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Monday, September 22, 2014


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Lighting the Lamp


MSU hockey seniors share additional thoughts on careers


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 02/28/13 8:26pm         

Although only four seniors currently are active on this season’s MSU hockey roster, those players came in with a class of nine. Here is some information on the other five players:

Torey Krug (defenseman): A two-time captain, Krug made statements throughout his time at MSU, earning All-American accolades and earning becoming a Hobey Baker Memorial Award candidate. Krug forwent his senior season for a professional contract with the Boston Bruins, and currently is playing with the Providence Bruins.

Derek Grant (forward): After appearing on MSU’s top line as a freshman and leading MSU in scoring his second year, Grant signed with the Ottawa Senators on March 10, 2011. He played with Ottawa’s AHL team for the rest of that season and claimed the Calder Cup.

Dean Chelios (forward): Chelios will red-shirt the current season and look to return to the lineup next year.

Zach Golembiewski (forward): After playing his first two seasons with MSU, a medical condition was discovered in his back and forced him into retirement. He will be honored in Saturday’s senior day ceremony with the four current seniors.

Zach Josepher (defenseman): Spent most of his first year paired with now-senior Matt Grassi. He had six assists in 20 games his sophomore year. He transferred to Oswego State University of New York for his junior and senior seasons.

“Additional thoughts from MSU hockey seniors”

When asked about their favorite memories of the year, Grassi and seniors Anthony Hayes and Kevin Walrod all had similar answers: winning the Great Lakes Invitational freshman year and sweeping Michigan, but senior Chris Forfar had quite a different response.

“Watching (Branden) Carney be able to skate in the Penn State was really cool,” Forfar said. “I know how much he sacrificed to get to Michigan State and it was an unfortunate accident that happened, but to see him smile, seeing how big his smile was when he skated out to the blue line was something I don’t think any of us will ever forget.”

The four players, like most seniors, are going through very real emotions as the ends of their college hockey careers and college years are in sight.

Here are some of their thoughts on the weeks ahead:

“Going into this weekend, knowing it’s going to be my last two games at Munn, they’re going to be a little emotional, I’m sure,” Grassi said. “I’m going to make sure I leave it all on the ice, but I can’t believe it. Over the summer last year I was thinking, obviously, ‘Oh no, I’m going into my senior year, (but) I still gotta full year left, it won’t go by that quickly.’ But I was wrong. It has gone by that quickly.”

“We just want to leave as good role models, both on and off the ice,” Hayes said. “All four of us do extremely well in class. We all work as hard as anybody else when we come to the rink. We just want to leave the legacy of being high-character people. We give our all regardless of what we’re doing whether it’s in class, whether it’s on the ice, so we want to be able to leave that. There’s many times where we haven’t been afraid to put the team’s needs in front of our personal aspirations and that’s something that you have to do to have a successful team.”


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”