Neil Koepke's notes and observations from Saturday's game.
Neil Koepke previews the Spartans' opening series.
The Spartans met with the media on Oct. 1.
MSU had 113 student-athletes recognized for having a 3.0 or better GPA.
Freshman just second player in school history to claim Rookie, MVP Awards in same season
2013-2014 (Junior): Saw action in 17 games ... Scored his first goal of the season in a 3-2 win over Penn State (1/18) ... Picked up two points with a power play goal and an assist and also blocked two shots vs. Michigan (1/24) ... Scored the shootout-winner in the sixth round at Ohio State (1/11) to give MSU the extra point ... Earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
2012-13 (Sophomore): Ranked second on the team in goals (13) and tied for second in points (21) ... Tied with Brent Darnell and Matt Berry for the team lead in power play goals with four ... Academic All-Big Ten selection ... Recorded four multi-point games (Niagara 10/19, Lake Superior State 10/27, Notre Dame 1/12 and Penn State 1/13) ... Scored goals in consecutive games at Lake Superior State (10/26-27) ... Scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-3 win over Penn State (1/25) ... Had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory over Notre Dame (1/12) ... Registered the game-winning goal in a 3-1 win over Bowling Green (2/9) ... Finished the season with four points in the final six games, including goals in games one and two of the CCHA Playoffs vs. Alaska (3/8-9).
2011-12 (Freshman): Skated with classmate Brent Darnell and Dean Chelios on the Spartans' fourth line ... Recorded his first career point on an assist on Trevor Nill's third-period goal against Ohio State in MSU's 3-0 win (10/20) ... Had assists in back-to-back games against Robert Morris (10/29) and at Western Michigan (11/11) ... Scored his first career goal against Michigan in the GLI championship (12/30) ... Notched a secondary assist on Brock Shelgren's game-winner in the Spartans' 2-1 win against Northern Michigan (1/14) ... Had a three-point outing in MSU's sweep of Alaska, earning CCHA Rookie of the Week honors on Feb. 20. Assisted on Brent Darnell's second-period goal (2/17) , then had his first multiple point game of his career against the Nanooks on a second-period tally and assisted on Dean Chelios's game-winner (2/18).
Prior to MSU: Played high school hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota ... Is just the third player in the last 20 years to play high school hockey in the season prior to enrolling at MSU. Brian Clifford (1992-96) and Chris Mueller (2004-08) were the others, and both played at the Nichols School in Buffalo ... Helped SSM to a U18 Tier I National Championship as a senior, and a fifth-place finish as a junior ... Was a team captain as a senior ... Had a 42-43-85 scoring line in 54 games his final season ... Played for the Alaska All-Stars from 2000-07 ... Participated in the USA National Select Festival (2007-10) ... Represented the United States in the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia, Czech Republic, and had four goals and two assists in the tournament, helping the US team to a silver medal.
Personal: Born Feb. 17, 1993 in Anchorage, Alaska ... Son of Dennis and Lisa Sorenson ... Father was a four-year letterwinner at Alaska-Anchorage (1980-84) ... Father was the Seawolves' leading scorer all four season and still ranks second all-time in scoring at the school. He captained the team twice and earned All-America honors as a senior ... Father was inducted into the Alaska Anchorage Hall of Fame in 2001 ... Graduate of Shattuck-St. Mary's high school, where he also earned varsity letters in tennis and ultimate frisbee ... Served as the student body president his senior year and was on the honor roll all four years ... Lists Jonathan Toews and Pavel Datsyuk as his favorite NHL players for "how intense they play, do the little things best, and are the two most well-rounded players in the game." ... Considers his father his largest hockey influence, and his parents his heroes for all of their support and all they sacrificed to allow him to fulfill his hockey needs and present him with the best opportunities possible.