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.

Preseason Poll

The Spartans find themselves exactly where they left off last season in the Big Ten ranking-wise. The latest preseason poll puts the Spartans in at No. 5 in the Big Ten. Archrival Michigan checks in at No. 2.

  1. Minnesota
  2. Michigan
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Ohio State
  5. Michigan State
  6. Penn State

Tom Anastos Press Conference

The last time Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos stood in front of the camera, he emphasized the need for his team to “grow organically” and have a productive offseason. Judging by his comments at Media Day on Wednesday, it seems that both have happened.

“Guys came back in excellent shape, morale is very high,” Anastos said. “We think that we can kind of see the corner, and now it’s a challenge for us to try to turn it.”

This is certainly good news to Spartan fans, who long to see Michigan State as a heavyweight contender in the Big Ten conference.

When asked about the expectations of his junior class, Anastos said, “We’re going to be relying on that group for leadership. We need them to — some of those guys in particular to really emerge as go-to players on our team, so we have high expectations of that junior group.”

One of the main question marks for the Spartans this year, Anastos said, was trying to find the go-to goal scorers. He indicated senior Matt Berry had the potential, provided he stayed healthy (Berry missed a good portion of last season with an injury). Also on the list of potential go-to’s were sophomores Mackenzie MacEachern, Villiam Haag, Joe Cox and freshman Josh Jacobs.

You can view the transcripts of each of the Big Ten coaches’ Media Day press conferences here.

Big Ten Watch List

Junior goalie Jake Hildebrand and Berry both made the Big Ten Players to Watch list entering the 2014-15 season.

Berry was second on the team in scoring last year with ten goals. He arguably would have had more were it not for an injury that kept him sidelined until December. This will be Berry’s last year in the Green and White.

Hildebrand was the anchor for the Spartans last year, posting a .923 save percentage and keeping the Spartans in almost every game. This year, the junior will look to continue his role, while also grooming freshman goaltender Ed Minney.

Jason Ruff is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports