Feb. 19, 2014
Weekly Press Conference
Head Coach Tom Anastos
Jake Chelios & Mackenzie MacEachern
Watch Spartan Hockey All-Access
ON THE FLY...
The Spartans (3-5-6-4) enter the weekend alone in fifth place in the Big Ten standings with 19 points - just one behind both Michigan (6-5-1-1) and Ohio State (5-6-3-2) ... Wisconsin (8-5-1-0) currently sits in second place with 25 points.
Michigan State ranks ninth in the nation goals allowed per game at 2.28 ... MSU has held its opponents to two goals of fewer in six consecutive games and in 10 of the last 11 ... On the season, opponents have scored more than two goals against the Spartans in just 10 of 29 games.
The Spartans lead the nation in blocks per game at 18.21 ... MSU's 528 total blocks rank second behind Alabama Huntsville (548) ... Michigan State has blocked +20 shots in 13 of 29 games this year, and at least 24 in four of the last seven contests.
Sophomore defenseman Travis Walsh leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation in blocks per game at 2.62 ... His 68 total blocks also lead the league ... Walsh is one of five Spartan defensemen that rank in the top 10 in the conference in total blocks as all have at least 46.
Jake Hildebrand was named the Big Ten Third Star of the Week after posting a .946 save percentage last weekend at Penn State ... Hildebrand ranks second in the Big Ten in save percentage at .933 ... He has faced more shots (857) than any other goaltender in the league and his 800 total saves lead the conference and rank sixth in the nation
Michigan State and Bemidji State lead the country in ties with seven each ... Denver leads the nation in overtime games with 12, while MSU is tied for seventh with eight.
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has a 5-3-8 scoring line over the last nine games ... Going back 12 games, he has a 5-5-10 line ... Ferrantino had a point in both games last weekend vs. Penn State (1-2-3).
Mike Ferrantino leads MSU in plus/minus with a plus-7 rating ... Ferrantino has been a plus or even player in 25 of 29 games this season.
Jake Chelios leads all Big Ten defensemen in assists with 15 ... His 17 points are a career best and third most among defensemen in the conference.
In playing the last 13 games together, the line of Matt Berry, Mike Ferrantino and Joe Cox has produced 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists), which is the second-highest total of any Spartan line combination this season.
The Spartans are 8-1 when scoring at least three goals this season ... A different Spartan has scored the game-winning goal in all nine of MSU's victories.
Michigan State is the Big Ten leader in shootout wins with four ... The Spartans have taken part in seven shootouts this season, going 4-3.
NOTES FROM THE PENN STATE SERIES
The Spartans won Saturday's game with just 13 shots on goal - the last time MSU won a game with 13 shots on goal was Nov. 4, 2000 when it defeated Michigan, 1-0, in Ann Arbor.
MSU held Penn State, which came into the series leading the nation in shots on goal per game, to 27 and 29 shots, respectively, in the two games.
Saturday's 2-1 win marked MSU's second victory of the season when its opponent scored first and its first win when MSU scores two goals.
The line of Matt Berry (1-2-3), Mike Ferrantino (1-2-3) and Joe Cox (1-1-2) accounted for eight of the Spartans' 11 points.
The 66 goals MSU has allowed this season are tied for the eighth fewest of any team in the nation.
The Spartans have surrendered two goals or fewer in 19 of 29 games this season, including 10 of the last 11.
MSU hasn't allowed more than two goals in consecutive games since Nov. 8-9 in a pair of losses at Michigan Tech (3-0, 3-2 OT).
SPARTANS IN CONFERENCE PLAY...
Three of the five losses have been by one goal.
MSU is outscoring opponents by a combined 12-6 in the second period.
Jake Hildebrand has a .942 save percentage - tops among all goaltenders in league play ... Hildebrand's goals-against average is 2.08, which is fourth among goaltenders in Big Ten games.
Matt Berry (4-7-11), Mike Ferrantino (6-5-11) and Greg Wolfe (4-7-11) lead MSU in points in Big Ten games ... Ferrantino's six goals rank in a tie for fifth in the league
IN THE BIG TEN STATISTICAL RANKINGS...
Greg Wolfe is tied for fifth in goals (11) and knotted for 12th in points with 22 ... Four of Wolfe's goals have come on the power play, which ties him for fifth in the league.
Jake Chelios' 15 assists are tied for seventh and are the most among all defensemen.
Travis Walsh leads in total blocked shots with 68 and blocks per game average at 2.62.
NOTES ON THE DEADLOCKS
MSU's seven ties are the second most in program history ... Only the 2005-06 and 1991-92 teams had more with eight each.
MSU and Bemidji State lead the nation in ties.
The Spartans have participated in more shootouts - seven - than any other team in the nation and lead the Big Ten in shootout wins with four.
The Spartans' three consecutive ties (OSU, 2-2; OSU, 2-2, PSU, 2-2) from Feb. 7-14 were the program's first since Jan. 23 - Feb. 5, 1999 (Northern Michigan, 1-1; Michigan, 3-3; Notre Dame, 2-2).
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Over the last 11 games, Michigan State has killed 32-of-37 opponent power plays (.865) ... Going back further, MSU has extinguished 38-of-45 power plays (.844) over the last 14 games.
MSU had two power-play goals in the Feb. 8 2-2 tie vs. OSU, marking the third time this season the Spartans have scored twice on the man-advantage (Jan. 24 vs Michigan, 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.
Six of the Spartans' 16 total power play goals this season have come in conference play.
Three of Matt Berry's six total goals have come on the power play ... Jake Chelios (1-6-7) and Greg Wolfe (4-3-7) lead MSU in points on the power play.
Greg Wolfe (1 goal, 1 assist) and Lee Reimer (1 goal, 1 assist) share the team lead in shorthanded scoring.
AGAINST THE BEST AT BOTH ENDS
The Spartans have played a total of nine games against three teams that are ranked in the top-11 in the nation in goals scored per game (5. Minnesota - 4, 8. Ohio State - 4, 11. Ferris State).
MSU has also played a total of six games against teams that rank in the top-four in goals allowed per game (1. UMass-Lowell, 2. Minnesota - 4, 4. Ferris State).
FERRANTINO PRODUCTIVE ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has continued to be one of Michigan State's most consistent players this season as he has points in eight of the last 12 games (5-5-10). His eight goals this season rank second on the team and 17 points are tied for second, topping both his totals from last season.
Ferrantino's plus-7 rating is the best on the team. He has been a minus player in just four of 29 games this season. He was plus or even in 16 consecutive games from Nov. 29-Feb. 7.
In the faceoff circle, the Plymouth, Mich., native leads MSU with a .547 winning percentage, which also ranks 14th in the Big Ten. Defensively, Ferrantino has the second-most blocked shots - 30 - 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 leads Big Ten defensemen in assist with 15 and ranks third in points at 17. His 15 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 18.21. Their 528 total blocks lead the Big Ten and rank in a tie for second nationally.
Spartan defensemen boast five of the 10 highest blocked-shot totals in the Big Ten: Travis Walsh (68, first), RJ Boyd (56, third), Jake Chelios (48, eighth), Brock Krygier (48, eighth) and Rhett Holland (46, 10th).
The Spartans have blocked at least 24 shots in four of the last seven games.
NO STRANGER TO THE SHOOTOUT
The Spartans have appeared in seven shootouts this season - more than any other team in the nation - and have gone 4-3. MSU is 1-0 vs. Penn State; 1-1 vs. Minnesota; 1-2 vs. Ohio State and 0-1 vs. Michigan Tech (GLI). Mike Ferrantino has been the Spartans' best shooter, scoring on three of his seven attempts, while in goal, Jake Hildebrand has stopped 26 of 34 opponent attempts.
THE IRON MAN
Jake Chelios is one of eight players in the nation to have appeared in at least 145 consecutive games. Only five players have a streak longer than 145 games.
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.
MacEACHERN AND EBBING SPLIT FOR THE FIRST TIME
True freshmen Mackenzie MacEachern (6-4-10) and Thomas Ebbing (2-7-9) played together in each of the first 28 games of the season before being split up in MSU's 2-1 win at Penn State on Feb. 15. MacEachern was moved to play with Greg Wolfe and Lee Reimer, while Ryan Keller played with Ebbing and Villiam Haag.
MacEachern an Ebbing have been linemates since high school at Birmingham Brother Rice and also played together in juniors last year with the Chicago Steel in the USHL. So far this season, Ebbing has assisted on four of MacEachern's six goals.
THE ROOKIE TRIO
Mackenzie MacEachern, Thomas Ebbing and Villiam Haag have played together in 19 games this season - the most of any Spartan line combination this season. The rookies have produced a 10-11-21 scoring line when playing together, which is the third-highest point total of any MSU line combination this season.
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 524-199-61 (.707) record in the building, including a 7-5-3 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.
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 15 games, giving the MSU offense a lift with a 6-7-13 scoring line over that span. Last weekend at Penn State, Berry had a point in each game. In Saturday's 2-1 win, Berry had an assist and then scored the game-winner with 5:04 to play. The game-winning goal was the fifth of Berry's career.
The Canton, Mich., native 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).
True freshmen Joe Cox (6-6-12), Mackenzie MacEachern (6-4-10) and Villiam Haag (6-4-10) lead the Spartan freshmen in scoring. Along with Thomas Ebbing (2-7-9) and JT Stenglein (1-0-1), the rookies have combined for 42 points so far this season, which equates to 23.2% of the team's total points. Their 21 combined goals equate to 33.3% of the team's total.
SPARTANS IN SOCHI
Spartan greats Ryan Miller and Duncan Keith are both competing in the Olympic Games for the second time. Miller is again 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.
ONE OF A KIND
Freshman Villiam Haag is one of 11 players from Sweden in Division I college hockey this season, and just one of 24 from Europe (11 - Sweden, 10 - Finland, 3 - Austria). The native of Gothenburg, Sweden, has appeared in each of the last three games of the season.
Geir Hoff (1986-87) of Oslo, Norway, is the only European letterwinner in MSU program history.
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 take a weekend off from Big Ten play and host the U.S. National Team Development Program in an exhibition on Saturday at 7 p.m.