Taro Hirose voted MVP.
Neil Koepke previews this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal series at Ohio State.
The seventh-seeded Spartans will meet second-seeded OSU in a best-of-three series.
Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Friday's win over Penn State.
Notes, quotes and analysis from Neil Koepke on Saturday's 6-3 win over OSU in Columbus.
2017-18 (Junior): Recorded nine points (4g, 5a) in 33 games ... Tri-winner of the Spartan Fitness Award ... Had three points over the final four games of the season, including a tying a career high with two goals at Notre Dame (2/23), and then picking up an assist at Ohio State (3/2) in game one of the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals ... Scored his second goal of the season and then added an assist the next night in a series split at Ohio State (2/2-3) ... Tied a career high with two assists vs. Minnesota (1/18) ... Scored his first goal of the season vs. Michigan Tech in the GLI (1/1) ... First point of the year came on an assist on Tommy Apap's first-career goal in a 3-2 win over Bowling Green (10/14) ... Was forced to miss games for the first time in his career, sitting out three games due to injury before returning to the lineup vs. Notre Dame (12/2).
2016-17 (Sophomore): Tied for first among Spartan defensemen with 12 points (4g, 8a) ... Scored in the third round to give MSU a 2-1 shootout win following a 1-1 tie at No. 5 Minnesota in the regular-season finale on March 11 ... Scored what proved to be the game-winning goal on Feb. 11 at Michigan, getting an unassisted tally in the second period ... Had points in both games at Penn State (Jan. 13-14), scoring a power-play goal and adding an assist the following night ... Had assists in three straight games from Dec. 18 - 30, marking his longest point streak of the season ... Scored a goal and had an assist in a 3-2 OT win over Michigan Tech on Nov. 4 ... Had an assist and goal, respectively, in the season opening series at LSSU, Oct. 14-15.
2015-16 (Freshman): Voted to the Big Ten All-Freshman team as he led all Spartan defensemen and ranked second among Big Ten rookie blueliners with 19 points (6g, 13a) ... His six goals were the most by a MSU freshman defenseman since 2003-04 ... Became the first MSU freshman to score twice in his collegiate debut since 2009 when he found the back of the net twice in the season-opener vs. Maine (10/9) ... His second goal in the game came with 1:09 to play in the third, tying the game, 3-3, as he earned Big Ten Second Star of the Week honors ... Picked up assists in consecutive games vs. UNH (11/7) and Boston College (11/13) and then scored a goal and assist vs. Michigan Tech (11/21) and added an assist the following day (11/22) to compile a season-long four-game point streak ... Scored a power-play goal at Penn State (12/5) ... Recorded his third multi-point game of the year with two assists in a win over Wisconsin (12/11) ... Scored his sixth goal of the season in a win at Wisconsin (2/19) and added an assist the following night to help MSU sweep UW ... Had helpers in back-to-back games vs. Minnesota (3/5) and Ohio State (3/11).
Prior to MSU: Had eight goals and eight assists in 54 games with the Chicago Steel of the USHL in 2014-15 ... Participated in the 2014 USA Hockey Select 17 development camp ... Was plus-4 in four games for the USHL Clark Cup Champion Indiana Ice in 2013-14, but played a majority of the season with Victory Honda's U18 team where he had 26 points (15g, 11a) in 34 contests ... Played for Team USA at the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Trnava, Slovakia, producing one goal and two assists in four games ... Product of Honeybaked Hockey where he played prior to juniors.
Personal: Born Feb. 7, 1997 in Plymouth, Michigan ... Son of Rick and Carrie ... Sister, Katie, played softball at Miami University and is married to Adam Eaton of the Washington Nationals ... Has another sister, Chelsea ... Father, Rick, played hockey at UM Dearborn, including one year under Tom Anastos ... Graduated from Wheaton North High School ... Likes boating, wakeboarding and skiing ... Favorite NHL team is the Boston Bruins and favorite player is Torey Krug because "he is a small offensive defenseman that can put up points" ... Lists his father as his biggest hockey influence and hero.