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March 13, 2010

Munn Arena? Try 'Yost West'

Last night was a disappointing night for Spartan athletics. And no, I'm not talking about the overtime loss to Minnesota in men's basketball. I'm not even talking about the 5-1 loss to Michigan by the men's ice hockey team. I'm talking about the transformation of Munn Arena to "Yost West" at last night's hockey game (Yost Arena is the Wolverines' home turf, in case you didn't know).

I've been attending MSU hockey games now for six years. Given, I don't attend every game and four of those years was as a member of the Spartan Brass, but regardless, I've followed the team closely. And last night, was ... well, it was a disgrace to Spartan "fandom."

The infamous 'Bullwinkle Dance' The infamous 'Bullwinkle Dance'

As I stood snapping photos (<-- Photo Gallery) with my camera I couldn't help but notice the empty seats throughout the arena. Correction: empty SECTIONS. Now I understand times are tough, the economy is bad and the basketball team was playing during prime time on the Big Ten Network, but when I heard the final tally in attendance, I just shook my head in disappointment.

3,188.

Munn Arena's capacity is listed at 6,470.

End of the first period. End of the first period.

Earlier this season on November 14th, against Michigan (wait, who did the Spartans play last night?) a sell-out crowd of 7,099 watched the Spartans defeat the Wolverines 2-0. The fourth largest crowd in arena history.

Here we are four months later, in a three-game playoff series, against MICHIGAN, fighting for a post-season NCAA tournament birth, and we can't even fill one half of the arena. 

All I can say is, as chants of "Go Blue," "HAIL" and the Michigan fight song echoed across the empty seats throughout the night, there was very little support and effort to get the Spartans back into the game. The end result? a 5-1 loss with "we can't hear you" booming from the Michigan fan section.

Michigan fans celebrate after a goal is scored.
 Michigan fans chant after scoring a goal.

Maybe it's because the student body is on vacation.

Maybe it's because the men's basketball team was playing in Indianapolis, as 'Pops' pointed out below. 

Or maybe it was because the circus was in town at the Breslin Center (no joke).

But if this atmosphere doesn't change by tomorrow night, you can kiss a victory over Michigan goodbye, along with a trip to the NCAA tournament. 

Michigan fans out-cheer Spartan fans at last night's game. Michigan fans out-cheer Spartan fans throughout the game.

There is no excuse for tomorrow night's elimination game not to sell-out. I don't care if ticket prices are raised because it's a conference tournament. This is win or go home, against the University of Michigan. You're not going to see this again anytime soon. So support your team and head on over to Munn Arena and give the Spartans a boost into the CCHA semi-finals. 

You're not going to be watching any basketball Saturday night, thanks to Minnesota, so what other excuse do you have?

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If you're interested, here are the post-game interviews I filmed with head coach Rick Comley and senior Forward Nick Sucharski from last night.

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