Hockey Travels to No. 1 Minnesota
Spartans and Gophers will meet in their second series of the season.
Jan. 29, 2014
Weekly Press Conference
Head Coach Tom Anastos
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On The Fly...
The Spartans currently stand in fourth place in the conference with 10 points - three ahead of fifth-place Ohio State.
Michigan State is 2-2-1 over its last five games ... Over that span, Mike Ferrantino leads the team in goals (3) and points (5) ... In goal, Jake Hildebrand has a .946 save percentage and a 1.97 goals-against average.
Mike Ferrantino enters play on Friday with a career-best three-game goal scoring streak ... The last time out, Ferrantino posted his first multi-point game (1-1-2) of the season and the second of his career ... The sophomore has a point in five of the last six games (3-3-6).
Michigan State leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the nation in blocked shots per game at 17.61 ... The Spartans' 405 total blocks this season are 57 more than Ohio State, which has the next most in the conference ... Travis Walsh leads MSU in blocked shots with a total of 48 ... His 2.29 blocks per game average ranks ninth nationally and second in the Big Ten.
MSU is third in the Big Ten and 16th in the country in faceoff winning percentage at .518 ... Mike Ferrantino leads all Spartans with .557 winning percentage (172-137), which ranks ninth in the conference.
Michigan State has killed 16-of-17 opponent power plays over the last five games (.941) ... MSU held Michigan scoreless on the man-advantage last weekend, killing all six penalties.
In playing the last seven games together, the line of Matt Berry, Mike Ferrantino and Joe Cox has produced 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists), which is the fourth-highest total of any Spartan line combination this season.
Jake Chelios has six assists over the last eight games and 13 on the season, which is good for first among all Big Ten defensemen ... His 15 points are third most among defensemen in the conference.
Jake Hildebrand has stopped 29 or more shots in six of the last eight games, producing two shutouts over that span ... The sophomore has a .941 save percentage and 2.09 goals-against average over the last eight games.
Jake Chelios is one of 10 players in the nation to have appeared in at least 138 consecutive games ... He enters Friday having appeared in 139 straight contests.
Michigan State will be playing its ninth and 10th games against a ranked opponent this season ... The Spartans played 12 games against ranked foes last season.
Freshman Villiam Haag leads MSU in points (2-1-3) against Minnesota this season.
CURRENT SPARTANS VS. MINNESOTA
Brent Darnell (2-2-4) and Greg Wolfe (0-4-4) are the Spartans' active leaders in points against the Gophers.
Dean Chelios is plus-4 in six-career games vs. Minnesota, while brother Jake's seven games played against the Gophers is more than any other Spartan on the roster.
In the two games this season, Villiam Haag (2-1-3) leads MSU in points.
Jake Hildebrand has a .936 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average in three games against Minnesota.
SPARTANS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
MSU is 2-5-1 vs. ranked opponents this season, earning wins vs. No. 13/14 Boston University on Oct. 26 (3-1) and No. 3 Michigan on Dec. 28 (3-0).
With five assists, Jake Chelios is the Spartans' points leader in the eight games this season vs. ranked teams.
Mike Ferrantino leads the Spartans in goals (3-1-4) and plus/minus (plus-3) vs. ranked opponents.
Villiam Haag (2-2-4) leads all freshmen in points.
In goal, Jake Hildebrand has a .930 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average.
The Spartans' faceoff winning percentage of .541 is .023 higher than its current season average.
IN THE BIG TEN STATISTICAL RANKINGS...
Greg Wolfe is tied for 18th in points with 17 (8 goals, 9 assists).
Travis Walsh ranks second in blocked shots with 48 and blocks per game average at 2.40.
Matt Berry's three power-play goals are tied for eighth in the conference.
Jake Chelios' 13 assists are tied for eighth and are most among all defensemen.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
The Spartans did not allow a power play goal last weekend, killing all six penalties ... Over the last five games, Michigan State has killed 16-of-17 opponent power plays (.941) ... Going back further, MSU has extinguished 22-of-25 power plays (.880) over the last eight games.
MSU scored a pair of goals on the man-advantage vs. Michigan on Jan. 24, marking the second time this season it had multiple power-play goals and first since Dec. 1 vs. Princeton.
The Spartans had a power-play goal in a season-best three consecutive games from Dec. 27-Jan. 10, which is their longest streak of the season and longest since it had at least one power play goal in six consecutive games from Feb. 3-18, 2012.
Four of the Spartans' 14 power play goals this season have come in conference play.
Three of Matt Berry's five total goals have come on the power play ... Jake Chelios leads the Spartans in points on the power-play (1 goal, 5 assists).
Greg Wolfe (1 goal, 1 assist) and Lee Reimer (1 goal, 1 assist) share the team lead in shorthanded scoring.
FERRANTINO PRODUCTIVE ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has continued to be one of the Spartans most consistent players this season as he carries a career-best three-game goal scoring streak into the weekend. His six goals are tied for second on the team and 13 points are fourth most, topping both his totals from last season.
Additionally, Ferrantino continues to lead the Spartans in plus/minus with a plus-6 rating - he has been a minus player in just three games this season, the last being Nov. 23 vs. Western Michigan.
In the faceoff circle, the Plymouth, Mich., native leads MSU with a .557 winning percentage, which also ranks ninth in the Big Ten.
SORENSON STEPS IN
Junior Tanner Sorenson has two goals and one assist over the last three games. After being scratched for eight games, he returned to the lineup Jan. 11 at Ohio State where he scored in the sixth round to give MSU a 3-2 shootout win. Sorenson has appeared in each of the last five games, scoring a goal in a 3-2 win over Penn State on Jan. 18 and then adding a power-play goal and assist vs. Michigan on Jan. 24.
Jake Chelios LEADING CONFERENCE DEFENSEMEN IN ASSISTS
Jake Chelios is making the most of his senior season, leading all Big Ten defensemen in assist with 13 and ranking third in points at 15. His 13 assists are the most by a Spartan defenseman since Torey Krug's 22 in 2011-12. Chelios' four-game point streak (0-5-5) from Dec. 27-Jan. 11 was the longest of his career.
The Spartans continue to be one of the best shot-blocking teams in the nation, currently ranking second in the country in blocked shots per game at 17.61. Their 405 total blocks lead the Big Ten and rank sixth nationally.
Spartan defensemen boast five of the eight highest blocked-shot totals in the Big Ten: Travis Walsh (48, second), Brock Krygier (44, fourth), Rhett Holland (43, fifth), RJ Boyd (41, sixth) and Jake Chelios (39, eighth).
MSU blocked a season-high 26 shots Jan. 24 vs. Michigan, marking the 10th time this season they have blocked at least 20 shots in a game.
NO STRANGER TO THE SHOOTOUT
The Spartans have already appeared in three shootouts this season, going 2-1. MSU also took part in three shootouts last year, but went 1-2. The Spartans topped Minnesota, 1-0, in three rounds on Dec. 6; lost to Michigan Tech, 2-1, in five rounds on Dec. 27 and defeated Ohio State, 3-2, in six rounds on Jan. 11.
Defenseman John Draeger (Faribault, Minn.) is the lone Spartan on the roster from Minnesota ... Before returning to Michigan State as Director of Hockey Operations, Adam Nightingale coached Draeger's Midget AA team at Shattuck-St. Mary's ... Draeger and junior Tanner Sorenson both played at Shattuck-St. Mary's.
STRONG IN THE CIRCLE
Michigan State has won more faceoffs than its opponents in 13 of 23 games this season. Three Spartan centers that have played at least 22 games have a faceoff winning percentage of .500 or better: Mike Ferrantino - .557 (172-137), Lee Reimer - .532 (206-181) and Thomas Ebbing - .506 (171-167).
BERRY GETS ROLLING
With five goals in the last eight games, junior Matt Berry has been one of the Spartans' best of late. His four-game scoring streak, which came to a close on Jan. 17 vs. Penn State, is the longest of any Spartan this season and tied the longest of his career.
Berry was the Spartans' leading scorer a season ago (15-16-31), but missed 12 games this season, including the first eight, after offseason surgery. He has appeared in each of the last eight games.
HILDEBRAND & REIMER HONORED BY THE BIG TEN
Jake Hildebrand (First Star) and Lee Reimer (Third Star) were both honored by the Big Ten on Jan. 21 for their performances vs. Penn State. Hildebrand posted a .975 save percentage and a 1.00 GAA as he registered his second shutout of the season with a career-high 48-save performance on in game one. Reimer led MSU with two goals and two assists, including scoring the game-winner in game two. He tallied a point on all three Spartan goals Friday with one goal and two assists in a 3-0 win.
The First-Star recognition is Hildebrand's second in the last four weeks, while the honor is the first of Reimer's career.
THE IRON MAN
Jake Chelios is one of 10 players in the nation to have appeared in at least 138 consecutive games. He enters Friday with a streak of 139 consecutive games played.
THE MUNN ADVANTAGE
Since its opening in Nov. 1974, Munn Ice Arena has provided the Spartans with an undeniable advantage. Now in its 39th season as the home of MSU hockey, Spartan teams have compiled a dominating 524-199-59 (.709) record in the building, including a 7-5-1 mark this season.
The Spartans went 8-8-1 at Munn Arena last season, continuing the streak of 32 consecutive seasons with a record of .500 or better in the facility.
SOLID ROOKIE TRIO
Mackenzie MacEachern, Thomas Ebbing and Villiam Haag have played together in 14 games this season - the most of any Spartan line combination this season. The rookies have produced a 9-9-18 scoring line when playing together, which is the third-highest point total of any MSU line combination this season.
MacEACHERN AND EBBING CONNECTION
True freshmen Mackenzie MacEachern (6-4-10) and Thomas Ebbing (2-5-7) have played together in all 23 games this season and have been linemates since high school at Birmingham Brother Rice. The two also played together in juniors last year with the Chicago Steel in the U.S. Hockey League. So far this season, Ebbing has assisted on four of MacEachern's six goals.
True freshmen Mackenzie MacEachern (6-4-10), Joe Cox (5-5-10), Villiam Haag (5-4-9), Thomas Ebbing (2-5-7), and JT Stenglein (1-0-1) have combined for 37 points so far this season, which equates to 25% of the team's total points. Their 19 combined goals equate to 36% of the team's total.
SPARTANS IN THE NHL
A total of 17 former Spartan hockey players have played in the NHL this season: Torey Krug (Boston), Ryan Miller (Buffalo), John-Michael Liles (Carolina), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Corey Tropp (Columbus), Shawn Horcoff (Dallas), Chris Mueller (Dallas), Justin Abdelkader (Detroit), Drew Miller (Detroit), Jeff Petry (Edmonton), Corey Potter (Edmonton), Derek Grant (Ottawa), Mike Weaver (Florida), Adam Hall (Philadelphia), Tim Kennedy (Phoenix), David Booth (Vancouver) and Jim Slater (Winnipeg).
Michigan State will face Ohio State in the second series of the season between the two teams. The Buckeyes and Spartans will meet at Munn Arena on Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.).