Feb. 27, 2014
Weekly Press Conference
Head Coach Tom Anastos
JT Stenglein & Will Yanakeff
Watch Spartan Hockey All-Access
ON THE FLY...
The Spartans will take the weekend off from Big Ten play to host the U-18 US National Team Development Program in their second exhibition game of the season.
Michigan State continues to be one of the best shot-blocking teams in the nation, ranking second in blocks per game at 17.71 and total blocks at 549 ... MSU has blocked +20 shots in 13 games this season.
MSU ranks in a tie for 13th in the nation in goals allowed per game at 2.35 ... The Spartans have allowed more than two goals just once in the last eight games and twice in the last 13 ... Opponents have scored more than two goals against the Spartans in just 11 of 31 games this season.
Sophomore defenseman Travis Walsh leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the nation in blocks per game at 2.61 ... His 73 total blocks also lead the league ... Walsh is one of six Spartan defensemen that rank in the top 11 in the conference in total blocks as all have at least 47.
Jake Hildebrand ranks third in the Big Ten in save percentage at .931 ... He has faced more shots (914) than any other goaltender in the league and his 851 total saves lead the conference and rank seventh 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.
In playing the last 15 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.
Jake Chelios leads all Big Ten defensemen in assists with 16 ... His 18 points are a career best and third most among defensemen in the conference.
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.
Sophomore Mike Ferrantino has a 5-3-8 scoring line over the last 11 games ... Going back 14 games, he has a 5-5-10 line.
USANTDP head coach Danton Cole compiled 163 points (69 goals, 94 assists) in his four years at Michigan State (1985-89) and was named MSU's Distinguished Spartan honoree last season.
Senior goaltender Will Yanakeff played for the USANTDP U-17 squad in 2008-09.
USANTDP goaltender Ed Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for MSU next season.
Michigan State has had nearly 20 players from the USANTDP.
OF NOTE FROM THE WISCONSIN SERIES...
MSU dominated Wisconsin in the faceoff circle, 70-40 (.636).
Lee Reimer's shorthanded goal was his second of the season, tying him with OSU's Ryan Dzingel for second in the conference.
Mackenzie MacEachern's goal was his first since Dec. 6 vs. Minnesota ... MacEachern's seven goals lead all MSU rookies.
The 73 goals MSU has allowed this season are tied for the 12th fewest of any team in the nation.
The Spartans have surrendered two goals or fewer in 20 of 31 games this season, including 11 of the last 13.
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).
In comparing the first 31 games of 2013-14 and 2012-13, MSU has allowed 15 fewer goals (73-88) and blocked 134 more shots (549-415) this year.
SPARTANS IN CONFERENCE GAMES...
Three of the seven losses have been by one goal and two others by two.
MSU is outscoring opponents by a combined 12-9 in the second period.
Jake Hildebrand has a .937 save percentage - tied for second among all goaltenders in league play ... Hildebrand's goals-against average is 2.19, which is fourth among goaltenders in Big Ten games.
Greg Wolfe (4-8-12), Matt Berry (4-7-11), Mike Ferrantino (6-5-11) 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 is 14th in points with 23 ... Four of Wolfe's goals have come on the power play, which ties him for fifth in the league.
Jake Chelios' 16 assists are tied for seventh and are the most among all defensemen.
Travis Walsh leads in total blocked shots with 73 and blocks per game average at 2.61.
Jake Hildebrand ranks third with a .931 save percentage.
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 14 games (5-5-10). His eight goals this season rank second on the team and 17 points are fourth most, topping both his totals from last season.
Ferrantino's plus-6 rating is tied for the best on the team. He has been a plus or even player in 26 of 31 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 .552 winning percentage, which also ranks 12th 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 16 and ranks third in points at 18. His 16 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 the country in blocked shots per game at 17.71. Their 549 total blocks lead the Big Ten (114 more than second-place OSU) and rank second nationally.
Spartan defensemen boast five of the 11 highest blocked-shot totals in the Big Ten: Travis Walsh (73, first), RJ Boyd (56, sixth), Jake Chelios (51, eighth), Brock Krygier (49, ninth), John Draeger (48, 10th) and Rhett Holland (47, 11th).
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 meet Michigan in a home-and-home series beginning on Friday, March 7 in Ann Arbor. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Munn Arena.