Behind the Mask

Another Slow Start Dooms Michigan State

Despite two late goals by Abby Barker and Jenni Smith, Michigan State dropped its second consecutive contest against top 10 opponents in a 4-2 heartbreaker to No. 4 Maryland Sunday afternoon.

It became the sixth consecutive contest that the Spartans failed to score the first goal. The four goals allowed tied a season-high for Michigan State, who is now 1-2 in Big Ten play and 5-4 overall. Read More…

Michigan State Can’t Complete Comeback Against Penn State

Sophomore Kristin Matula notched her first goal of the season and Sierra Patton made seven saves, but it was not enough as No. 18 Michigan State (5-3) could not complete the comeback against No. 7 Penn State (7-2), as they lost by a score of 2-1 Friday afternoon at Ralph Young Field.

Friday’s game marked the 37th all-time meeting between these two Big Ten schools, with Penn State winning the last five in a row to give them a 27-10 head-to-head record against the Spartans.

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Anastos Speaks at Big Ten Hockey Media Day

Can’t wait for hockey season?

Until the Spartans play their Green and White game to kick off the preseason, here are some MSU related bits from Big Ten Hockey Media Day at Joe Louis Arena.

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Who Will be the Next Big Ten Hockey School?

It is a question that has surrounded fans for the past few years: “Will the Big Ten hockey conference ever expand, and who will step up?”

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves re-ignited the conversation in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. In the interview, Eaves expressed his desire to see the six-team conference grow in the near future, and listed Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern as potential additions.

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Field Hockey Tops Ohio State, Gets First Conference Win

The No. 16 Michigan State Spartans field hockey team traveled down to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to take on Ohio State in their first taste of Big 10 competition this season. The Spartans topped the Ohio State University Buckeyes in overtime with a goal from senior forward Abby Barker to go 1-0 in conference play.

Ohio State struck first with a goal by freshman Maddy Humphrey off of a penalty corner. About nine minutes later, the Buckeyes made it 2-0 when senior Kaitlyn Wagner hit home a rebound past the Spartan goalkeeper, Sierra Patton. Read More…

Field Hockey Sweeps Weekend Games in Ohio

After splitting two games in Washington D.C. last weekend, No. 19 Michigan State women’s field hockey came back with a pair of wins in Kent, Ohio, defeating Kent State 4-3 in overtime and Richmond 6-1. In both games, the Spartans had to play catch up.

The Spartans got in a 2-0 hole in their first game against Kent State after the Golden Flashes notched a pair of goals in a span of 4:27. Michigan State was not discouraged, however, as sophomore Megan Fenton tallied her third goal of the season with an assist by Abby Barker to cut the deficit to 2-1. Kent State regained a two-goal lead to make it 3-1 around the 56th minute, which prompted head coach Helen Knull to take a timeout.

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Ahern Nets Overtime Winner, Gives Spartans First Win

Senior Allie Ahern was the hero Sunday afternoon at Ralph Young Field in East Lansing.

In a back and forth, offense dominated game, Ahern netted the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Spartans a 5-4 victory over the University of Maine Black Bears, for the No. 16 Spartans’ first win of the regular season.

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Spartans Fall to No. 4 Duke in Season Opener on Late OT Goal

Sierra Patton made seven saves, but it was not enough as No. 16 Michigan State fell to No. 4 Duke 2-1 in overtime in the season opener Friday afternoon at Ralph Young Field.

Heading into overtime, Michigan State had momentum thanks to Abby Barker’s goal with 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation, but the seesaw affair continued.

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Spread-out Attack Powers Spartans in Exhibition Wins

The No. 20 Michigan State women’s field hockey team got off to an undefeated start this past weekend, winning both exhibition games against Central Michigan and Kent State.

Seven different Spartans accounted for the 10 total goals scored on Saturday.

In the opening game, the Spartans faced Central Michigan, a game Michigan State dominated from the first center pass. Goals from Allie Ahern, Abby Barker, Becky Stiles and Kristin Matula, all in the first 10 minutes of play, fueled the Spartans to a 4-1 lead at the half.

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Top MSU Hockey Player of All Time

The Spartans have had a great history in men’s college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our top five greatest Spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

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Spartans Will Play Outdoor Game in Chicago

Hold on to your earmuffs, Michigan State will play Michigan at Soldier Field in Chicago as part of the Coyote Logistics Hockey City Classic.

The matchup, which was recently announced by Intersport, will take place Saturday, February 7 and will count toward the regular season standings.

Also included will be a matchup between Western Michigan and Miami (Ohio).

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Top MSU Hockey Players of All Time

The Spartans have had a great history in men’s college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our top five greatest Spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

Read More…

Top MSU Hockey Players of All Time

The MSU hockey team has had a great history in college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our top five greatest spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

Read More…

Top MSU Hockey Players of All Time

The MSU hockey team has had a great history in college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships, and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our  top five greatest spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

Read More…

Hockey Lands Verbal Commit for 2015-16 Season

It is a bit early to be talking about next year’s incoming Spartans, but a new name has been recently added to the list. Mason Appleton of Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wis. has verbally committed to play for the Green and White in 2015.

“There was nothing I didn’t like about the program,” Appleton told the Green Bay Press Gazett about his commitment to the Spartan hockey program. “They just had so many positives I couldn’t turn it down.”

A late bloomer, Appleton has turned into an impressive and physical centerman with strong puck skills to back up a gritty playstyle. In his senior season alone, Appleton racked up 70 points (30 goals, 40 assists).

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Top MSU Hockey Players of All Time

The MSU hockey team has had a great history in college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships, and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our top five greatest spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

Read More…

Phil Osaer Named Director of Hockey Operations

With Adam Nightingale stepping down at the end of the pastmen’s hockey season to coach the Shattuck-St.Mary’s high school hockey team in Fairbault, Minn., a gap opened up in a vital position for the Spartan hockey program. That gap has now been filled by Phil Osaer.

Osaer is a native of Livonia, Mich. and earned his business administration degree from Ferris State University. While at Ferris he played goaltender for the Bulldogs from 1998-2001. After college, Phil spent 12 seasons in professional hockey and was an instructor at Suburban Hockey Schools in Farmington Hills, Mich.

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Rule Changes Possibly Coming for 2014-15 Season

Change is in the air this summer as the NCAA Hockey Rules Committee (headed by Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos) recently proposed several rule changes to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel last Friday.

There were a total of nine rule changes approved by the committee. The changes that could have the most significant impact on the game include new rules for faceoff procedure, (who puts their stick down first, faceoff location in the offensive zone, etc.) expanding the use of video replay, and new shootout regulations.

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Big Ten Hockey Schedule Released

Michigan State’s Big Ten schedule has been announced and, like last year, the Spartans will face each of their Big Ten conference foes four times during the regular season.

The major difference is that this year the Big Ten Tournament will be held at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit as opposed to Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

Also, no word has come as to the date of the annual Joe Louis game between the Spartans and the Wolverines.

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Wisconsin, Minnesota and Others Opt out of Gentleman’s Agreement

Several members of college hockey’s royalty appear to be disenchanted with the rest of the league.

After a vote by the American Hockey Coaches Association Convention moved to keep the “Gentleman’s Agreement,” several hockey programs, including Minnesota and Boston College, announced they would no longer adhere to the agreement and not recognize the verbal commitment as binding.

Instead, they would only recognize the NCAA National Letter of Intent. Soon after, Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves announced his program would follow suit.

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