Brennan Sanford living a dream with MSU hockey
For every young athlete, there is a team he grew up loving. For every team the young boy loves, there is band of players he grew up idolizing. For Brennan Sanford, that team was in his own backyard — a backyard his family helped grow.
The Sanford family has deep roots at MSU. Literally. According to the MSU hockey media guide, Sanford’s great-great-great grandfather was the first student enrolled in MSU’s agricultural program. From there he would go onto plant the pine trees that dot along Munn Ice Arena’s north entrance.
The tradition of attending MSU athletic contests bolstered Sanford’s love for MSU. His athletic skill placed him at MSU giving him the opportunity to play in front fans just like his former self. For him it wasn’t a hard choice, that’s obvious.
“I grew up rooting for Michigan State,” Sanford said. “When I was younger I had season tickets so I’ve always been around.”
“That was a huge factor, just seeing the team do so well when I was younger, all the players like Ryan Miller, Duncan Keith, all those guys just really made me excited to come here,” Sanford said.
Already part of MSU’s lore, the Sanford clan has an opportunity to add to MSU hockey history. Sanford, impressing his coaches and teammates with his grasp of the MSU system, has stepped into his role on the team early.
“I would just say energy, just getting the guys going, like I’m not a huge goal scorer but I like to do the little things,” Sanford said of his opinion of his role. “Little things take care of the big things, do whatever I can to help the team.”
As any young hockey boy dreams of scoring the game winning goal, it can only be inferred Sanford wished to do the same one day. Knotted up at 4-4 against UNH over the weekend, Sanford fulfilled that dream.
“Honestly it couldn’t have been better timing,” Sanford said.
With his family, extended family, and billet family form last season all in town, the puck was perhaps destined to wind up on Sanford’s stick when the team needed it most.
As the puck bounced around the crease on a shot from the point, Sanford snuck in behind everyone. Like a magnet, the puck found its way to Sanford’s stick. Just as quickly as it hit his tape, it was in the back of the net.
A joyous Sanford pumped his arms in celebration, dashed to the student section glass, and threw his frame at it, unleashing his excitement onto the plexiglass.
“It was just a perfect time for the game winner, a dream come true,” Sanford said. “Looking forward to more games, more moments like that.”
With injuries throughout MSU’s lineup, Sanford moved to the forefront of the depth chart. WIth no timetable set on the return of sophomore forward Dylan Pavelek and senior Matt DeBlouw, Sanford will likely continue to see significant time. If his line continues to produce at the clip it has, Sanford may hold onto his spot as a regular.