Oct. 24, 2013
|Fri.: UMass-Lowell (1-3, 0-0 Hockey East) v. Michigan State (0-2, 0-0 B1G)|
Sat.: Boston University (3-1, 1-0 Hockey East) v. Michigan State (0-2, 0-0 B1G)
|Dates ||Fri., Oct. 25, 7:05 p.m. | Sat., Oct. 26, 7:05 p.m. |
||East Lansing, Mich.| Munn Arena (6,470)|
||Fri. - 4 Seats, 4 Treats|
Sat. - Family Four Pack
| Game Notes
||Michigan State | Boston University |
|| Fri. - Fox Sports Detroit |
Sat. - None
|| Fri. - WJIM 1240 AM & Spartan Sports Network |
Sat. - WVFN 730 AM & Spartan Sports Network
|| Friday | Saturday
| Twitter Updates
Tom Anastos Weekly Press Conference | Player Press Conference
On The Fly...
Michigan State opens its 2013-14 home schedule with a pair of Hockey East foes in UMass-Lowell and Boston University ... The Spartans are 5-3 all-time vs. UML and 8-8 against BU.
This season marks just the second time in program history the Spartans' first-four games have come against Hockey East opponents ... In 2008, MSU opened the year with the same trio of teams, registering a season-opening win over UMass (3-1), falling to BU (2-1), and then splitting a series at home against UMass-Lowell (0-3, 2-1).
For the second consecutive season, the Spartans had a total of seven different freshmen or redshirt-freshmen play in their first two games of the year.
Senior Greg Wolfe scored in both games last weekend, marking the second time in his career he has had goals in at least two consecutive games ... Wolfe became the first Spartan to score in the first-two games of the season since 2010 when Dustin Gazley (2-2-4) and Brett Perlini (2-0-2) scored in back-to-back games vs. Maine (Oct. 14-15).
Dean Chelios drew an assist on the Spartans' first goal of the year last Friday as he saw his first action since March 23, 2012 ... He missed the entire 2012-13 campaign with an upper-body injury.
Rhett Holland (2 A) and Joe Cox (1 A) both recorded the first points of their collegiate careers last weekend.
RJ Boyd had a career-best four blocked shots in the season-opener vs. UMass ... Boyd, Holland and Travis Walsh lead the team with five blocks each.
Michael Ferrantino led MSU in the faceoff circle last weekend, winning 10 of 14 draws (.714).
This weekend's series continues the inaugural Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge ... The Big Ten went 1-4-1 against Hockey East last weekend, giving HE a 9-4 lead in points (two points awarded for each win, one point for each tie and a bonus point for road win).
The Spartans have begun 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.
Michigan State is 39-28-5 all-time in home-opening games, including a 22-12-5 record at Munn Ice Arena. In home-opening two-game sets, the Spartans are 74-40-7 all-time.
Of the 53 college hockey teams that have played so far this season, Michigan State is one of nine programs that has played just two games.
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.
The Spartans return 84% of both their total point and goal production from last season.
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 BIG TEN BEGINS
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.
The Spartans had two players selected to the Big Ten Players to Watch List in sophomore goaltender Jake Hildebrand and junior forward Matt Berry.
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 NEW FRONTIER
After 32 seasons as part of the CCHA, Michigan State joins Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota and Wisconsin in the inaugural year of the Big Ten hockey. The six schools will meet one another four times during the regular season - twice at home and twice on the road. The 2014 Big Ten Tournament is slated for March 20-22 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The top-two teams will receive a first-round bye.
A GREAT RUN
Michigan State exited the CCHA on top with a league-best all-time record of 586-277-93 (.661) in conference games. MSU's .661 winning percentage was also the highest. The Spartans also took home 11 CCHA Tournament titles, which was two more than any other team.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST IN ATTEDANCE
MSU finished last year ranked eighth in the nation in attendance, averaging 5,869 fans per game - its highest home-attendance average since 2003-04 when it averaged 6,438 over the span of 24 games.
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
Since its opening in Nov. 1974, Munn Ice Arena has provided the Spartans with an undeniable advantage. Entering its 39th season as the home of MSU hockey, Spartan teams have compiled a dominating 517-194-58 (.710) record in the building.
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 - 28 TIMES
MSU will have at least 28 games televised this season. Fox Sports Detroit will air 13 Spartan games, while BTN will carry seven contests. Comcast Television in Michigan will air five MSU games and NBC Sports Network, ESPNU and ESPNews will all carry one. In total, there will be a minimum 75 games televised featuring Big Ten teams in 2013-14.
STRONG IN NET
Senior Will Yanakeff and sophomore Jake Hildebrand return in 2013-14 to give MSU one of the stronger goaltending tandems in the nation. Yanakeff has appeared in 52 games over his first three seasons, posting a career save percentage of .918 and GAA of 2.56. As a sophomore, he emerged with a 13-8-1 record and a .927 save percentage.
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"
Senior Greg Wolfe returns as the Spartans' captain for the 2013-14 season. He is the second consecutive player (Torey Krug, 2010-11, 11-12), and the ninth in Spartan history, to be named team captain at least two straight years. Don McSween (1984-85, 85-86 & 86-87) is the only three-time captain in program history.
The Spartans will be without sophomore defenseman John Draeger, junior forward Matt Berry and sophomore goaltender Nate Phillips for the early part of the season. All three players are out with lower-body injuries and had surgery in mid-September. They are expected to return sometime in December.
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 freshmen to have appeared in all 42 games last season. He ranked third in the nation in blocked shots with 89.
MSU's roster features five players that have been drafted by National Hockey League clubs. Four Spartans were taken in the 2012 Entry Draft, including freshman Mackenzie MacEachern (St. Louis) and sophomore John Draeger (Minnesota), who were selected consecutively in the third round with picks 67 and 68, respectively. Redshirt freshman defenseman Rhett Holland was taken in the fourth round at 102nd overall by Phoenix and sophomore forward Matt DeBlouw was picked in the seventh round at 186th overall by Calgary. Junior defenseman and Sunshine State native RJ Boyd was taken in the seventh round in 2010 by Florida.
GLI PART OF THE HOCKEYTOWN WINTER FESTIVAL
The 49th-annual Great Lakes Invitational will take place Dec. 27-28 at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival and the NHL Winter Classic. Michigan State will face host Michigan Tech in the first semifinal on Dec. 27 at 3:30 p.m. and Michigan will play Western Michigan in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The third-place game and championship game are slated for 3:30 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 28.
The GLI will lead off five consecutive days of hockey at Comerica as part of the Sirius XM Hockeytown Winter Festival. Two Ontario Hockey League games, an American Hockey League game and two Red Wings-Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Games are scheduled for the days following the GLI.
The Spartans have made 39 appearances in the GLI and have won 12 titles, most recently in 2009.
Spartans in the NHL
A total of 14 former Spartan hockey players have played in the NHL this season, including: Torey Krug (Boston), Ryan Miller (Buffalo), Duncan Keith (Chicago), Shawn Horcoff (Dallas), Chris Mueller (Dallas), Justin Abdelkader (Detroit), Drew Miller (Detroit), Jeff Petry (Edmonton), Derek Grant (Ottawa), Mike Weaver (Florida), Adam Hall (Philadelphia), Tim Kennedy (Phoenix), David Booth (Vancouver) and Jim Slater (Winnipeg).
Last season, MSU had 16 alums that appeared in the NHL, which was tied for the fourth most among all college programs.
THE TOM ANASTOS RADIO SHOW
The Tom Anastos Radio Show takes place on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. live from Reno's East (1310 Abbot Rd., East Lansing). The show can be heard locally on WJIM 1240 AM and from anywhere at SpartanSportsNetwork.com.
This week's show will take place a Monday (Oct. 28), rather than Tuesday.
The Spartans will host American International on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and then again on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.