MSU Wraps Homestand With LSSU Series
MSU Hockey Weekly
Jan. 18, 2012
|No. 16 Michigan State vs. No. 19 Lake Superior State|
|Dates||Friday-Saturday, Jan.20-21, 2012|
|Game Times||7:05 p.m.|
|Location||East Lansing, Mich.; Munn Ice Arena (Cap. 6,470; 200x85)|
|Televison|| (F) FS Detroit Plus (Find FS+ in your area)
(S) Comcast (Digital Channel 900 in mid-Michgian)
|Radio||WJIM 1240 AM|
|Tickets||Seating Chart | Ticket Info|
|Game Notes||Download PDF (MSU)
Download PDF (Northern Michigan)
|Internet Coverage|| (S) MSU All-Access (Video Stream)
Live Stats | Live Audio
|Social Media||@MSU_Hockey | Facebook|
|Press Conference Video||Head Coach Tom Anastos
Players Mike Merrifield and Chris Forfar
|Press Conference Audio||Head Coach Tom Anastos | Mike Merrifield | Chris Forfar|
|Promotions|| (F) Family Four Pack, Chuck-a-Puck |
(S) Post-game autographs (Freshmen).
Michigan State concludes a six-game homestand when it hosts Lake Superior State for a weekend series.
On the radio, all games will be carried by the Spartan Sports Network. Both contests will air on WJIM 1240 AM. Scott Moore and Rob Woodward are in their seventh season together on the call of Spartan hockey.
Fox Sports Detroit will air Friday's game live, with Ken Daniels and Darrin Elliot on the call and Shannon Hogan rinkside. On Saturday, Art Regner and Lyle Phair will call the game, and Rob Otto will be rinkside.
Live audio on the internet can be found at www.spartansportsnetwork.com.
Michigan State concludes a six-game homestand when it hosts Lake Superior State for a weekend series. MSU is 67-34-12 all-time against the Lakers, and owns a 35-11-5 record in games played at Munn Ice Arena.
MSU was unbeaten in its previous four games against the Lakers until LSSU swept the Spartans in the first CCHA series of the season in a pair of one-goal contests.
The Spartans were swept in their two-game set in their CCHA opener at LSSU back in October, falling in each game by a goal (5-4, 3-2). On Friday, a goal by senior Domenic Monardo with 71 seconds remaining was the difference, as it broke a 4-4 tie and gave LSSU a 5-4 victory in its home opener.
The Spartans rallied from a two-goal deficit in the first period to twice tie the game in the third frame, but the backbreaker late in the game sent MSU to its second loss of the season. Brett Perlini had a goal and two helpers, while Chris Forfar and Torey Krug each had a goal and an assist for the Spartans.
The game-winner came with 1:11 on the clock remaining in regulation. The goal as the teams fought for a loose puck in the crease area; Mondardo put back a shot by Chris Ciotti, a high shot that went over the blocker hand of Yanakeff. The homestanding Lakers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-2 victory over Michigan State on Saturday evening. Jake Chelios and Greg Wolfe had the Spartan markers, while Drew Palmisano made 23 saves, including 12 in the final period to keep his team in the game.
The Spartans grabbed five of six points at home against Northern Michigan, gaining a shootout victory after a 5-5 tie on Friday and capturing a 2-1 win on Saturday in the final of four games between the teams this season. MSU captured the season series, 2-1-1.
Northern Michigan victimized the Spartans with goals in the final minute of each period, as the teams skated to a 5-5 tie on Friday night in East Lansing. Michigan State got the extra point in the shootout thanks to a pair of saves by Drew Palmisano and a goal by Matt Berry. MSU had five goal scorers in regulation: Chris Forfar, Mike Merrifield, Anthony Hayes, Kevin Walrod, and Tim Buttery.
Brock Shelgren's second-period goal stood as the game winner and Torey Krug assisted on both Spartan tallies as MSU defeated NMU, 2-1, on Saturday. Will Yanakeff made 23 saves for the Spartans, and Berry had MSU's tying goal after falling behind early to the Wildcats.
Lake Superior sits in fourth place in the CCHA standings with 28 points, and is coming off a home split against Miami in a pair of one-goal games (1-2, 4-3). After starting the season 9-3-2, the Lakers are 4-7-1 since Nov. 25.
Junior Domenic Mondardo leads the offensive effort with a 8-12-20 line, while Nick McPartland owns the team lead in goals (12, with seven assists). Sophomores Kyle Jean and Colin Campbell sit tied for third place with 20 points.
Sophomore Kevin Kapalka has carried the bulk of the work for the Lakers in net, boasting a 2.49 GAA and .918 save percentage.
The Laker penalty kill is tied for first in the CCHA and third nationally with a .890 success rate (81-for-91). LSSU's power play is at 18-of-92 (19.8%).
Freshman Justin Hoomaian (leg injury) has missed the last 10 weeks. He was cleared for full practice, but will have significant conditioning work to complete before making it back to the lineup.
Mike Merrifield has been out of the lineup after leaving the Michigan game (Dec. 10). Merrifield is hopeful for a return for the Northern Michigan series this week.
Junior blueliner Matt Grassi was injured in the Miami game on Jan. 6, and is questionable for this weekend's series. Miami player Tyler Biggs was suspended two games last weekend against LSSU for his hit on Grassi.
Freshman Branden Carney sustained a serious neck injury in practice on Thursday, Nov. 3. Carney returned to campus in late November to finish the semester, and is also enrolled for spring semester. He remains under the care of neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Bill, and will not return to play this season.
On Oct. 25, coach Tom Anastos announced that junior Zach Golembiewski had decided to end his competitive hockey career on the advice of medical professionals. Golembiewski, a winger, had appeared in 56 career games, but was advised to end his hockey career after the discovery of an underlying issue that was hindering any improvement after a back injury.
MSU has added freshman Nathan Phillips to the roster for the spring semester. The 6-1, 165-pound goaltender most recently played for Winnipeg South Blues. He will be the third goaltender, behind Drew Palmisano and sophomore Will Yanakeff.
The Spartan hockey team turned in a combined semester grade point average of 3.0613, the highest single-semester GPA since the department's Student-Athlete Support Services (SASS) started keeping records in 1997. Additionally, the team now has a cumulative GPA of 3.0805, the second-highest cumulative GPA in the same time frame.
Ten current players received Academic All-Big Ten honors in spring 2011 for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
MSU had 17 of its 25 varsity athletic teams achieve a 3.0 GPA in the fall 2011 semester.
The Spartans check in at No. 16 in the USCHO.com poll and are receiving votes in the USA Hockey Magazine/USA Today survey.
The Spartans sit in a tie for eighth place in the CCHA standings, but have games in hand on six teams in the league. The Spartans are just four points out of third place, eight out of second, and nine out of first.
Former Spartan skater (1982-85) and assistant coach Tom Anastos takes the reigns of the MSU hockey program for the 2011-12 season, becoming just the sixth head coach in program history. Anastos spent the previous 13 seasons as the commissioner of the CCHA.
Anastos is one of nine new head coaches in college hockey in 2011-12, not including Penn State (which will begin play next season with Guy Gadowsky at the helm).
Of those nine new coaches, Anastos is one of the three that faced a ranked team in his coaching debut with his new team. Providence's Nate Leaman's maiden voyage was a win over No. 17 Boston University, while Princeton's Bob Prier skated to a 2-2 tie with then-No. 3/6 Yale.
Of MSU's four head coaches in the modern era, it took Tom Anastos the fewest games of any of them to reach his first 10 wins. Win #10 for Rick Comley came in game #20, a January game vs. Alaska. It took Ron Mason 27 games to get to 10 wins, and it took Amo Bessone 34 contests - he did not get his 10th career victory at MSU until his second season as the head coach.
Among college hockey's nine new coaches this season, Anastos was also the first to 10 victories, on Dec. 3.
MSU has nine seniors on the roster this season, the largest senior class since the 1977-78 campaign under Amo Bessone, which had 10.
In the Rick Comley era, the Spartans owned a 42-32-7 record in games against non-conference teams. (This includes regular-season, tournament, and NCAA Tournament games). Last year, MSU went 4-2-2 against non-conference teams, and is currently 5-1-1 this season against teams from the other four leagues. MSU played one non-conference game, the GLI final, against league archrival Michigan.
MSU's 2011-12 schedule has a three games against WCHA competition (two against Minnesota, and against Michigan Tech in the GLI) in addition one against Hockey East frontrunner Boston College. The Spartans also had a two-game set against Robert Morris at Munn, and one game against Air Force for three total games against Atlantic Hockey.
This season, MSU will play 21 games against eight teams in this week's USCHO Top 20 poll. So far, MSU is 5-3-3 in games played against Top 20 competition, and 3-1-1 against teams ranked in the top five at the time of the game.
The 14 opponents MSU has played this season are a combined 144-104-37 (.570) this season. Eight of them have a dozen or more wins, and only one - Bowling Green - is under .500. Minnesota, which MSU beat and tied, leads the country with 16 victories. In addition, the Spartans have played the leaders in three of the five Division I conferences (MSU does not have an ECAC team on its schedule this season, while Air Force and Robert Morris (tied for third) trail Mercyhurst in the Atlantic Hockey standings.)
MSU has six two-game series remaining, all in conference play. Five of those six opponents are currently among the top 20 in the pairwise ranking, the main tool used in selecting the NCAA Tournament field. Ohio State (2), Notre Dame (T-5), Michigan (T-5), Ferris State (13), Lake Superior (t-18), remain on MSU's schedule, and join Boston College (4), Northern Michigan (T-7), Minnesota (T-7) Western Michigan (10), and Miami (T-15) as MSU opponents which appear in the PWR top 20.
MSU is tied for 15th in the most recent PWR, which would have the Spartans as one of the last teams out of the tournament if the tournament selections were released today.
MSU recorded its 10th victory of the season on Dec. 3. It is the earliest MSU has owned 10 victories since the 2007-08 season, when win No. 10 came on Dec. 1 vs. LSSU.
The Spartans snapped a four-game winless streak overall and five-game winless streak in CCHA games with the tie (and shootout win) and victory over Northern Michigan last weekend. It was MSU's longest losing (0-3-0) and winless streak (0-3-1) this season.
MSU has three straight CCHA weekends at home to start January (Miami, Northern Michigan, and Lake Superior).
On the season, MSU is 7-3-3 in games at Munn Ice Arena, with the losses coming against CCHA-leading Ohio State and Miami.
MSU is .500 or better in each of the first three months of the season. The Spartans are already at 12 victories, after posting a total of 15 last year.
The last time MSU was .500 or better in each of the first three months of the season was in the 2007-08 campaign. The Spartans are 1-2-1 in January, with four games remaining.
Last year, the Spartans employed 60 different forward line combinations in search of consistent scoring. Through 24 games, there have been 21 different combinations, the same defensive pairs have been used in 23 of 24 games, and only six line combinations have been used for a single game.
The Spartans are 1-7-0 when scoring two or fewer goals, and 11-2-3 when scoring three or more. MSU was held to a single goal on Jan. 6-7 against Miami, but had four in the first period last Friday against Northern Michigan.
MSU has been outshot this season in 12 of 24 games, and overall, MSU is -93 in total shots, an average of just under four shots per game. MSU outshot its opponents in just 14 of 38 games last season, including holding its opponents to 20 shots or less four times.
The Spartans have not scored a power-play goal in their last five games, a total of 21 chances against. MSU is 14-of-91 (15.4%), and ranks sixth in the league.
MSU's penalty kill was a perfect 7-for-7 against Northern Michigan last weekend, and is now 81-for-91 (.890) on the season, good for first in the league (tied with LSSU), and third nationally.
Michigan State has been swept twice this season: on the road at Lake Superior (Oct. 14-15), and at home against Miami (Jan. 6-7). In between, the Spartans have registered three weekend sweeps of their own, against Robert Morris (Oct. 28-29), Western Michigan (Nov. 11-12), and Bowling Green (Dec. 2-3).
In 2010-11, MSU recorded its first and only sweep of the season in the final regular-season weekend against Bowling Green.
MSU has played overtime in each of its last four weekends, and four of its last seven games overall. The Spartans are 0-2-3 in their last five OT games since downing Air Force in the second game of the season. MSU skated to a 3-3 tie with Michigan (and won the shootout) on Dec. 10, lost to the Wolverines in the GLI final (3-2), lost to Miami on Jan. 6 (2-1), and skated to a 5-5 tie (and won the shootout) on Jan. 13 against Northern Michigan.
In its last 16 contests, MSU has scored first nine times; on the season, MSU is 9-3-1 when scoring first and 3-6-2 when allowing its opponent to do so.
In 2010-11, the Spartans were 14-5-3 when scoring the first goal, and an alarming 1-14- 1 when letting its opponent score first.
MSU has allowed the first goal of the game in each of the last four contests.
Through 24 games, there are 19 skaters who have appeared in six games or more. Of those 19 players, 18 have at least three points and one goal.
Six of MSU's 11 losses on the season are by a single goal. MSU is 4-6-0 in one-goal games this season. 16 of MSU's 24 games this season have been decided by two goals or less.
MSU was shut out for the first time this season in the Jan. 7 loss to Miami (4-0). It was the first time the Spartans had been shut out in nearly a calendar year - the last time was Jan. 22, 2011 - a 4-0 loss to Miami at Munn.
Through Dec. 31, MSU had scored at least two goals in 19 of 22 games; the lone exception was a Nov. 19 loss to NMU (2-1). In the first series of 2012, MSU lost in overtime to Miami (2-1) then was shut out the following night (4-0). The Spartans had both feast and famine in last weekend's set, starting with a wild 5-5 tie on Friday before a defensive-minded 2-1 victory over Northern Michigan on Saturday.
Since Nov. 1, three of MSU's games has had a total of seven goals scored in the contest. Last Friday (Jan. 13), the teams combined for seven first-period goals. In MSU's first 22 games this season, neither team has scored more than two goals in the first or second period, but four times either MSU or its opponent had three-goal third frames.
Junior defenseman Torey Krug is the fifth player in MSU history to wear the captain's "C" on his jersey for two seasons. Last year, he was the program's first solo captain as a sophomore in team history. The alternate captains are senior Trevor Nill and junior Anthony Hayes. Nill is in his second season as an alternate captain, while this is the first captain's role for Hayes at MSU.
Senior netminder Drew Palmisano earned his second CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors on Jan. 3, his second award of the season.
Palmisano set a new Great Lakes Invitational record by making 90 saves over two games, stopping 90 of 94 shots faced (.957) with a 1.82 GAA. Palmisano made 45 stops each night, as the Spartans dropped the GLI final game in a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime decision to Michigan. Palmisano was one short of his career-best of 46 saves each night; his career high came against Michigan as a freshman.
Palmisano's earlier award came on Nov. 28 for his performance against Minnesota. He stopped 75 of 82 shots against in a win and tie against the No. 2/3 Gophers.
Freshman winger Brent Darnell was named the CCHA Rookie of the Week after a four-point performance in the Spartans' sweep of Bowling Green (Dec. 5). He had a goal and three assists (+3) for the Spartans as they swept the Falcons, their third series sweep of the season and second of a CCHA opponent.
Senior defenseman Brock Shelgren and sophomore goaltender Will Yanakeff were named the CCHA Defensive Player and Goaltender of the Week, respectively, after the Nov. 11-12 Western Michigan series.
Shelgren had a team-best eight blocked shots - including a career-best seven on Friday - in the Spartans' sweep of the Broncos. Shelgren was a +4 on the weekend and contributed three assists, including the helper on the game-winner in Saturday's contest.
Yanakeff made a career-best 38 saves in Friday's victory, and another 28 on Saturday in helping the Spartans to a two-game road sweep WMU. On the weekend, Yanakeff stopped 66 of 70 shots against (.943). The sophomore has won three straight starts.
Lee Reimer was named the CCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 31. Reimer had a hat trick and a five-point night in Saturday's win over Robert Morris (6-2), which came on the heels of a two-assist effort in Friday's 5-2 victory. Reimer's seven-point, +7 effort is far and away his career best for a single weekend's offensive output. Reimer and his linemates combined for nine goals and 14 assists (23 points) on the weekend, and were a +22.
The Spartans now have 10 players who have at least 10 points on the season - matching last season's total. Six players have already posted numbers for career-best offensive seasons thus far.
Lee Reimer is tied for third in the league in scoring (24 points), and third in assists (16), and Mike Merrifield is 14th in goals and fourth in the league in goals per game (0.56). He also ranks third in the league in game-winning goals. Matt Berry is seventh in freshman scoring 6-6-12.
Torey Krug ranks second among league defensemen in scoring with a 5-11-16 line, while fellow blueliner Matt Crandell is 10th among blueliners in scoring (13 points).
Brent Darnell earned his first collegiate point with an assist on Torey Krug's goal against Northern Michigan on Nov. 18, the 11th game of the season. He turned around and scored his first collegiate tally a week later against Minnesota (Nov. 25).
Tanner Sorenson was the first among the four freshmen to get his first collegiate point, an assist on Oct. 20 against Ohio State. However, he was the third to score his first college goal, against Michigan in the GLI finals.
Matt Crandell had a pair of assists in the Great Lakes Invitational to push him to 13 points this season, his single-season career best. He is the seventh Spartan to check in with a career-best offensive season.
With 19 points (7g, 12a), Greg Wolfe has bettered his freshman year total of 11 points, and sits at second on the team with +12. Lee Reimer owns a 8-16-24 scoring line, and has already well eclipsed his freshman season total of seven points (2g, 5a).
Mike Merrifield had a 4-4-8 line last season, and career numbers of 6-6-12 in two and a half seasons on the Spartan roster. Despite missing six games this season with injury he has surpassed his career goal total (9) and currently has a 9-5-13 scoring line in just 14 games, better than his junior-season numbers and bettering his career point total. Kevin Walrod's six goals and six assists gives him a 12 points this season.
Among defensemen. senior Brock Shelgren owns a 3-8-11 scoring line; his previous best single-season point total was seven points as a junior, and he has bettered his single-season assist mark (6). Shelgren is on course to surpass his three-season total of 16 points (5g, 11a).
Junior Kevin Walrod had his third career two-goal game (and second of the season) on Nov. 25 against Minnesota. The winger has 10 career goals, and six of them have come in his three two-goal efforts. He has four games with a single goal.
Freshman Matt Berry has delivered the shootout-winning goal in each of MSU's two shootout victories this season. The first-year winger leads all freshmen with a 6-6-12 scoring line.
Berry's two shootout goals is tied with Brett Perlini for fourth at MSU all-time; Andrew Rowe leads the list with four, while Matt Schepke and Kurt Kivisto each scored three shootout goals.
Jan. 13 was MSU's second shootout of the season, against Northern Michgian. Drew Palmisano stopped the second and third NMU shootout attempts, and got a little help from his crossbar on the the first. He's made saves on five of the six shootout attempts he has faced this season.
In Palmisano's four years, he has been in nine shootouts, with a 4-5 record. He has made saves on 18 of 31 attempts against, with 11 goals allowed. As a senior, he is 2-0 with five saves and zero goals allowed.
Mike Merrifield returned to the lineup on Friday after missing four games with injury, and was named the game's first star. Merrifield had a first-period goal for the Spartans, and leads the team with nine goals. In the CCHA, Merrifield is 14th in goals, and fourth in goals per game (0.56).
MSU is 10-3-3 with Merrifield in the lineup, and 2-6-0 in games which he has been sidelined with injury. He missed the first four games with a lower-body injury, and four in December/January with an upper-body injury.
Torey Krug and Brett Shelgren, who have been MSU's top defensive pair in 23 of 24 games, have a combined 110 of MSU's 357 blocked shots this season, ranking first and second individually (Krug has 41, Shelgren 69). Tim Buttery has 46 blocks, and Matt Crandell 32.
Will Yanakeff's 40 saves Miami on Jan. 7 was a career-best performance for the sophomore. His previous high was 38, which came earlier in the season against Western Michigan.
Drew Palmisano has three 40+-save games this season. He had 45 in each game of the GLI in addition to 40 in a 4-3 win over Minnesota on Nov. 25. His career best is 46 stops, against Michigan on Jan. 29 of his freshman season.
Head Coach Tom Anastos has been asked several times whether he will pick one of the team's goaltenders as his primary starter, or employ a platoon; he has maintained that he does not have a strict philosophy, and that the play of the goalies during the week and the previous games will determine who gets the start.
Drew Palmisano opened the season with 30 saves against the aggressive, talented Boston College offense, and has had three games this year with 40+ saves. Palmisano has played 13 of MSU's 24 games, and owns a 5-5-3 record, 2.68 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Will Yanakeff played in each of MSU's first four games in November, and was the CCHA Goaltender of the Week on Nov. 7. In 11 games this season, he owns a 2.47 GAA and .918 save percentage, and a 7-4-0 mark on the season.
Both Torey Krug and Chris Forfar will play in their 100th career games this Friday against Lake Superior.
Brett Perlini played in his 100th career game on Dec. 3 against Bowling Green. He is the fourth player this season to reach the milestone: Trevor Nill skated in his 100th career game on Nov. 18, Tim Buttery played in his 100th career game against Ohio State on Oct. 20, Brock Shelgren did it in the season opener vs. Boston College; Daultan Leveille and Matt Crandell registered their 100th last season.
Four players (Brett Perlini, Lee Reimer, Torey Krug, and Greg Wolfe) have points in 12 of MSU's 22 games this season, a best for the team. Kevin Walrod and Matt Berry have points in nine games.
Lee Reimer leads the squad in multiple-point games, with seven; Brett Perlini has five, and Mike Merrifield, Torey Krug, and Greg Wolfe each have four.
MSU senior alternate captain Trevor Nill is a nominee for the BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award for the second consecutive year.
He is a dedicated student, with a 3.4 cumulative grade-point average as a mechanical engineering major. Last spring, he was among the finalists for Hockey Humanitarian in addition to taking home the CCHA's Ilitch Humanitarian Award.
Nill carved out a significant amount of time to give back to his campus and community in East Lansing. He has been the hockey program's representative for SAAC for three years, and this year, he is serving as the group's president. He is also the vice-president of the MSU chapter of Athletes In Action. Nill has volunteered his time to a wide-spanning list of community service initiatives undertaken by the team. He has never turned down a request to be involved in things like Relay for Life, Children's Miracle Network, March is Reading Month, or programs for the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter.
Nill is an extremely kind and compassionate young man, and there is no further evidence needed than his dedication to children in the local Lansing area. He has been actively involved in Spartan Buddies, visiting children in Sparrow Hospital's pediatric ward. He also is the annual leader during MSU Athletics' "Teams for Toys" initiative, where the hockey team adopts a local needy family for the holidays. He has also worked extensively with hockey ministries camp, volunteered his time with Camp Kesem (for children with parents battling cancer), and volunteered with the Detroit Red Wings Clark Park event in conjunction with Family Day in Detroit.
Since the 1980-81 season, all but one Spartan starting goaltender has earned all-league honors at one point in their career. (The Spartans have competed in both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association or Central Collegiate Hockey Association during this stretch).
The list reads like a who's who in Spartan hockey - Ron Scott, Bob Essensa, Norm Foster, Jason Muzzatti, Mike Gilmore, Mike Buzak, Chad Alban, Joe Blackburn, Ryan Miller, Dominic Vicari and Jeff Lerg. Scott, Alban, Blackburn, Miller and Lerg were All-Americans.
The only starting goalie who didn't make an all-star team or win an award during this stretch was Matt Migliaccio in 2002-03. Drew Palmisano kept the streak alive with his Second Team All-CCHA honor in 2009-10.
Freshman Tanner Sorenson is a rare species in college hockey - the player who enters college directly after playing for his high school team. Sorenson played for Shattuck St. Mary's, winning a 18-U Tier I National Championship in 2011. Since the 1991-92 season, Sorenson is just the third MSU player to skate for his high school team in the season before enrolling at MSU - Brian Clifford (1991-95) and Chris Mueller (2004-08) both played for the Nichols School in their hometown of Buffalo. Both Clifford and Mueller also played a split season, playing for both their high school and the local AAA team during their senior years. Sorenson played solely for Shattuck last year.
Olympia Entertainment in partnership with Michigan State University and the University of Michigan announced in November that the agreement which ensures a Spartans-Wolverines game is held annually at Joe Louis Arena has been extended through the 2013-14 hockey season.
The archrivals have squared off in regular season action at JLA in at least once per year since 1990, with Michigan having earned ten victories to Michigan State's nine over that time; four of the games ended in a tie.
Tom Anastos has announced that three players signed National Letters of Intent in the fall signing period and will join the Spartans in the fall of 2012. Forward Ryan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich./Sioux Falls (USHL), Defenseman John Draeger (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck St. Mary's) and goaltender Jake Hildebrand (Butler, PA/Cedar Rapids (USHL) will join three previous signees - forward Matt DeBlouw (Chesterfield, Mich./Muskegon USHL) and defensemen Rhett Holland (Calgary, Alberta / Okotoks (AJHL) and Travis Walsh (Lansing, Mich./Muskegon (USHL) on the Spartan roster for next season.
DeBlouw (37), Draeger (71) and Holland (192) all appear on the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term rankings.
MSU had 11 former skaters on 2011 opening-night rosters in the National Hockey League, and 15 players have played at least one game in the NHL this season: Ryan Miller and Corey Tropp (Buffalo), Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader (Detroit), Tim Kennedy and Mike Weaver (Florida). Jim Slater (Winnipeg), Shawn Horcoff, Jeff Petry and Corey Potter (Edmonton), David Booth (Vancouver), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Adam Hall (Tampa), Chris Mueller (Nashville) and John-Michael Liles (Toronto).
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