Lighting the Lamp
By Robert Bondy
Last updated: 11/26/13 9:24pm
MSU announced Monday that it will be welcoming at least two new faces to the 2014-15 roster with the signing of prospects defenseman Josh Jacobs and goalie Edwin Minney. Both signed national letters of intent on Monday to join the Spartans in 2014-15.
Jacobs is from Shelby Township, Mich. and currently plays with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League. The 6’2”, 193-pound defenseman has one goal and seven assists in 14 games this season with the Indiana Ice and was one of 40 players selected to play in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh.
He also was on Team USA for the World Junior A Challenge in Nova Scotia earlier this month.
“Josh is a strong-skating, puck-moving defenseman that has very good offensive instincts and skill,” head coach Tom Anastos said in a statement. “His size, skating mobility and reach make him difficult to play against. Josh comes from a highly successful amateur hockey background where he has proven championship-level experience.”
Minney, who is 6’4” and 191 pounds, currently plays with the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 team.
He’s posted a 8-4-1 record, 2.99 goals against average and .896 save percentage through 15 games this season. Originally from Wind Gap, Penn., Minney also participated in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.
“Ed is a big, athletic goaltender who has gained incredible experience as part of the U.S. National Development Team,” Anastos said in a statement. “He has excellent work habits and a strong skill set. We feel he will be an outstanding collegiate goalie.”
Minney will get an early look at MSU and East Lansing when the Spartans face-off against the U.S. National Team Development Program U-18 on March 1 at Munn Ice Arena.
By Milan Griffes
Last updated: 03/25/13 10:05pm
Three MSU hockey seniors have signed Amateur Try Out, or ATO, contracts with professional hockey teams.
Senior defenseman Matt Grassi signed with the Hamilton Bulldogs, a team in the American Hockey League, or AHL.
Senior forward Anthony Hayes signed with the Florida Everblades, current champions of the East Coast Hockey League, or ECHL.
Senior forward Kevin Walrod signed with the Bakersfield Condors, also in the ECHL.
Grassi played 41 games with MSU this season, scoring three points and receiving 22 penalty minutes. Grassi played on the MSU team from 2009-13, recording 19 points. The British Columbia native will return to Canada to join the Ontario-based Bulldogs.
Hayes will head south to Estero, Fla., to play with the Everblades. Last May, the Everblades won the Kelly Cup in the championship game of the ECHL. Hayes has played with MSU for the past four years. This season, Hayes played in 42 games, scoring eight points and receiving 34 penalty minutes.
Walrod played his first games with the Bakersfield Condors in California this weekend.
The Condors lost to the Las Vegas Wranglers on Friday and won against the San Francisco Bulls on Sunday. Walrod played with MSU since 2009.
This season, the senior forward played in 34 games, recording 15 points and receiving 20 penalty minutes.
The Spartans played their final game of the season March 17, losing to the Miami Redhawks in the CCHA Playoffs. The Spartans went 14-25-3 in the 2012-13 season.
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/18/13 9:05pm
The four teams heading to the CCHA Championship next weekend at Joe Louis Arena have been determined: Miami (Ohio), Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan.
Notre Dame, seeded at No. 2 in the CCHA, will face No. 3 seed Ohio State at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at Joe Louis Arena.
The winner will face the winner of the No. 4 Michigan against No. 1 Miami game at
4:35 p.m. that same day.
The final CCHA champion will be crowned following the championship game at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Both semifinals will be broadcasted on FOX Sports Detroit Plus, and the final game will be on FOX Sports Detroit.
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/18/13 5:31pm
On the surface, the last two MSU-Miami (Ohio) CCHA playoff series look very similar.
Last season, the Spartans were knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinals after being swept by the RedHawks. MSU was defeated 6-0 the first game, and 4-1 the next.
“We came in against a good team that always plays us hard,” junior defenseman Jake Chelios said. “I don’t think we even had a sniff last year when we came in here.”
Similar to last year, MSU’s playoff-run hopes were stolen by Miami (Ohio), but the MSU players and head coach Tom Anastos have noted a distinct difference between the two series: compete level.
The Spartans lost to Miami (Ohio) in the quarterfinals last weekend in three games, but MSU gave the CCHA regular season champions a run for their money.
“The big measuring stick for me, our team came in here last year a pretty experienced team,” Anastos said. “We didn’t compete nearly like this team did and so that’s a huge step — a huge step from one year to the next year. Their team has a chance to compete for a national championship, and I really
liked how our team competed, I really did. Players really emerged.”
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/17/13 2:37am
Oxford, Ohio — Michigan and Notre Dame are the first two teams to secure trips to Joe Louis Arena after advancing to the semifinal round of the CCHA playoffs with sweeps of Western Michigan and Bowling Green.
The Wolverines beat Western Michigan, 5-1, with four goals scored in the second period. This marks the 24th consecutive season U-M has advanced to the CCHA championship.
After a mediocre season, U-M has kicked into a hot streak, winning each of its last eight games including a shootout win against Ferris State on March 2.
Notre Dame, the No. 2 seed in the CCHA, swept Bowling Green with a 4-3 win Saturday. Fighting Irish goaltender Steven Summerhays made 29 stops, and Bowling Green’s Andrew Hammond stopped 30.
If MSU wins Sunday night’s game, the Spartans will face Notre Dame in the semifinals of the CCHA playoffs.
A win by Ohio State over Ferris State (3-1) forced a game three, as did a Miami (Ohio) win over MSU (4-1).
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/16/13 11:54pm
Oxford, Ohio — MSU head coach Tom Anastos gave the nod to freshman Jake Hildebrand in Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Miami (Ohio), in which Hildebrand made 33 saves.
There has been a question mark hanging above the MSU goaltender selection each CCHA playoff game this season, as Hildebrand and junior Will Yanakeff both have been performing well.
As expected, Anastos said he wasn’t sure who he would play in Sunday’s game three.
“I don’t know where my head is at,” he said after Saturday’s game. “I’ve thought about it during a lot of parts of this game even, but we’ll see. I think Jake is playing really well. He’s played good games here, our team’s confident in front of him and yet Will’s played pretty well too here down the stretch when he’s played. I don’t mind having that decision.”
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/16/13 12:33pm
Oxford, Ohio — MSU defeated No. 3 Miami (Ohio) 3-0 in the first round of the CCHA playoffs Friday night. Before the game, I noted three keys for MSU to pull out a victory, and here’s how they achieved them:
1. Simple plays: There wasn’t anything particularly fancy in MSU’s game Friday, and I mean that in a good way. There’s been games when the Spartans have tried to do too much on the ice, and those games resulted in losses. In Friday’s game, they displayed solid, gritty hockey. Miami (Ohio) had no time with the puck, the defense was clogging the zone and we challenged plays in the neutral zones, some of which led to odd-man rushes.
2. Continued solid goaltending: Freshman goaltender Jake Hildebrand made some great stops which was to be expected, but there was support from the defense making his job easier. The team took a load off Hildebrand last night, and he showed up when he needed to. The shutout marked MSU’s first CCHA playoff shutout since the 2005 quarterfinals against Nebraska-Omaha.
3. Carry over momentum from Alaska: This key might be a less tangible one than the past two, but it was obvious MSU is loving this hot streak. They played with a confidence only winning can bring, and it was displayed during the game. Friday night, MSU believed it could win, and the confidence from that belief was apparent.
Last updated: 03/16/13 3:03am
Oxford, Ohio — Friday, March 15 in the CCHA:
Michigan 4, Western Michigan 3:
It was a game of tic-tac-toe in Kalamazoo. U-M led 2-0 heading into the second period, and Western Michigan tied it up less than five minutes into the final frame. Michigan responded with a goal by defenseman Jacob Trouba, and Western Michigan responded to that with a tally by forward Josh Pitt. It was U-M who got the final say, as Trouba scored his second of the night and final marker of the game about midway through the third.
Ferris State 4, Ohio State 2:
Both teams are coming off a first-round bye in the CCHA playoffs, finishing fourth (Ohio State) and fifth (Ferris State) in the regular season. Forwards Kyle Bonis and Justin DeMartino had two tallies each for Ferris State.
Bowling Green 0, Notre Dame 1 (OT):
The two teams played three scoreless periods before Notre Dame forward Bryan Rust scored with a backhander 1:22 into overtime. Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped 35 shots, and Notre Dame’s Steven Summerhays had 22 saves.
MSU 3, Miami (Ohio) 0
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/15/13 4:23pm
Three former MSU hockey players have been named to the All-Time CCHA Team: Kip Miller, Ryan Miller and John-Michael Liles. They are three of 12 players chosen from a pool of every 3- or 4-year CCHA player in the past 42 seasons.
The Millers made first team, and Liles made second team. MSU is the only school with two players to grace the first team list.
Both the Millers were Hobey Baker Award winners, and Ryan Miller is one of two of the CCHA’s two-time Player of the Year.
The players were chosen by a committee of coaches, administrators and media who have been involved in the league for many years. All 12 of the players were All-Americans at least once — eight multiple times — and played professionally, ten in the NHL, according to a release.
George McPhee, Bowling Green forward (1978-82)
Kip Miller, MSU forward (1986-90)
Brendan Morrison, Michigan forward (1993-97)
Wayne Gagne, Western Michigan defenseman (1983-87)
Andy Greene, Miami (Ohio) defenseman (2002-06)
Ryan Miller, MSU goaltender (1999-2002)
Jim Dowd, Lake Superior forward (1987-91)
Nelson Emerson, Bowling Green forward (1986-90)
Bill Joyce, Northern Michigan forward (1976-80)
John-Michael Liles, MSU defenseman (1999-03)
Ken Morrow, Bowling Green defenseman (1975-79)
Mike Liut, Bowling Green goaltender (1973-77)
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/13/13 9:34pm
The CCHA announced its 2012-13 All-Conference Teams, in which seven schools
were represented: Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan, Western Michigan, Ohio State,
Bowling Green and Alaska.
Lake Superior and Ferris State players received honorable mentions, and
Northern Michigan had five players receiving votes. MSU didn’t have any
players on the list, or any players receiving votes.
CCHA head coaches voted on the teams, but were not able to vote for their
Austin Czarnik, sophomore forward, Miami (Ohio)
Anders Lee, junior forward, Notre Dame
Riley Barber, freshman forward, Miami (Ohio)
Jacob Trouba, freshman defenseman, Michigan
Dan DeKeyser, junior defenseman, Western Michigan
Brady Hjelle, senior goaltender, Ohio State
Tanner Fritz, sophomore forward, Ohio State
Ryan Carpenter, sophomore forward, Bowling Green
Andy Taranto, senior forward, Alaska
Luke Witkowski, senior defenseman, Western Michigan
Bobby Shea, senior defenseman, Bowling Green
Frank Slubowski, sophomore goaltender, Western Michigan