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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | Last updated: 5:55pm


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Lighting the Lamp


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.


Three Spartans make CCHA All-Decade list


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/23/13 7:07pm         

For the final time in its 42nd and final season, the CCHA has released its All-Decade List to honor the league’s top players from 2000-13, and three former MSU players made the list.

John-Michael Liles, a Spartan defenseman from 1999-2003, made first team All-Decade along with goaltender Ryan Miller, who played at MSU from 1999-2002.

Miller won the 2001 Hobey Baker Award, and was a two-time CCHA Player of the Year and a two-time Goaltender of the Year.

His overall collegiate record was 73-18-12 with a 0.941 save percentage and a 1.54 goals against average.

Liles stared in 162 Spartan games, putting up 44 goals and 94 assists for a total of 138 points.

Brad Fast was an MSU defenseman from 1999-2003. He played in 164 games and racked up 114 total points.
Below is a complete list of the All-Decade first and second teams.

First team
T.J. Hensick, Michigan forward
Chris Kunitz, Ferris State forward
Kevin Porter, Michigan forward
Andy Greene, Miami defenseman
John-Michael Liles, MSU defenseman
Ryan Miller, MSU goaltender

Second team
Ryan Jones, Miami forward
Andy Miele, Miami forward
Scott Parse, Nebraska-Omaha forward
Brad Fast, MSU defenseman
Greg Zanon, Nebraska-Omaha defenseman
Cody Reichard, Miami goaltender


Feeding off the crowd


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/14/13 8:48pm         

This weekend marked the sixth consecutive time MSU hockey has drawn more than 6,000 fans to Munn Ice Arena — a streak that started with an all-time high attendance of 7,225 on Nov. 10 against Michigan, a 7-2 win.

Following Saturday’s game, Anastos said Munn Ice Arena was a great atmosphere, noting the importance of the fan’s support in helping the team get its record where it should be.

“The crowd plays a real role in the emotion of the game.” he said. “Those games, they’re long and you’re slugging it out and going hard in these short bursts — there’s so many potential momentum shifts in a game.”


NHL lockout ends; questions, uncertainty remain


By Christine LaRouere          Last updated: 01/06/13 6:05pm         

After 113 days and 510 missed games, the NHL lockout is finally over. An agreement between players and their owners was reached early Sunday morning.

ESPN.com’s NHL columnist Pierre LeBrun broke down this collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, between the NHL and NHL Players Association as a ten-year term with an opt-out at eight years. It also includes a salary cap for this season at $70.2 million. This will decrease in the 2013- 2014 season when the cap is set to drop to $64.3 million. The salary floor for both seasons is $44 million.

Some credit Scot L. Beckenbaugh for saving the lockout from total destruction. When no progress was being made, he talked to each association separately and discovered what each side wanted and helped with negotiations, according to ESPN. This brought both associations back face-to-face to come up with the agreement.

A time for ratification for the CBA still is uncertain but it must be done before the 2013 game schedule is released. Depending on when the agreement is signed, the NHL is looking at either a 50-game season starting Jan. 15 or a 48-game season starting Jan. 19.

Because this argument lasted so long, the hockey season is expected to end with the Stanley Cup playoffs at the end of June.

Looming questions still remain, such as will the previously loyal hockey fans be willing to come back? Also, will the players enjoy the shortened season?

But these questions will remain unanswered until the agreement is fully passed, and the first puck is dropped.


U-M forward suspended for hit on MSU's Matt DeBlouw


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 01/03/13 6:56pm         

The CCHA has announced game suspensions — one for Michigan and one for Western Michigan — following Great Lakes Invitational games on Dec. 30.

U-M forward A.J. Treais receives the suspension following the league’s review of Treais’ contact to MSU freshman forward Matt DeBlouw’s head.

The penalty took place in the seventeenth minute of the third period, and Treais was sent off the ice with a major and a game misconduct. He will have to sit out U-M’s Jan. 8 game against Bowling Green.

Western Michigan’s defenseman Matt Stewart also won’t be taking the ice for the Broncos for a while after he hit a Michigan Tech player from behind in the final minute of the GLI finals.

He received a major and a disqualification penalty.

Stewart will be forced to sit out his team’s next games on Jan. 4-5 at Bemidji State. He will be missing the first game game for the disqualification penalty and the second under supplemental discipline, according to a release from the CCHA.


Michigan Tech takes first place in GLI tournament with win against Western Michigan


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 12/31/12 12:12pm         

After a 32-year drought, the Michigan Tech hockey program once again can claim to be Great Lakes Invitational champions following a 4-0 win against Western Michigan on Sunday evening.

The game took place at Joe Louis Arena in front of more than 14,500 fans following MSU’s 5-2 loss to Michigan in the third-place game.

Michigan Tech’s freshman goaltender Pheonix Copley was named tournament MVP after becoming the first goalie in GLI history to hold his opponents scoreless for the entire tournament.

He made 70 total saves in the championship game against Western Michigan and the semifinal against U-M, a 4-0 win.

The All-Tournament team is comprised of all Western Michigan and Michigan Tech players: Copley, Western Michigan defenseman Danny DeKeyser, Michigan Tech defenseman Steven Seigo, Western Michigan forward Mike Leone and Michigan Tech forwards Alex Petan and Jujhar Khaira.

The “College Hockey in the D” showcase will pick back up on Feb. 2 with U-M and MSU facing off once again at Joe Louis Arena.


Spartans to face U-M for third place in Great Lakes Invitational


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 12/29/12 10:19pm         

Following MSU’s and Western Michigan’s shootout game, Michigan Tech and Michigan finished out the first day of the Great Lakes Invitational, or GLI, with Michigan Tech dominating the Wolverines 4-0.

Two Michigan Tech freshmen led the team, as Alex Petan netted two goals and Jujhar Khaira had a goal and two assists.

Michigan Tech and Western Michigan will face off in the GLI finals tomorrow at 7 p.m., and U-M and MSU meet at 3:30 p.m. to fight for third place.

The last time the Spartans and the Wolverines played each other, the teams split their home-and-home series. U-M took the first game, 5-1, and MSU won the second, 7-2.

This is the first time since 1981 that neither MSU or U-M is in the GLI championship.


MSU hockey team gearing up for Teddy Bear Toss


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 12/14/12 2:27pm         

After taking part in the MSU student-athlete food drive last month, the MSU hockey team is moving on to its next charitable event: the annual Teddy Bear Toss.

At Saturday’s game against Ferris State, the team is encouraging fans to bring a new stuffed animal to Munn Ice Arena to be donated to local children’s charities around Greater Lansing.

After the Spartans score their first goal, fans are asked to toss the stuffed animals onto the ice.

Two of the participating charities are the Sparrow pediatric ward and Brandon’s Defense Foundation, a foundation that works toward building awareness to childhood cancer, funding pediatric research and
providing support and resources for children affected by cancer.


NHL lockout affecting former Spartans, fans


By Lindsay Spagnuolo          Last updated: 11/25/12 9:50pm         

If this were any other year, I would be spending many of my nights in front of the TV intently watching the Detroit Red Wings take on several other NHL teams.

Unfortunately, this is not another one of those years, and thousands of NHL fans are forced to direct their focus elsewhere as the league is in the middle of a lockout. After 71 days of lockout, fans now have missed more than 400 regular-season games, and it officially has been announced that the lockout will continue until at least Dec. 14.

The NHL’s annual Winter Classic, which was scheduled to take place in Ann Arbor and be a part of a week of festivities involving Comerica Park in Detroit, also has been taken off of the schedule due to the owners and the NHL’s Players’ Association at a gridlock.

The Great Lakes Invitational, featuring a game between MSU and Western Michigan and a game between Michigan Tech and Michigan, was scheduled to take place outdoors at Comerica Park on Dec. 27-28 to go along with the Hockeytown Winter Festival and Winter Classic. Because of the festival cancellation, the games will be played indoors at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Dec. 29-30.

The NHL brings joy to the players and fans, revenue to the city and business to local sports bars and pubs, so most everyone is affected by this lockout.

Many NHL players have gone elsewhere to continue play, such as the Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk, who has returned to Russia to play for CSKA Moscow, Henrik Zetterberg and newcomer Damien Brunner, who have returned to Switzerland to play for EV Zug, and Jakub Kindl, who has gone to the Czech Republic to play for HC ?SOB Pojiš?ovna Pardubice.

Former Spartan Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins has gone to the American Hockey League (AHL) to keep active during the lockout.

Personally, every day around 3 p.m. when I get my Red Wings text updates, my heart sinks a little bit because not only is there no NHL now, but I realize that there is a chance that the rest of the season might be canceled.

Some fans believe that the NHL should cancel the season so that we can be put out of our misery and so that fans are not all hanging on a thread waiting for games to be announced every few weeks. Like many others, though, I would rather be hopeful, hanging on to a glimpse of a season rather than knowing it’s not going to happen at all.


Things Tom Anastos should be thankful for


By Alyssa Girardi          Last updated: 11/20/12 3:16pm         

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the MSU hockey program has received a bye week before resuming play next week against Ohio State.

As now is a time for everyone to reflect on what they’re thankful for, here’s a few things Tom Anastos should be thankful for 12 games into the season:

1. Matt Berry: It goes without saying this sophomore forward has emerged as a powerhouse not only within the Spartan hockey program, but the CCHA. Berry leads the team with 35 shots on goal and seven goals. He also sits tied for third in the CCHA in point scoring, second in goal scoring, first in power play points, tied for first in power play goals and tied for first in game-winning goals. With three goals in a game against Michigan, the only thing Anastos should be upset about is that he doesn’t have five Matt Berrys on his roster.

2. November 10, 2012: After losing 5-2 to Michigan in Ann Arbor the night before, November 10 was a strong point in MSU’s wins thus far. The Spartans returned to East Lansing to fight the Wolverines to a 7-2 win in front of a record-breaking crowd at Munn Ice Arena. Things visibly clicked for MSU that night, proving that unlimited amounts of potential lie within this year’s squad.

3. Jake Hildebrand and Will Yanakeff: These two goaltenders have proven interchangeable for Anastos and the coaching staff. Earlier in the season, freshman Hildebrand said he came in with the intention to compete with Yanakeff, a junior, for playing time. To this point in the season, Yanakeff has played in seven games and Hildebrand has played in six. Hildebrand has a .941 save percentage compared to Yanakeff’s .879. Both netminders have proven valuable to the program, and Anastos is lucky to have these two great options.

4. Solid recruiting: With 12 new players on this year’s roster, a few have taken no time to start standing out. Forward Matt DeBlouw will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in his years to come at MSU, as he already has 11 points and has made a big impact in key games this year. John Draeger has been a consistent rock for the defense, and forward Michael Ferrantino has shown immense talent and untapped potential.