Lighting the Lamp
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 09/05/12 6:30pm
Former MSU hockey player Jim McKenzie recently was signed to the Trenton Titans, ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League, or NHL, Philadelphia Flyers.
The right-winger played for the Spartans for three years, 2004-2007, before forgoing his senior year and signing with the Ottawa Senators.
While at MSU, McKenzie led the team to a national championship in 2006-07, raking in 30 points, 12 goals and 18 assists that season. McKenzie played with the Allen Americans of the CHL last season, and has also played with the ECHL’s Elmira, Stockton and Johnstown.
By Dillon Davis
Last updated: 08/13/12 12:35pm
With less than two months until the season begins, MSU hockey coach Tom Anastos continues to make his mark on the program. Earlier in the summer, Anastos announced a new set of uniforms for the Spartans for his second season behind the bench. And now he’s turned his sights to the student section.
In a collaborative effort between the MSU athletic department and the Student Alumni Foundation, or SAF, the program will begin taking suggestions to rename the “Slapshots” student section at Munn Ice Arena.
“I love the idea of renaming our student section. This renaming effort will help continue to bring new energy and a fresh feel to the groundswell of excitement that is re-energizing Spartan Hockey,” Anastos said in a release. “Our players and coaching staff view our student section as a vital part of our team. Last season we took a big step towards integrating those in our student section with our players in several team activities, and this year we expect to take that to an unprecedented level.”
Fans can submit names for the new student section on the MSU hockey or SAF Facebook pages or email them to email@example.com, with the deadline being August 26. According to a release by the MSU athletic department, suggestions will be reviewed by Anastos, the team, members of the department and SAF leadership before determining a set of three finalists.
The top three suggestions will be posted on msuspartans.com August 28 and fans will be able to vote before the winner is announced September 11.
Something with alliteration would be neat — think “Anastos’ Army” or “Munn Monsters” or almost anything significantly better than those. An allusion to the former “Corner Blitz” football student section wouldn’t be bad — maybe “Corner Hits” or “Corner Crunch”? Or perhaps naming each section of stands after a former player or coach would be interesting, albeit different than finding a unifying student section name.
Honestly, maintaining the “Slapshots” name would be a nice option too.
So what should it be? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.
By Stephen Brooks
Last updated: 06/24/12 6:50pm
Four incoming Spartan hockey players were selected in the National Hockey League Entry Draft’s second day Saturday, the most since four MSU players were drafted in 2006.
Forward Mackenzie MacEachern from Brother Rice High and defenseman John Draeger of Edina, Minn., were the first off the board. They were chosen No. 67 overall by the St. Louis Blues and No. 68 overall by the Minnesota Wild, respectively, in the third round.
Rhett Holland, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound defenseman from Calgary, Alberta was selected in the next round by the Phoenix Coyotes at No. 102 overall. Holland becomes the first MSU player drafted by the Coyotes since the franchise relocated there in 1996 from Winnipeg.
In the seventh and final round of the draft, Matt DeBlouw, a Chesterfield, Mich., native was drafted at No. 186 overall by the Calgary Flames.
Next season, MacEachern will take the ice for the USHL’s Chicago Steel, while the other three Spartan draftees will head to campus and join the 2012-13 team.
“We are very pleased for the guys who were drafted today,” head coach Tom Anastos said in a release by the athletics department. “All four of them have excellent futures ahead of them and we are excited about them beginning the next phase of their development at Michigan State.”
By Dillon Davis
Last updated: 06/20/12 4:33pm
After several days of speculation and teaser pictures on Twitter, Tom Anastos and his wife Lisa will host the inaugural Spartan Hockey Women’s Clinic July 18 from 6-10 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena, the MSU athletics department announced Wednesday.
The clinic — which is geared more to the female hockey fan, rather than an experienced player — will provide participants insight on offensive, defensive and special team strategies, as well as receiving instruction from current MSU hockey players and members of the coaching staff.
In addition to hockey instruction, the clinic also will feature special female guests from the MSU athletics department, including women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant, volleyball head coach Cathy George, women’s golf coach Stacey Slobodnik-Stoll, women’s tennis coach Simone Jardim, softball coach Jacquie Joseph and gymnastics coach Kathie Klages.
“We have had a number of request from female fans who want to learn more about the game, Spartan Hockey and see our facilities,” Anastos said in a release by the athletics department. “This clinic will be a lot of fun for everyone and will provide each participant with a new perspective on the game.”
The cost of the clinic is $75 and features hockey instruction, a Spartan hockey jersey and T-shirt, a Q&A session and refreshments for participants.
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 05/09/12 4:39pm
In an online chat forum with the Detroit Free Press and its readers, head coach Tom Anastos said MSU hockey will have new home and away uniforms next season, along with a vintage uniform.
Anastos told the Free Press that renovations to Munn Ice Arena are being discussed, but the final decision will be based on “funding sources.”
MSU will play in next year’s Great Lakes Invitational Tournament, or GLI, outdoors at Comerica Park.
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 05/01/12 7:21pm
Current Detroit Red Wing and former MSU hockey player Justin Abdelkader will take the ice in a Team USA jersey this weekend for the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship in Finland and Sweden. He will join fellow Red Wing teammate Jimmy Howard.
Abdelkader played for the Spartans from 2005 to 2008 before signing with the Red Wings. During his time at MSU, he scored the game-winning goal in the 2007 NCAA Championship Game and led the team to a NCAA Division 1 National Championship.
The championship will run from May 4-20.
By Dillon Davis
Last updated: 04/01/12 6:52pm
Senior defenseman Brock Shelgren has signed a professional contract with the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League, the athletics department announced Friday.
During his time at MSU, Shelgren played in 138 career games, compiling eight goals, 21 assists for a total of 29 points. Shelgren also finished his career with a plus-minus rating of plus-18.
In his senior season, Shelgren was named MSU’s CCHA Scholar-Athlete, marking the second time he earned the honor.
Shelgren was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and was a 2010 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
On the Aces, Shelgren will be reunited with former Spartan Brandon Gentile (2005-08), who has tallied 13 points in 35 games for them this season.
By Dillon Davis
Last updated: 03/28/12 9:44pm
As I wrote earlier in the week, junior defenseman Torey Krug decided to forgo his senior season and sign a professional contract with the Boston Bruins. And from early reports out of Boston, it seems like he’s fitting in nicely.
According to the Bruins’ Twitter account (@NHLBruins), the 5-foot-9, 180-pound defenseman participated in the “Cuts for a Cause” charity event with 17 of his new teammates on Wednesday. The event called for members of the Bruins to get their hair cut and heads shaved to raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
According to a report by Boston.com, the event raised more than $58,000 for charity.
The event is just one of a series in Krug’s assimilation into the Bruins organization since he arrived in Boston on Monday. Krug also has participated in practices and team meetings with his the defending-Stanley Cup champions this week.
“I’m just trying to get my feet wet and get a little experience,” Krug said in a statement released by the Bruins on Monday. “At the same time, I hope I can push the guys in practice and do whatever I can do to help the team win. Obviously, the coaches will make that decision [to play], but I’m here and my goal is to compete and work 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.”
Ah, the classic and entirely cliché “100 percent, 100 percent of the time” mantra. Krug clearly hasn’t forgotten his roots at MSU.
But after a career in which he amassed 26 goals and 57 assists for 83 points in 114 career games and won the 2012 CCHA Player of the Year, his time for the Green and White will be hard to forget.
However, after three years of wearing No. 44, Krug will make the switch to No. 47. Of the switch, Krug told Boston media and Kevin Wilson (@KCWilson) — who initially tweeted it — “I’d like to think it’s a little bit of Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque, a mix of the two.”
Krug also sent out a series of tweets upon his arrival thanking the Spartan fan base for three years of support and expressing excitement for a chance to join his new team.
“To the Spartan fans, thank you for an amazing three years. I was spoiled to be part of the best university in the country,” Krug tweeted on Tuesday. “I will forever be a Spartan. There was no better place on the planet to spend my last three years. Thank you!!! I am excited to be part of the Boston Bruins organization where winning is expected! The opportunity provided to me has been unbelievable. I look forward to watching tonight’s game and learning the system and hearing the Bruins fans at the Garden!!!!!”
By Dillon Davis
Last updated: 03/28/12 9:41pm
Former Spartan and current Elmira Jackals forward Dustin Gazley was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team, the league announced on Wednesday.
The Novi, Mich. native led the league in points with 81, coming on 23 goals and 58 assists. According to the team’s website, the 23 year old also won ECHL Rookie of the Month award for February and received ECHL Player of the Week honors for the week of January 2nd.
During his time at MSU (2006-10), Gazley tallied 30 goals and 43 assists for 78 points in 153 career games and was a member of the 2007 national championship team that defeated Boston College.
By Alyssa Girardi
Last updated: 03/23/12 11:33pm
Bridgport, Conn. – A game that seemed like it was as good as over as it entered the third period turned into an overtime nail-biter.
In the Eastern Regional NCAA Tournament game, the No. 3-seed Massachusetts-Lowell hockey team led the No. 2-seed Miami (Ohio) 2-0 heading into the second period, and 3-0 going into the third.
The Miami RedHawks scored two goals 14 seconds apart to narrow down
Massachusetts-Lowell’s lead. About halfway through the period, the
RedHawks struck again to tie up the game.
The two teams went to overtime, where the Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks dominated Miami and won 4-3. Tomorrow, the River Hawks will face Union, who beat MSU 3-1 earlier in the day. The winner of that game will advance to the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla.