Hockey Hosts Western Ontario in Exhibition Wednesday Night
Oct. 8, 2013
On The Fly...
Michigan State opens the 2013-14 campaign by meeting Western Ontario in its first of two exhibition games of the season ... The two teams last met in 2011 - a 6-1 MSU win ... MSU is 6-1 in season-opening exhibition games since 2006.
Michigan State welcomes back 17 letterwinners from last season's team, including seven sophomores, five juniors and five seniors. A total of six newcomers have joined the Spartans for the 2013-14 season.
The Spartans return 84% of both their total point and goal production from last season.
MSU's top six scorers from a season ago in Matt Berry (15-16-31), Tanner Sorrenson (13-8-21), Matt DeBlouw (10-11-21), Greg Wolfe (9-12-21), Brent Darnell (10-10-20) and Lee Reimer (4-13-17) accounted for 70% of the team's goals and 89% of the team's total points in 2012-13.
In the inaugural Big Ten preseason poll as selected by the coaches, Michigan State was selected to finish fourth, along with Ohio State, while Wisconsin was picked to win the conference. Minnesota and Michigan were selected second and third, respectively, while Penn State was picked sixth.
MSU had four true freshmen - Travis Walsh, John Draeger, Matt DeBlouw and Michael Ferrantino - play in all 42 games last season, marking the first time the Spartans have had four true freshman play every game of a season since 2001-02. Ash Goldie, Duncan Keith, Mike Lalonde and Brock Radunske played in all 41 contests of the 2001-02 campaign.
The Spartans will open the 2013-14 campaign on the road, Oct. 18-19, at UMass in the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. Eleven different institutions will participate in 13 designated games to be played between October 18-27, with six games in Hockey East arenas on the first weekend, followed by six games in Big Ten arenas and a single game on neutral ice on the second weekend.
MSU's home games on Oct. 25, vs. UMass-Lowell, and Oct. 26, vs. Boston University, will also be part of the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge.
The Spartans will begin the year without the services of junior forward Matt Berry (lower body), sophomore defenseman John Draeger (lower body) and sophomore goalie Nate Phillips (lower body). All three had surgery in September and are expected to return in December.
MSU finished the 2012-13 season by winning seven of its final 13 games and going 4-4 in March.
THE NEW FRONTIER
A GREAT RUN
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST IN ATTEDANCE
The Spartans set a Munn Arena single-game attendance record with 7,225 fans on Nov. 10, 2012 vs. Michigan. MSU went 5-0 in home games that were sold out in 2012-13.
THE MUNN ADVANTAGE
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.
CATCH THE SPARTANS ON TV - 27 TIMES
STRONG IN NET
Hildebrand had a strong freshman campaign, owning a .929 save percentage and a 2.35 GAA in 28 starts. The Butler, Pa., native made at least 27 saves in 22 of his 28 starts, and allowed two goals or fewer in 17 games. He was named one of the "10 Goaltenders to Watch" in 2013-14 by USCHO.com.
WOLFE RETURNS WITH THE "C"
Berry was the Spartans' leading scorer last season with 15 goals and 16 assists, tying for 10th in CCHA scoring with 31 points.
Draeger was one of four Spartan freshman to have appeared in all 42 games last season. He ranked third in the nation in blocked shots with 89.
2012-13 NOTES AND NUMBERS
Michigan State played 42 games this season, the first time the Spartans reached 40 games since the 2007-08 season.
When scoring first, MSU owned a 10-5-0 record.
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