Ferrantino Ready to Lead Men’s Hockey

Not long after the Spartans’ season ended in an overtime defeat in the Big Ten playoffs to Ohio State, men’s hockey coach Tom Anastos announced that forward Michael Ferrantino would be the Spartans’ 70th captain in program history.

“It means a lot. Growing up around this program and seeing the guys that have been captain before me, it’s hard for me to put it into words,” Ferrantino said. “Just to be trusted with that honor and that responsibility by your teammates and your coaches means a lot to me.”

According to Anastos, now in his fourth season behind the bench, Ferrantino did something unique after first earning the “C.”

“One of the first things he did when he was named captain, he approached me with a list, he did some background check of previous captains at Michigan State, and he asked me if he can get their phone numbers so he can reach out to them and contact them,” Anastos said. “I thought that was a pretty interesting approach to see what he can learn from the past.”

Ferrantino explained what brought him to the decision to contact the former captains.

“I wanted to talk to them just to get their insight,” Ferrantino said. “What they did well, what they thought didn’t go well. Just so I had a better idea of what to expect and to learn a few things that I can refer back to during the season to help me out as well.”

His coach had a lot of praise to give the junior from Plymouth.

“He’s a bit of a pit bull in how he plays. He plays with a big heart, he plays with a lot of emotion, he plays with skill and intelligence. He’s a very intense competitor every single day,” Anastos said.

“He’s the kind of guy that we wanted to bring into our program to help with the turn around, and he was one of these guys that really embraced that. He wants to win and he’s real committed to winning. He’s done a real good job in the offseason, he takes the leadership role he has earned very seriously.”

Anastos indicated the team was very much behind the decision, too.

“He’s a bit of an emotional leader for the team,” he said. “I think his teammates trust him. That’s why, overwhelmingly, they provided input to me that he’s the guy that deserves to be in that role.”

Ferrantino recognizes that a captain needs to be flexible, and is excited for the opportunity.

“I think there’s times where you need to get guys going and try and spark things by saying something. There’s also times where not a lot needs to be said and you just have to go out and flat out outwork the other team,” Ferrantino said. “I like to think I can bring both at different times.”

Brian Bobal is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports