Feb. 6, 2014
Weekly Press Conference
Head Coach Tom Anastos
Greg Wolfe & Thomas Ebbing
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On The Fly...
Michigan State hosts Ohio State in the second series of the season between the teams ... OSU topped the Spartans in the first game of the season, 5-3, while the teams played to a 1-1 tie the following night and the Spartans picked up the extra point in the conference standings with a 3-2 shootout win.
The Spartans and Buckeyes enter the series separated by just one point in the Big Ten standings ... OSU is currently in fourth with 4-5-1 record and 13 points, while MSU is in the fifth spot with 12 points a 2-5-3-3 mark.
The series marks the only home games of the month for the Spartans ... MSU is 7-5-1 at Munn this season.
The Spartans lead the country in blocked shots per game with an average of 17.92 ... Their 448 total blocks are tied for second most in the country - 18 fewer than Alabama Huntsville, which has played two more games ... MSU has blocked at least 20 shots in 11 of 25 games this season.
Travis Walsh leads MSU in blocked shots with a total of 54 and is one of five Spartan defensemen with at least 43 blocks this season ... Walsh's 2.45 blocks per game average ranks seventh nationally and second in the Big Ten.
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has scored goals in four of the last five games and has a 4-1-5 scoring line over the span ... He has at least a point in six of the last eight games.
Over the last seven games, MSU has killed 22 of 24 opponent power-play attempts (.917) ... On the season, the Spartans have a .814 penalty kill percentage, which ranks third in the conference.
In playing the last nine games together, the line of Matt Berry, Mike Ferrantino and Joe Cox has produced 18 points (9 goals, 9 assists), which is the fourth-highest total of any Spartan line combination this season.
Jake Chelios has seven assists over the last 10 games and a total of 14 on the season, which is tied for first among all Big Ten defensemen ... His 16 points are third most among defensemen in the conference.
Jake Chelios is one of eight players in the nation to have appeared in at least 141 consecutive games ... He enters Friday having played in 141 straight contests.
Michigan State is 3-1 in shootouts this season, boasting the most shootout wins of any team in the league.
CURRENT SPARTANS VS. OHIO STATE
With the help of three goals and one assist in this season's previous series, Matt Berry is the Spartans' active leader in goals and points vs. the Buckeyes (5-3-8) ... Berry is a team-best plus-3 against the Buckeyes.
Dean (2-1-3) and Jake Chelios (3-4-7) have both played in 12-career games vs. OSU.
Jake Hildebrand is 0-3-1 against Ohio State with a 2.23 GAA and .922 save percentage, while Will Yanakeff is 3-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .946 save precentage.
OF NOTE FROM THE MINNESOTA SERIES
The Spartans limited Minnesota to its lowest consecutive game goal total since last season when it played to a 2-2 tie with Minnesota Duluth (2/23/13), followed by a 2-0 loss to Denver (3/1/13) ... The three goals were also Minnesota's lowest two-game goal total in a series since March 2-3, 2012 vs. Wisconsin (L, 4-1 and W, 2-1).
The Spartans outshot Minnesota, 30-28, on Friday night, marking just the third time this season the Gophers were outshot at home.
Villiam Haag scored in Friday's game, giving him three goals and one assists in four games vs. the Gophers this season.
IN CONFERENCE PLAY...
Mike Ferrantino leads MSU in goals (5) and points (8).
Jake Chelios has a team-best six assists.
Ferrantino is a team-best plus-3.
Jake Hildebrand has a 2.26 GAA and .937 save percentage.
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 54 and blocks per game average at 2.45.
Matt Berry's three power-play goals are tied for eighth in the conference.
Jake Chelios' 14 assists are tied for seventh and are tied for the most among all defensemen.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Over the last seven games, Michigan State has killed 22-of-24 opponent power plays (.917) ... Going back further, MSU has extinguished 28-of-32 power plays (.875) over the last 10 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.
This weekend's series will mark the only home games of the month for the Spartans. In 13 home games this season, MSU is 7-5-1 and has outscored opponents, 37-28. A total of 20 different players have produced at least a point, led by seniors Greg Wolfe (6-7-13), Lee Reimer (3-8-11) and Dean Chelios (1-9-10). The freshman class has also enjoyed playing at Munn, as Villiam Haag has recorded nine of his 10 points this season at home, while Mackenzie MacEachern has produced eight of his 10 points on home ice. Brock Kryiger is a team-best plus-8 at Munn this season and is one of 13 Spartans with a plus-rating on home ice.
FERRANTINO PRODUCTIVE ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has continued to be one of the Spartans most consistent players this season as he has points in six of the last eight games and is coming off a four-game goal streak that came to an end on Saturday. His seven goals this season are tied for second on the team and 14 points are tied for third 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 of 25 games this season, the last being Nov. 23 vs. Western Michigan.
In the faceoff circle, the Plymouth, Mich., native leads MSU with a .558 winning percentage, which also ranks ninth in the Big Ten. Defensively, Ferrantino has the most blocked shots - 27 - of any forward in the conference.
JAKE CHELIOS LEADING CONFERENCE DEFENSEMEN IN ASSISTS
Jake Chelios is making the most of his senior season as he is tied for the Big Ten lead amongst defensemen in assist with 14 and ranks third in points at 16. His 14 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 leading the country in blocked shots per game at 17.92. Their 448 total blocks lead the Big Ten and rank in a tie for second nationally.
Spartan defensemen boast five of the eight highest blocked-shot totals in the Big Ten: Travis Walsh (54, second), RJ Boyd (48, third), Rhett Holland (44, T-fifth), Brock Krygier (44, T-fifth) and Jake Chelios (43, eighth).
The Spartans had 25 blocks in Friday's game at Minnesota - one shy of their season high (Jan. 24 v. Michigan). MSU has blocked at least 20 shots in 11 of 25 games this season.
THE IRON MAN
Jake Chelios is one of eight players in the nation to have appeared in at least 141 consecutive games. He enters Friday having played in 141 straight contests.
SPARTANS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
MSU is 2-6-2 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) ... Three of the six losses were by just one goal and another by two.
With six assists, Jake Chelios is the Spartans' points leader in the nine games this season vs. ranked teams.
Mike Ferrantino leads the Spartans in goals (4-1-5) and plus/minus (plus-3) vs. ranked opponents.
Villiam Haag (3-2-5) leads all freshmen in points.
In goal, Jake Hildebrand has a .935 save percentage and a 2.18 goals-against average.
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.
NO STRANGER TO THE SHOOTOUT
The Spartans have already appeared in four shootouts this season, going 3-1. MSU took part in three shootouts last year, but went 1-2. The Spartans topped Minnesota, 1-0, in three rounds on Dec. 6 and then, 2-1, in six rounds on Jan. 31; lost to Michigan Tech, 2-1, in five rounds on Dec. 27 and defeated Ohio State, 3-2, in six rounds on Jan. 11.
BERRY GETS ROLLING
After undergoing offseason surgery and missing 12 of the Spartans' first 14 games, junior Matt Berry has appeared in each of the last 11 games, giving the MSU offense a lift with a 5-3-8 scoring line over that span.
He had a four-game scoring streak, tying the longest of his career, from Dec. 27-Jan. 11 in which he produced five goals.
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.
True freshmen Mackenzie MacEachern (6-4-10), Joe Cox (5-5-10) and Villiam Haag (6-4-10) lead the Spartan freshmen in scoring. Along with Thomas Ebbing (2-6-8) and JT Stenglein (1-0-1), the rookies have combined for 39 points so far this season, which equates to 25% of the team's total points. Their 20 combined goals equate to 36% of the team's total.
SPARTANS HEADING TO SOCHI
Spartan greats Ryan Miller and Duncan Keith will both be competing in the Olympic Games for the second time. Miller will again be a part of Team USA, while Canada selected Keith.
Miller backstopped the Americans to a silver medal at the 2010 games in Vancouver where he was named the Most Valuable Player by the media and the goaltender of the tournament by the Tournament Directorate. Keith was part of a shutdown defensive pairing that helped Canada claim gold in 2010. He finished the seven games with six assists.
A total of 15 former Spartan hockey players have had the honor of participating in the Olympics. Keith (Canada - 2010, 2014), Miller (USA - 2010, 2014), Weldon Olson (USA - 1956, 1960) and Geir Hoff (Norway - 1988, 1992, 1994) are the four Spartans that have been named to at least two Olympic teams.
SOLID ROOKIE TRIO
Mackenzie MacEachern, Thomas Ebbing and Villiam Haag have played together in 16 games this season - the most of any Spartan line combination this season. The rookies have produced a 10-10-20 scoring line when playing together, which is tied for the second-highest point total of any MSU line combination this season.
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).
The Spartans will make their first of two consecutive road trips next weekend when they travel to Penn State. The following weekend, Feb. 21-22, MSU will visit Wisconsin.