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Big Ten and USCHO announce pre-season Rankings, Big Ten Hockey Honorees

September 25, 2023
<p>The MSU men&#x27;s hockey team celebrates their victory against the University of Michigan at Munn Ice Arena on Dec. 9, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 2-1. </p>

The MSU men's hockey team celebrates their victory against the University of Michigan at Munn Ice Arena on Dec. 9, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 2-1.

Photo by Sonya Barlow | The State News

Ahead of the beginning of the 2023-2024 hockey season, the Big Ten conference announced their pre-season ranking, and all conference teams Monday afternoon

The Spartans were placed at No. 3, behind powerhouses, No. 1 the University of Minnesota and No. 2 the University of Michigan

This year's No. 3 ranking has tied the Spartans at the highest ranking in the Big Ten polls since the Spartan’s 2015-2016 season.

The Big Ten also announced their pre-season all-conference teams. Two brand new Spartans, and first year Big Ten players have earned pre-season honorable mention accolades. The two players are freshman goalie Trey Augustine and sophomore forward Joey Larson.

Along with the the Big Ten rankings and accolades being released, the United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) also released their top 20 unit. Michigan State was ranked at No. 9 out of 20—sandwiched between No. 8 Minnesota St. Cloud and No. 10 Michigan Tech.

Augustine, who is the only freshman on the 18 man list, played with team USA, and was a part of the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP). 

He led the USA Under-18 team at the IIHF to a World Championship, earning gold in May of 2023. He also played for the team in May of 2022, where they operated under the helm of head coach, Adam Nightingale, who is entering his second year of head coach at Michigan State. 

The Spartan's second honoree, Larson, a Brighton MI native, who entered the transfer portal at the end of the 2022-23 season from Northern Michigan University. He was picked up by the Spartans after his 27 point season, where he scored 13 goals, six of them being on the power play. 

He was deemed CCHA All-Rookie, and was on the watchlist for the Tim Taylor National Rookie of the year last season while playing with the Wildcats

The Spartan hockey team will drop the first puck on Oct. 7, where they are set to host Lake Superior State University at 4 p.m. at Munn Ice Arena.

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