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Sunday, April 20, 2014

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Lighting the Lamp

Yanakeff honored as CCHA Warrior Goaltender of the Week

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/25/13 8:23pm         

After starting both games in a series for the first time since Oct. 19-20, junior goaltender Will Yanakeff has been honored as the CCHA Warrior Goaltender of the Week.

The honor came after Yanakeff stopped 76 of 79 shots last weekend in MSU hockey’s split with Alaska.He shutout Alaska in Friday night’s 1-0 win, tying his then-season-high 37 saves.

It was his first shutout this season, and third of his career.

Yanakeff broke his season-high saves the following night, stopping 39 shots in the 4-2 loss.

MSU hockey 'superfan' recalls favorite memories

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/19/13 6:30pm         

When asked of her favorite moments and players through all the years she’s been involved with MSU hockey, Janeen Geisenahaver said a few moments stick out.

The first memory she mentioned was the NCAA Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y. It was only four years after the U.S. team had won the Olympics there, and she said the vibe in the air was tangible.

She also had the opportunity to see former MSU goaltender Chad Alban score an empty-netter. The goal came on Feb. 28, 1998 on senior’s night and Alban scored MSU’s sixth goal in a 6-3 win over Ferris State.

As a fan of travel as well as hockey, following MSU hockey has given Geisenhaver the opportunity to discover places and cities she wouldn’t otherwise. She said it can take her and her friend Pam Echterling seven hours to drive 90 miles because if they see an interesting billboard, they’ll stop to look around.

“One particular trip, we were going from Columbus, Ohio, to Oxford, (Ohio), which was a 90-minute drive,” Geisenhaver said. “We saw a billboard and we were in this town all day. There were four of us, and we made it to the hockey game just in time.”

Hockey team asking fans to suit up in flannel Friday night

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/13/13 7:13pm         

MSU hockey’s game Friday at 6:35 p.m. against Northern Michigan is Flannel Night. The team is asking that all fans in attendance come to the game wearing flannel.

Former Spartans face off in NHL

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/10/13 6:24pm         

Friday night, four former Spartans took the ice on the professional stage in the Detroit Red Wings game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller donned the red and white, while Jeff Petry and Corey Potter represent the Oilers. Shawn Horcoff also is a former Spartan and current Edmonton Oiler, but is out with a broken knuckle.

The Red Wings came out on top, 2-1, but regardless of the outcome of the game, it was a neat moment for Spartan hockey fans.

Abdelkader played a season with Miller and Potter (2005-06) and Petry (2007-08). Miller and Potter played together from the 2003-04 season until the 2005-06 year.

The four make up a part of the 69 total MSU hockey players that went on to play in the National Hockey League. Sixteen of those players were active in the 2011-12 NHL season.

Tickets available for MSU hockey banquet

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/05/13 6:31pm         

Tickets now are available for the 2013 MSU hockey banquet.

The event takes place April 17 at Eagle Eye Golf Course.

The doors open at 6 p.m. for the reception and player autographs, and dinner and the program are at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children.

New hockey stats website unearths fun, odd facts

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/03/13 6:52pm         

College Hockey, Inc.’s new statistics system is not only useful, but also very entertaining for finding the answers to completely random NCAA hockey things nobody will need the answer to.

I was playing around with the system today, and here are a few fun facts I dug up:

Mercyhurst’s Paul Chiasson has the most goals since New Year’s Eve (10).

Michigan and Ohio State lead the CCHA in short-handed goals in the first period with two. One of Michigan’s short-handed first period goals came Saturday against MSU when Derek DeBlois scored at 10:34 into the period.

Michigan’s Jacob Trouba leads D-I hockey in goals by freshmen defensemen (8).

St. Lawrence goaltender Matt Weninger played more minutes in November than any other goaltender (548:43)

St. Lawrence’s Kyle Flanagan leads D-I hockey in assists during away games on Fridays while his team is leading on the scoreboard.

MSU goaltender Jake Hildebrand leads D-I goaltenders in minutes played at a neutral site.

Mercyhurst has scored the most goals in the final minute of away games (7).

Ferrantino brings USHL background to MSU

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/30/13 6:43pm         

Before playing for MSU hockey, Michael Ferrantino spent the 2011-12 season with the Omaha Lancers, a team in the United States Hockey League.

He scored nine goals with the Lancers and put up 14 assists over a 58-game span.

He arrived in Omaha toward the end of the 2010-11 season, leaving Compuware hockey where he spent eight seasons.

With Compuware, Ferrantino won state championships in 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2008-09, along with a national championship in 2009.

Darnell to return to lineup this weekend

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/29/13 7:48pm         

After sitting out for more than two full games, sophomore forward Brent Darnell said he expects to return to the lineup this weekend against Michigan.

“That’s the plan,” Darnell said during practice Tuesday. “I was fully cleared for full contact in practice … I think I’ll be ready to go this weekend for sure.”

Darnell injured his head in last Tuesday’s game against the U.S. National Team Development Program, and has been out since.

Carney suits up, named honorary captain

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/27/13 5:59pm         

While I was sitting in the press box waiting for the starting lineups to be announced last Friday night, there was one smile visible from across the ice.

For the first time, Branden Carney was able to suit up in an MSU hockey jersey and be announced in the starting lineup as an honorary captain.

Carney suffered a career-ending neck injury last season when he went head-first into the boards and fractured his C1 and C2 vertebrae. The nature of his injury has forced him into retirement before he ever got to play a game for the Spartans.

Because of injuries and a game disqualification, there were holes in the MSU roster, and Carney was able to fill a spot and watch the game from the bench.

“In Branden Carney’s case, it was, although disappointing that we don’t have enough players to dress, I thought it was at least a unique opportunity to let him take part,” head coach Tom Anastos said. “I’m
sure he enjoyed it.”

Carney continues to be a part of the program off the ice, and although he didn’t play any minutes or serve any penalties that night, his enjoyment of the moment was obvious to everyone there.

He later tweeted “I just want to thank everyone who made it possible for me to dress in my first and last college game last night. It meant so much to me… And I will never forget that moment #thankyou
#msuHockey #Dream”

New stats platform up on national hockey website

By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/24/13 6:43pm         

College Hockey, Inc. has unveiled a new, innovative national statistics system on collegehockeyinc.com.

The statistics platform provides endless details regarding NCAA Division I men’s hockey, and allows users to get as specific or as broad stats as they wish.

For example, users can sort statistics by positions, days of the week, draft status, time in a period and conferences, to name a few features.

The platform also includes a feature that highlights each category’s leader whenever a search is performed.

Collegehockeyinc.com lists a few examples of facts that have yet to be compiled in one place until now, such as Wisconsin’s John Ramage being the only player in the country with more than one overtime goal. Ramage scored two on consecutive nights.

The new system will provide both fans and the media a quick and easy platform to find whatever statistics they might be looking for.