“Super fan” rewarded for years of support
MSU “super fan” Janeen Geisenhaver, right, and her so-called “partner in crime” Pam Echterling pose with MSU ice hockey coach Tom Anastos at a women’s hockey clinic last summer. Geisenhaver was named MSU’s super fan in a contest held by the CCHA.
Twenty-eight seasons. Fourteen trips to Alaska. Hundreds of games. Countless players.
Few fans are as dedicated as Janeen Geisenhaver.
The MSU hockey fan and Okemos resident attended a Spartan hockey game in the 1970s with a friend whose father was an off-ice official, and Geisenhaver decided she would do whatever it took to watch more games.
“When Munn (Ice Arena) opened, I got season tickets,” she said. “Then the rest of it is kind of history.”
Geisenhaver has missed only five MSU hockey games since the 1984-85 season, and her dedication is being recognized by the CCHA, as she has been named MSU’s Super Fan contest winner.
The CCHA picked one fan from every school, awarding each with a prize pack, including a two-night stay at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, two tickets to the CCHA championship and two CCHA Warrior Hockey jerseys.
“In addition to the league’s great players and coaches, a big part of what made the CCHA so special over the past 42 seasons has been the passion and enthusiasm of our fans,” CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch said in a release.
Geisenhaver is one of many Spartan fans who have brought an energy to Munn Ice Arena this season. MSU is 4-0-0 in sellouts this year, demonstrating the importance of fan support from those like Geisenhaver.
“That’s great, keeps us up,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “We don’t like where we’re at in the standings, but in the attendance figures we’re up at the top, so that’s a good thing to build on.”
Geisenhaver’s streak includes CCHA playoff games, championships, preseason matchups and non-conference games, according to the release.
She also is leaving today for her 15th trip to Alaska to watch the Spartans play.
“We love the game, we love the sport, we love just being around the team,” Geisenhaver said. “Not that we always get to know the kids that well, but we get to know their parents really well and we have made a ton of friends.”
Geisenhaver will serve as president for the MSU Blue Line Club — a booster organization for the hockey program — next season.
One of Geisenhaver’s consistent companions at Spartan hockey games is Pam Echterling, who Geisenhaver calls her “partner in crime” for more than 20 years.
In addition to Echterling, Geisenhaver said there is a group of about 40 fans who travel to the NCAA Frozen Four each year. Starting with the 1984 NCAA Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y., Geisenhaver has been to every one, and will travel to Pittsburgh this year for the 2013 matches.
“(It) was amazing because it was only four years after the U.S. won the Olympics there,” she said of Lake Placid. “That was a special thing, being able to walk into that rink, and you could still kind of feel the vibe. That game was our first taste of it, and then we decided we’d start going whether State was in it or not.”