The Work Horse
Despite small frame, freshman is making big impact on MSU's hockey team
At five-foot-eight, Michael Ferrantino might not be the biggest player to step on the ice each game, but he is determined to be the hardest working.
“He has good vision, he has good hands,” MSU hockey sophomore forward Brent Darnell said of his teammate.
“The biggest thing with him is work ethic. He’s one of the hardest working guys. He brings it every day; he never takes a night off. Being an older guy, that’s something I can learn from,” he said.
Ferrantino, a forward, came to the MSU hockey (7-16-3 overall, 5-12-1-0 CCHA) program this season as one of 12 new icers to put on a Spartan jersey.
The freshman has been a consistent part of MSU’s lineup this season, starting in all 26 games and putting up a total of two goals, six assists and 35 shots on goal.
“I knew coming in that there was going to be a lot of opportunity to play,” Ferrantino said.
“I was just hoping that if I came here and I worked hard and I was doing all the right things that I’d be able to stay in the lineup. It’s been really nice to be able to be in every night,” he said.
Ferrantino hit a high point last weekend in the Penn State series, and said the puck was going off his stick and “in the right places.”
With a lopsided record leaning toward the loss column and only winning two of the last nine matchups, head coach Tom Anastos repeatedly has said his team needs to revert back to the basics and stop over-thinking things.
It appeared Anastos’ message hit home for Ferrantino, and the change of mindset paid off.
“Going into (last) weekend, I kind of just wanted to go back and have fun playing hockey and stop worrying about so much stuff,” Ferrantino said. “I think that really helped me mentally.”
He scored MSU’s first goal in last Friday’s 5-3 win and had four shots, earning him a spot in the game’s three stars.
Although the Spartans fell 3-2 the following game, Ferrantino had an assist on both goals.
“It was nice to see him get rewarded this weekend,” Darnell said. “He’s definitely got some confidence going, and that’s what we need out of our younger guys.”
After Saturday’s game, Anastos complimented the line of Ferrantino with senior forwards Anthony Hayes and Chris Forfar. Combined, the three had all the MSU assists that night.
“I thought (Ferrantino) did some good things on the weekend,” Anastos said. “He’s a very smart player, he’s got good hands and we’re working with him on his skating so he can become more dynamic, and at his size, he needs to do that. He’s a very smart player and he plays real hard.”
Ferrantino came to MSU with the intention of working hard to gain his ice time, and so far that hard work has been noticed by his teammates and the coaching
Hayes, who grew up with Ferrantino in neighboring Metro Detroit cities, said he “can’t say enough good things about him.”
“I think he takes a lot of pride in putting on the green and white — that was very apparent from his early days on campus,” Hayes said. “He’s one of the hardest workers on our team. I don’t think anybody’s surprised about the success and the growth that he’s had so far.”