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MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

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  • MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

    Michigan State has hit the hockey reset button, having brought in a new head coach and two new assistants behind the bench.

    The Spartans will be the youngest team in B1G this year with but 6 upperclassmen, 11 sophomores and 8 freshmen. The program also has to rekindle some hope and rebuild a fan base that used to be among the loudest and best. And it may be a while before it lands the kinds of recruits we had in the Mason era and early in his successor's tenure. One pretty good recruit, the previously announced captain for 2017-18, bolted for the NHL.

    That's the ugly.

    Some good news ...
    Last year's freshman group had a pretty good season, as that class posted its best offensive output as a percentage of team scoring in several years. MSU returns 56% of its of scoring from 2016-17. Ed Minney should be sharper, having healed from an injury that plagued him toward the end of last season, and he will contend with sophomore John Lethemon in what sets up to be a pretty fair goalie competition.

    No captain has been selected as of today, but D Carson Gatt (sr), F Brennan Sanford (jr) and F Sam Saliba (so) begin the season as assistant captains.

    None of the stuff in the "good news" category has swayed where general wisdom and any media outlet that predicts these things from forecasting anything other than a 7th-place finish in 2017-18 for MSU in a 7-school league. So we as fans look for positives wherever we can.

  • #2
    Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

    I think we're pretty locked into 7th place, unfortunately. Although, OSU did lose to Ryerson but that likely doesn't mean much.

    It'll be interesting to see who dresses and what the line combos/pp units look like tomorrow. I'm interested to see which freshmen play and how they perform. Perhaps all of them will make an appearance.

    Our season is starting late. Many teams are officially starting this week and several played actual games last week. I think this benefits us as it gives the staff more time to establish things before the games count.

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    • #3
      Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

      Good start, even though it doesn't count.

      Team looked young to me and for the first period had to adjust to Toronto's size and physical maturity. We took the game over in the 2nd and 3rd period which was good to see.

      Defense and goaltending looked good. Toronto didn't threaten very often and neither goaltender was truly challenged.

      Hirose looked wonderful. Loved his PP unit and how it is designed to anchor specifically through him. He is perfectly suited to the role and should be a boon to a PP that has been anemic for years. I am pretty sure his breakaway at the start of the 2nd was a designed play in the event of a clean face off win. It was executed perfectly except for missing the net. It's nice to see some coaching wrinkles already emerging.

      Freshmen did a fine job. Smith and Lewandowski stood out to me.

      This team does look young and might take its lumps this season. There should be a lot of growth as the year goes on.
      Last edited by Pirateasaur; 10-07-2017, 05:35 PM.

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      • #4
        I felt pretty good about what I saw yesterday. Pretty sharp in every zone. And yes, Hirose was pretty amazing. Remains among the smartest players on the ice.

        But now it's about to count.

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        • #5
          Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

          With BGSU playing WMU tomorrow, that means it will be four of the last five years where our opponent will have a game in the books when we take the ice for the season opener. Only year that didn't happen was, fittingly, the Icebreaker. The other three resulted in a 1-2 record with an average score of a 4-2 loss.

          Good news is it's a different coach and they only get three days rest in between, though that probably doesn't make much difference this early in the season. It'll be interesting to see how full Munn is Saturday, given the state of the program and a night football game. As it stands right now, essentially anything outside the blue lines minus the student section is around 75% availability or higher.
          Go Green! Go White! Go State!

          1966, 1986, 2007

          Go Tigers, Go Packers, Go Red Wings, Go Pistons

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Spartanforlife4 View Post
            With BGSU playing WMU tomorrow, that means it will be four of the last five years where our opponent will have a game in the books when we take the ice for the season opener. Only year that didn't happen was, fittingly, the Icebreaker. The other three resulted in a 1-2 record with an average score of a 4-2 loss.

            Good news is it's a different coach and they only get three days rest in between, though that probably doesn't make much difference this early in the season. It'll be interesting to see how full Munn is Saturday, given the state of the program and a night football game. As it stands right now, essentially anything outside the blue lines minus the student section is around 75% availability or higher.
            Oh, I'm sure Munn will be a graveyard. I have a **** wedding to attend so I also will not be there. I was looking forward to seeing BG back in Munn, too.

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            • #7
              Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

              Originally posted by Pirateasaur View Post
              Oh, I'm sure Munn will be a graveyard. I have a **** wedding to attend so I also will not be there. I was looking forward to seeing BG back in Munn, too.
              We're also glad this series is starting up again. Hopefully it'll be back to an every year thing. Sure was a rivalry back in the 80's/90's ("Go Green, Go White, Go blank yourselves!" though I never shouted that...)

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              • #8
                Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                Originally posted by TalonsUpPuckDown View Post
                We're also glad this series is starting up again. Hopefully it'll be back to an every year thing. Sure was a rivalry back in the 80's/90's ("Go Green, Go White, Go blank yourselves!" though I never shouted that...)
                2017-18 is CCHA Nostalgia Tour season. Did you know?

                Now if only MSU had set up a weekend tourney with NMU, Alaska and Miami, it would be complete
                Last edited by owslachief; 10-10-2017, 03:58 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                  First time in a long I am excited for the season to start. Can't wait to see what this team brings on a weekly basis.

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                  • #10
                    Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                    Well, it's finally time to start.

                    I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

                    4-1 BG Friday
                    3-2 MSU Saturday

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                    • #11
                      Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                      Tanner Kelly became the 4th Forward commit to MSU for 2020-21. He's a 2002, playing for Little Caesars.

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                      • #12
                        Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                        Originally posted by Pirateasaur View Post
                        Well, it's finally time to start.

                        I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

                        4-1 BG Friday
                        3-2 MSU Saturday
                        Looks like the Ice Arena will be sold out for tonight's contest. Hope you Sparty Boys got your tickets early. Looking forward to a good game, great to have State back on the schedule.

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                        • #13
                          Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                          Originally posted by Pirateasaur View Post
                          Well, it's finally time to start.

                          I think BG gets us pretty good tonight. They're a few games deep already and will come out excited at home. I'll say we sneak out a close one tomorrow.

                          4-1 BG Friday
                          3-2 MSU Saturday
                          1/1 so far. Let's hope you go 2/2 for the weekend.
                          Go Green! Go White! Go State!

                          1966, 1986, 2007

                          Go Tigers, Go Packers, Go Red Wings, Go Pistons

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Spartanforlife4 View Post
                            1/1 so far. Let's hope you go 2/2 for the weekend.
                            Oh, don't worry. I definitely have super powers.

                            Cross out "undefeated" from this year's list of goals.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: MSU Spartan Hockey - Episode VII - A New Hope

                              Originally posted by Pirateasaur View Post
                              Oh, don't worry. I definitely have super powers.

                              Cross out "undefeated" from this year's list of goals.
                              4-1 BigSue, 3-2 MSU. If you ever need to share driving duties to Vegas .

                              I am sad I've yet to see my first minute of for-real MSU hockey this year! Esp. win #1 at home in the Danton Cole era. BTW, who got hurt? The spectator who texted me could not see who was helped off the ice.

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