Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Friday's win at Michigan.
MSU outshot the U18 team, 39-16.
Neil Koepke previews Sunday's exhibition game against the USNTDP U-18 team.
Neil Koepke analyzes the Spartans’series finale at North Dakota.
Thomas Ebbing and Patrick Khodorenko scored for MSU.
2016-17 (Senior): Appeared in all 35 games and ranked fifth on the team with 16 points (3g, 13a) … Scored in the Spartans’ 5-4 road win over No. 13 Ohio State on March 3 ... Assisted on JT Stenglein’s tying goal in the third period against Michigan in the GLI on Dec. 30 ... Had an assist and a goal, respectively, in the two home games vs. No. 11 Minnesota, Dec. 10-11, to tie a career-long five-game point streak ... Scored a shorthanded goal in a 2-2 tie at No. 5 North Dakota, Nov. 26 ... Assisted on Joe Cox’s game-winning goal the previous night at North Dakota ... Assisted on Joe Cox’s game-tying goal at Ferris State on Nov. 12 ... Had his first two-assist game of the year in a 6-2 win over Princeton, Oct. 28.
2015-16 (Junior): Voted the winner of the Most Improved Player award as he put up a career-best 19 points (5g, 14a) ... His 14 assists were twice his total from both his freshman and sophomore years ... His 59 blocked shots were fourth among all forwards nationally ... 399 faceoff wins were third most in the Big Ten ... Scored MSU's lone goal in a tie with OSU (3/12) ... Assisted on both Mackenzie MacEachern's third-period goals, including the game-winner, at Wisconsin (2/20) ... Assisted on a pair of goals in a 7-4 win over UNH (11/7) to begin a career-long five-game point streak ... Picked up his first goal of the season and added an assist in a 2-0 win over LSSU (10/23) ... Had two assists vs. Maine and added another the next night vs. LSSU (10/10).
2014-15 (Sophomore): Produced four goals and seven assists in 35 games ... Blocked 49 shots - the most among any forward in the Big Ten ... Two of his four goals came on the power play ... Scored a power-play goal in the final minute of a 4-2 win at Minnesota (2/27) ... Scored in a 3-0 win at Wisconsin (2/21) ... Blocked four shots in a 2-1 win over Michigan (1/30), including two in the final 15 seconds of the game ... Assisted on Brent Darnell's game-winning goal vs. Ohio State (1/23) ... Named the Big Ten Second Star of the Week (12/16) after posting a career-best three-point game (1g, 2a) in a win over Clarkson ... Tied a career high with two assists vs. Ferris State (11/1) ... Posted a .507 winning percentage in the faceoff circle ... One of MSU's best penalty killers ... Took just four penalties, the fewest of any Spartan that appeared in all 35 games.
2013-14 (Freshman): Appeared in all 36 games as a freshman, producing nine points (2g, 7a) ... Led all Big Ten forwards in blocked shots with 45 ... Recorded his first career points with assists on a pair of Mackenzie MacEachern goals in a 4-0 win vs. AIC (11/3) ... Scored his first career goal in a 4-1 win vs. Princeton (12/1) ... Scored what proved to be the game-winning goal just 1:23 into the first period in a 3-0 win vs. Michigan at the GLI (12/28) ... Had assists in ties at Minnesota (1/31) and vs. Ohio State (2/7) ... Blocked a season-high five shots in a win at Penn State (2/15).
Prior to MSU: Had a 16-10-26 scoring line in 60 games with the Chicago Steel (USHL) in 2012-13 ... Ten of his goals came on the power play, as did three of his assists ... Two of his goals stood as game-winners ... Racked up 63 penalty minutes ... Member of the US Junior Select Team that captured a gold medal in Nov. 2012 at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where he was a teammate of classmate JT Stenglein ... Drafted in the third-round, 34th overall, by the Chicago Steel in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft ... Scored 43 goals and registered 69 assists over two seasons at Birmingham-Brother Rice in Troy, Mich. ... Completed his junior year at Brother Rice (2011-12) by helping his team to its first Division 2 State Championship since 2005 ... A 2012 Michigan Division II First Team All-State selection ......Played with classmate Mackenzie MacEachern at Brother Rice and in Chicago.
Personal: Born Sept. 28, 1994 in Sheffield, England ... Son of John and Bridget ... Father, John, played hockey in college at Northwood University ... Brother, John, attended Western Michigan University and sister, Amy, attends MSU ... Several relatives also attended MSU ... Graduated from Wheaton (Ill.) North High School ... Favorite NHL team is the Detroit Red Wings and favorite player is Henrik Zetterberg because of his skill and the difficulty required to knock him off the puck ... Lists his dad as his idol and biggest hockey influence because he taught him everything, not just hockey.