regulars on Notre Dame's team, but the 6'4" defenseman could be a potential free agent target for NHL teams whenever they decide to come back to work.
The Spartans only have three drafted players on their roster, and they're all freshman. Forward Matt DeBlouw(Calgary) and defenseman John Draeger(Minnesota) have both been key components for the Spartans this year. There's also some famous names on the MSU roster. Both of Chris Chelios' sons, Dean and Jake, play for the Spartans, though Dean has been out with a shoulder injury. David Bondra, son of 500+ goal scorer Peter Bondra, also plays for the Spartans.