Jake Hildebrand

Weekend Hockey Preview: Ferris State

After a troubling weekend stint in Massachusetts, the Spartans return home to East Lansing to face another daunting opponent, the No. 15 Ferris State Bulldogs.

Know Thy Enemy and Know Thyself

Michigan State is reeling, no one can dispute that, but then again so are the Bulldogs. Both teams are riding a three-game losing streak heading into this weekend’s contest, and both teams were swept last weekend, (MSU by BU and UMass-Lowell, Ferris by Michigan Tech). Read More…

Tom Anastos Speaks Prior to Home Opener

On Tuesday, Michigan State men’s ice hockey coach Tom Anastos had his first weekly press conference of the season. During the conference, Anastos gave some insight on last week’s practice schedule and the Spartans’ simulated road trip.

Last weekend’s practices (which were open to the public) were very up-tempo and very productive, according to Anastos.

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Areas the Men’s Hockey Team Must Improve on the Ice

Hockey season is upon us, and coach Tom Anastos and his crew have some work to do prior to their first regular season game against Massachusetts on Oct. 17. In his press conference at media day last Wednesday, Anastos talked about several areas in which his team needs to improve.

The most glaring issue facing the Spartans is finding a way to put the puck in the net. Read More…

Men’s Hockey Freshmen Show Promising Start

For four freshmen, this past week was the first time they put on the Spartan uniform.

“It was exciting to put on the Spartan sweater for the first time and get used to the feeling of representing Spartan hockey,” freshman Dylan Pavelek said.

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Anastos: “Can We Turn the Corner?”

It has been a rocky road for Michigan State men’s ice hockey since making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2012. Two subpar seasons have put Michigan State in a re-tooling phase, but coming into this season, coach Tom Anastos was feeling very optimistic about the capabilities of his team when he spoke at Media Day last Wednesday.

“I thought it was our best offseason,” Anastos said. “We challenged the guys when our season was over to go home. We didn’t have guys come back early given the renovations at Munn. We also wanted to get a nice fresh mindset before the season started. Based on our physical testing, it’s been the best in three years.” Read More…

Men’s Hockey Ties Windsor, Falls in Shootout

In Michigan State’s opening exhibition match against the Windsor Lancers, Matt Beaudoin tied the game at two for Windsor with a power-play goal midway through the third period, which eventually forced overtime Tuesday night in front of a crowd of 3,683 at Munn Ice Arena. Nobody scored in the five-minute extra session and Windsor would win the shootout 1-0 on a goal by Spencer Pommells. The game goes in the books as a 2-2 tie.

“That was an ideal exhibition game for us,” said fourth-year head coach Tom Anastos. “It’s an experienced team. It’s an older group. A lot of those players have a lot of high-level hockey experience. As a step to get ready for our first game, I wish we could play one more like that.”

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Men’s Hockey Freshmen Ready to Make an Impact

Even though this year’s men’s hockey freshmen class is small with four players, they still have the potential to have a large impact on the ice for the Spartans this season.

“I think it’s a real good freshman class and that’s coming off a real good freshman class from last year,” fourth-year coach Tom Anastos said. “I think that’s what is important, to put some consecutive groups together to build our talent level and the depth on our team. Read More…

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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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?

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Spartans Add More Weapons to Freshman Class

While the Michigan State men’s hockey team grows “organically” in order to improve for what will likely be a defining year, they will not have to do it alone. In addition to their two previous National Letter of Intent signees (defenseman Josh Jacobs and goaltender Edwin Minny) MSU head coach Tom Anastos recently announced the official addition of defenseman Carson Gatt (brother of current Spartan senior Nickolas Gatt) and forward Dylan Pavelek.

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The Pact – #22 – 3/17/14

With only a three-member panel of Fino, Faith and Lou, MSU men’s hockey, the Detroit Red Wings and the Pistons are the three topics on The Pact’s table this week.

With the Spartans’ regular season coming to an end this past Saturday, The Pact discusses the hockey team’s disappointing season, what the future of Anastos should be, how this team will perform in the Big Ten tournament and who should start in goal in game one on Thursday against Ohio State.

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Power Play Key Factor in Win over No. 5 Wisconsin

Heading into the final games of Big Ten and regular season play, Michigan State (11-16-7) was looking to build off their 4-3 win over Michigan last weekend as they played against the visiting Wisconsin Badgers (21-9-2).

And the Spartans did just that.

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Weekend Hockey Preview: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. MSU

For the last weekend of the regular season, the Michigan State Spartans (10-16-7) welcome the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (21-9-2) to East Lansing this Friday and Saturday. With senior night fast approaching, it will be an emotional weekend for the Spartans who look to build up their confidence and rhythm going into the Big Ten Tournament.

The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off an exceptional weekend, grabbing five out of six points against the Penn State Nittany Lions. They are still chasing No. 1 Minnesota for the Big Ten regular season championship. However, the Badgers are five points behind the Gophers and will need to have a perfect weekend (and a Michigan sweep of Minnesota) in order to jump to No. 1.

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Opinion: Spartans Played Best Game Yet

What was it? Was is head coach Tom Anastos’ timeout early in the first period? Was it the sellout crowd at Munn Ice Arena? Or was it the grit and determination of the senior class?

Whatever the reason, one thing is predominantly clear: the Spartans played their best game of the season last Saturday against No. 12 Michigan.

While it was not the first time the Spartans have rallied back to win a close game this season, no game had the stakes as high as this one. Read More…

A Will to Win

After being embarrassed last night in Ann Arbor, Mich. 7-1, the Michigan State Spartans were looking to end their season series against Michigan on a good note. Before five minutes ticked away in the opening period, the No. 12 Wolverines already had a 2-0 lead over the Spartans.

Michigan’s Luke Moffatt buried a goal just 1:15 into the game and Cristoval Nieves added another just over three minutes later. It was not until midway through the first period when the Spartans found the back of the net on a goal by senior captain Greg Wolfe.

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Even in 4-3 OT Loss, Exhibition Serves Its Purpose

In a battle between two Spartan goalies, one current and one future, the U.S. National Team Development Program made another visit to Munn Ice Arena to face off against the Michigan State Spartans in an exhibition match-up.

Edwin Minney, who has signed his National Letter of Intent in favor of the Spartans, started for the USANTDP and matched up in net against MSU sophomore Jake Hildebrand.

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Weekend Hockey Preview

Things may get interesting again this weekend as the Michigan State Spartans (2-5-5-3) visit Penn State University (1-9-0-0) for the first time this season. Coming off of a weekend that saw both the Spartans and the Gophers get swept and Penn State get its first win, everyone is holding their breath to see if there are more upsets in the works.

The Nittany lions are coming off of their first Big Ten conference victory in program history, upsetting No. 9 Michigan 4-0 last Saturday. MSU on the other hand, is coming off of a frustrating weekend, coming away with only two points in their series against Ohio State. While MSU did sweep the Nittany Lions in East Lansing in January, Penn State will look to return the favor this Friday.

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Another Heartbreaker for MSU Hockey

For the second straight game, the Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes needed extra time and eventually a shootout to determine a winner. Although the game is considered a tie, the Spartans failed once again to gain an extra point in the standings.

The last three games between these teams have resulted in a shootout.
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Spartans Host Weekend Series with Buckeyes

Big Ten action returns to East Lansing this weekend as the Michigan State Spartans look to conclude their season series with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Coming off of a dominant performance against Penn State last weekend, the Buckeyes roll into East Lansing with 13 points and a 4-5-1 conference record.

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