Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to Ryan Turek. Charges were filed and your name wasn't on the list, yeah. In fact, there were no Spartan Icers on the list.

Merry Christmas to David Booth. Despite missing 7 games to injuries you're keeping pace with Zetterberg, Selanne, Datsyuk, Spezza, Lecavalier and a host of others in goals.

Merry Christmas to Tim Kennedy. Finally getting that call-up that makes leaving school early worth it.

Most of all, Merry Christmas to Spartan fans. After a disastrous first half, the Spartans found a way to win against one of the best in the West. Schepke and Lerg had an outstanding game. The team did a great job of fending off the Sioux's desperation flurry at the end of the game. They have a chance to bring home another GLI Championship and make the second half interesting for the rest of the CCHA. Good job guys! A little bench trimming, home cooking and a short break seems to be just what the doctor ordered.

If I'm not mistaken, and I rarely am, the last time State lost to the US Development Team and won the GLI, they also won the NCAA Championship. If the wicked weasels find a way to beat Spartans, as unlikely as that seems, we can forget the last part of that statement.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Black Friday?

Friday Dec 18 Junior Defenseman Ryan Turek was dismissed for failure to meet expectations. The date coincided with the day Ingham County Prosecutor, Stuart Dunnings III, was expected to file charges in the Oct 18 MSU hockey/football fight. This, along with the fact that falling to meet expectations would result in the dismissal of several players, has fueled speculations that Turek will face charges. Good luck Ryan, your presence will be missed.

Also on Friday, freshman forward Mike Merrifield left to join the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. Merrifield hadn't had a point in any of his 6 starts. Coach Comley stated it would give him a chance to play 30 games over the second half and work on his physical strength. He's expected to return to Michigan State next season.

I'm officially calling this a "rebuilding year."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2009 World Junior Schedule

has been released.

Full schedule on

US Schedule:

Fri, Dec 26, 3:30PM vs Germany
Sun, Dec 28, 7:30PM vs Czech Rep.
Tue, Dec 30, 7:30PM vs Kazakhstan
Wed, Dec 31, 7:30PM vs Canada

Quarter finals are Fri, Jan 2
Semi finals are Sat, Jan 3
Medal games are Mon, Jan 5
Withe relegation matches Fri, Sat and Sun.

The 2009 US National Junior Team

has been announced. Sadly, none of the younger Spartans were invited.

Release and Roster at USA Hockey

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crappy, Crappy News

Apparently, the weak-dicks at the NHL home office decided to suspend Sean Avery for some comments that could only be heard on Canadian television (and American cable TV, you know because we still have some Puritan blood).

Anyway, Sean had a piece of brilliant diarrhea of the mouth while he was explaining how he loved being back in Canada. Saying how he couldn't understand why other players enjoyed his "sloppy seconds." It was aimed at Calgary Flames' Dion Phaneuf but also applies to former Wolverine Mike Komisarek. Although, how could you blame Komo? He had to spend a couple of years in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor, with the less-than-appealing women who forgot how to shave the armpit hair.

Now I'm not an Avery fan. Just the opposite, actually. But I enjoy nothing more than watching Sean Avery get his ass kicked. Here we had a perfect opportunity, first with the boring Iginala remarks and then the sloppy seconds. But the dumbasses in Toronto had to ruin my night.

Why can't Gary Betman make some stupid remark. His ass needs to be suspended, permanently.

Good News, Good News

USA Hockey and the NHL Network signed a 3 year deal allowing NHLN to carry the World Junior Championships. Well, not all of the WJC but all the American and all medal-round games. Since I just got NHLN this is huge. No illegal stream watching for me this year. If you know me and he games aren't broadcast at a ridiculous hour, stop by and watch 'em at my place.

Big hat tip to Bruce Macleod, the best Red Wings beat writer there is, at least when he's allowed to be a eat writer.

Kissing Your Sister Never Felt So Good

The title, obviously, doesn't apply to "ladies" down the road. But a tie against the number one ranked rodent should provide a decent amount of momentum. Momentum needed when taking on the lady rodents down the road. I wish I could have seen more of the game, so I could provide some excellent commentary. Alas, I missed all but a few minutes and I wasn't what one would call sober during those moments.

So the road leading to the winter/Christmas/holiday break has been a little rocky. But this team has learned a lot. After they sweep the completely surprised Wolverines this weekend, they'll have some time to reflect on their education. They'll have time to build on this new found confidence. he practices will be faster, more intense. Leading to a team ready to find they're way to another national championship.

Give 'em hell Sparty!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So I haven't Been Back In Force

and I won't be this week. Tomorrow we're heading up to the land of no electricity and no Internets. I'm an optimistic person by nature and a true homer so it's tough to spend a lot of time thinking, much less writing, about the state of the Spartans season.

State signed 4 to letters of intent. I'm very excited about Derek Grant, I haven't read much on the others.

Happy birthday David Booth, that was a nice birthday goal. Watching the Florida Panthers it occurs to me that they have a few things in common with the Spartans. Lots of youth and no real marquee player. Despite that they seem to stay competitive night in and night out. They have a good defense and a great goaltender, like State. Plus, they have an offense that's learned to keep it simple. They've become masters of the drop-pass. It's brilliant, they skate in drop it back and take the shot. If the lead skater coughs it up, he's got someone right there to contain the break the other way. When the lead skater drops it back he creates room for the shooter. If the shot gets through, the forwards crash the net looking for a garbage goal. They don't win a lot of 7-1 contests and don't generate a lot of style points but they're in the game. They're creating chances and they're allowing their young guys time to develop. If Coach Comley runs out of ideas, maybe he could it a shot. The speedy Leveille/Gazley skate it in, drop it back to the waiting Crowder/Tropp for a wicked wrister and let Schepke/Conboy clean-up the garbage. It's worth a shot, or maybe not.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Have A Lot of Work Left ...

This is teh suck. We're somewhere in the 3rd period on Saturday Night. I'm drunk and desperate, how 'bout a goal boys. I'm sorry about the lack of posting, I'll be back in force this week.

They just took a goal away, thanks CCHA.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full Strength

That's right, I finally got a new AC adapter for my laptop, so I'm back to full strength.

Seriously, the State News is reporting that Nick Sucharski and Andrew Rowe should be ready to play this weekend. With the return of Corey Tropp last weekend, this will be the first time all year that Coach Comely will have the entire roster available to choose his lineup. It couldn't happen at a better time with the conference leading Miami RedHawks coming to town. Both teams are coming off of dismal weekends and both will be hungry to prove their slide in the standings were unjustified.

If the Spartans can chip in some early goals on Miami's young defense and bang on the skilled RedHawk forwards, they can sweep this weekend. If they get pushed around and allow Miami to control the play, it could be an ugly weekend. With the return of Sucharski and his prowess in the face-off circle, it should be a little easier for the Spartans to control the play. Will it be enough? Well, that's why they play the games.

BTW, $90 for a new AC adapter seems a bit steep to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting Swept Sucks

Getting shutout in one of the games makes it even worse. I didn't get to see either game and only listened to the third period of the last game. One thing is obvious, this team is still young. They have a hell of a learning experience coming up. Home against Miami, then off to Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the People's Republic of Ann Arbor. This team should arrive back home with a clear vision of the future and a mission to accomplish it. They're still in need of Nick Sucharski and his face off skills and a couple people who can consistently find the back of the net.

Luckily, David Booth came around to brighten the weekend scoring his first NHL hat trick in Anaheim. Way to go Boothy, keep it up!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh No You Didn't

If anyone knows the guy that plays music at Munn suggest he plays this song after the losers we're playing score.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where Are They Now?

Here's what some former Spartan Icers are up to. The list is as accurate as I could get it, but someone always finds a way to be left off. Most information on the list comes from HockeyDB.

David Booth - Florida Panthers
Rod Brind'Amour - Carolina Panthers
Adam Hall - Tampa Bay Lightning
Shawn Horcoff - Edmonton Oilers
Duncan Keith - Chicago Blackhawks
John-Michael Liles - Colorado Avalanche
Ryan Miller - Buffalo Sabres
Jim Slater - Atlanta Thrashers
Mike Weaver - St. Louis Blues

Justin Abdelkader - Grand Rapids Griffins
Kevin Estrada - Manitoba Moose
Colton Fretter - Portland Pirates
Ethan Graham - Hartford Wolf Pack
Andrew Hutchinson - Norfolk Admirals
Jon Insana - Houston Aeros
Tim Kennedy - Portland Pirates
Bryan Lerg - Springfield Falcons
Jim McKenzie - Binghamton Senators
Drew Miller - Iowa Chops
Chris Mueller - Lake Erie Monsters
Corey Potter - Hartford Wolf Pack
Mike Ratchuk - Philadelphia Phantoms
Mike York - Syracuse Crunch

Jeff Dunne - Florida Everblades
Lee Falardeau - Charlotte Checkers (2007-2008)
Ash Goldie - Victoria Salmon Kings (2007-2008)
Mike Lalonde - Stockton Thunder
Adam Nightingale - Charlotte Checkers (2007-2008)
Jared Nightingale - Charlotte Checkers
Peder Skinner - Phoenix Roadrunners
Chris Snavely - Wheeling Nailers (2007-2008)
A.J. Thelen - Florida Everblades

Chad Alban - Flint Generals
Chris Bogas - Port Huron Icehawks (2007-2008)
John Nail - Bloomington Prairie Thunder
Brandon Warner - Fort Wayne Komets
Mike Watt - Muskegon Fury (2007-2008)

Joe Markusen - Mississippi RiverKings
Zak McClellan - Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

Bryan Adams - Cologne Sharks (DEL)
Anson Carter - Lugano (Swiss-A) (2007-2008)
Rustyn Dolyny - Munich EHC (2.GBun) (2007-2008)
Brad Fast - Ingolstadt ERC (DEL) (2007-2008)
Steve Guolla - Innsbruck EV (Aust)
Tyler Howells - Belfast Giants (EIHL)
Brian Maloney - Straubing Tigers (DEL)
Shawn Mather - Ritten Renon (Italy)
Rem Murray - Innsbruck EV (Aust)
Brock Radunske - Augsburg Panthers (DEL) (2007-2008)
Michael Stewart - VSV EC (Aust)
Tony Tuzzolino - Asiago HC (Italy)
Daniel Vukovic - Servette Geneve (Swiss-A)

Tom Anastos - Commissioner of the CCHA
Newell Brown - Assistant Coach Anaheim Ducks
Bob Daniels - Head Coach Ferris State
Bob Essensa - Goalie Coach Boston Bruins
Kelly Harper - Assistant Coach Brampton Battalion
Craig Simpson - HNIC Commentator
Harvey Smyl - Head Coach Langley Chiefs
Damon Whitten - Director of Hockey Operations MSU
Rob Woodward - Assistant Coach MSU

Honorable Mentions
Harley Hotchkiss - Part Owner Calgary Flames
Jeff Jackson - Head Coach Notre Dame

If you have any updates or additions please add them to the comments.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Abdelkader Named AHL Rookie of the Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins center Justin Abdelkader has been named the Reebok Edge/American Hockey League Rookie of the Month for October, the league announced on Monday.

Abdelkader, 21, scored a team-high seven goals and added two assists for nine points in seven games. He tied for the AHL rookie lead in goals and points for the month, while ranking among the league’s overall leaders in goals (T2nd), power play goals (three, T7th) and shooting percentage (0.500, T1st).

Way to go Justin. Only the second Grif to accomplish this feat. It'd be nice if the NHL and NHLPA could get together and dump this garbage salary cap so you could spend some time in Detroit.

The Good, Bad and Ugly

After a late come-from-behind victory against Wisconsin in football I was feeling pretty good. I though we'd head down to Lawson to watch the Icers complete the sweep. I got online, lined up a pair of tickets and before I could pull the trigger, poof. They stopped selling tickets for the game. There was nobody at the ticket office to take my call so we ended up listening to Scott and Woody. The good, we got the sweep(ish). The bad, 0 for 13 on the powerplay. The ugly, the Lawson Lunatics, I'm sure, even though I can't verify it. I can safely say, with confidence, that my life will not be negatively affected if I never see David Brown in an orange stripe ever again. BRUTAL.

Saturday had a slow, penalty filled start. With a great recovery. Conboy picked up 3 penalties solidifying has team lead in that category. Tim Crowder picked up a goal bringing him within 1 point of Daultan Levielle team leading 5. While Kurt Kivisto and Matt Schepke remained perfect in the shoot-out.

Next weekend sees the Spartans travel to lovely Columbus to take on the on-again off-again Ohio State Buckeyes. Before returning home for a weekend against conference leading Miami.

Go Green!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We Got Us A Conboy

Rockin' through the night, come on join our Conboy, ain't nothin' gonna git in our way, Conboy. Man among boys? It was a decent game, a win is always good. I don't think the refs happened across my blog but maybe Chris Frank did, he only interfered on one face off last night. The freshmen played big, carrying the play through the first two periods. Daultan Leveille showed why he was a first round draft pick. It's great when the smaller guys have success in front of the net. State's still having trouble in the face off department and they could play a little bigger in the corners, other than that look out BC we're comin' to get ya. Last year our little sisters in the People's Republic had a good amount of freshmen, hey had a great season but it ended a little early. The difference between the big sister and little brother is little brother has a bunch of decent leadership. They've been there, done that. They have the direction the youngsters need. Come spring, look for the Spartan Icers to be in the thick of it.

Oh, and linesmen, when Chris Frank is 2 inches from the puck and you blow the play for icing, you blow it. Learn your jobs, you're getting payed punks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lerg Goaltender of the Week

"Michigan State senior goaltender Jeff Lerg (Livonia, Mich.) has earned CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors on Monday, Oct. 27, as was released by the conference office."

He had his 11th career shutout Saturday night against Northern. Lerg needs one more to tie Chad Alban for third on the Spartans career shutout list. He may have a tough time catching Dominic Vicari (16) and Ryan Miller (26) before he graduates. The Spartans just don't play the defensive style game they had in years past.

Halloween Weekend

and we get the freaks from Western. Swell. Playing Western brings three thoughts right to mind. First, playing in the substandard pit known as Lawson Ice Arena. Harry Lawson ought to sue Western for putting his name on a poorly lit dump with plastic boards. Second, the Lawson Lunatics, I love the enthusiasm and hate the feeling I'm going to be gang raped on the way back to the car. The third is the awesome opportunity for the officials to ignore the flagrant interference by Chris Frank during face-offs. If by chance any CCHA officials accidentally happen upon this page, here's a not so subtle reminder of the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee's points of emphasis for the 2008-2009 season:

"The second area the committee believes must be addressed is interference and obstruction that occurs immediately after a faceoff restarts play. This interference is sometimes subtle and difficult to detect, but often leads to scoring chances by the offense or easy zone clears by the defense. With the two-referee, two-linesman system, the committee again believes this is an area of focus that will benefit by the second referee having responsibility for these fouls."

If you haven't noticed the Lady Spartans are tearing it up on the ice. They've got a 9-1-2 (5-0-2) record and beat up on the Lady Broncos 12-1, 6-0 and 8-0. They play at Grand Valley this weekend and Host Robert Morris the 22nd and 23rd, both games have a noon start at Munn. I'm sure they'd enjoy your support.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Six Games In

Where are we (we being the team I follow) now? Two wins, two losses and a tie - kind of. It's early, we're young and I'm happy (outside of the goofy off-ice football, hockey, track (?) team fight BS that I don't know crap about and wish would go away).

The first game of the year (and the first of two UMASS teams we'd play) and we got off to a ho-hum start. MSU had two nears, they nearly went 100% on the powerplay and nearly shut UMASS (Amherst) out. Unfortunately, the first goal came seconds after the first PP ended and the shutout hopes were dashed minutes before the game ended. The first game of the season was a good example of a talented but young team. They had a tough time finding passes and getting it out of the defensive zone was a real chore.

That chore only got more difficult in the second game of the year. This game, as well as the last, cost me $8.oo to watch online and the video was choppy, to say the least. Despite that it wasn't tough to see that Boston had more than a home ice advantage. State struggled to connect on anything that might be considered a shot, pass or check. No ifs ands or buts about it. The glorious kids from East Lansing were dominated. But it was a domination that nearly became overturned with a few minutes of quality play. Just another example of the individual talent waiting to gel. Something that will most likely be repeated throughout the season. Hang on folks, it's gonna be wild ride.

The third game of the season was our third straight against Hockey (L?)East and the second against a UMASS team. The game was fugly with a capital F. Fourteen minutes of scoreless powerplays and twenty minutes on the PK. Sick. State couldn't get a break or a completed pass. That's what happens when you have a bunch of young, talented kids. At least I hope that's the case. That's the feeling I had while leaving. A biggest feeling I had leaving that warm September evening was, how in the hell did anyone believe it was a good idea to have four officials on the ice? The CCHA tried that in an experimental way and figured out that 4 guys on the ice means an extra person to get in the way and the fact that there aren't enough quality officials to cover all the games. Unfortunately, the later point is going to become a season long bitch. Sorry, but it's just the way it's going to be. UMASS Lowell found (by found I mean State walked up to them and put it right in their hand) a way to win and we were off to a depressing home start.

Fourth game equals WOW! Coach Comley found a way to put it all together (kudos coach). The Spartans carried the play most of the game. Despite getting down early, they pulled it out. During the first game of the season I never really feared a loss despite the fact that UMASS (Amherst) seemed to be carrying the play. I had the same feeling during this game. The mistakes made seemed mostly harmless. It's a feeling I hope most Spartan fans held and most will continue to feel. Lerg was on, Conboy was relentless and the boys were buzzing.

About this time I took off. Headed out of state to take a little break. The thoughts of the violent attack on Michigan's Steve Kampfer fresh in my head and rumors of a fight by State's football players against other student athletes. I couldn't believe it possible that we'd have somehow picked-up bad habits from our big sister down the road. I settled into the laid back groove of Kansas City and later the hillbilly vibes of Lake Wapapello thinking the biggest story was the MSU/UM game. I setup a vacation hangin on my buddy's boat in the Exumas and a late summer break in Crested Butte still thinking everything was getting better in MSU's hockeyville. We made the 650 mile trip home Friday, arriving just minutes after the game started and minutes after learning our big sister down the road did have some type of negative affect on "us." I only hope that A.J. heals fully, the punishment is appropriate and the team doesn't suffer as a part of it. I still can't figure out what happened and only know that somehow Shegos had to, somehow, be involved.

Onto Northern. I love Northern, let's just get that out of the way now. I've had great times in Marquette with the Puckheads and their friends. I've partied at the NMU hockey house and was treated very well, even while wearing an MSU jersey. I like Coach Kyle despite his propensity to whine and attempt to delay the game. (hey coach, I understand, anything to win, you go). Many people that could possibly be smarter than me picked NMU to finisher higher than State (not me but I'm a total homer) so there was a lot of build up, in my mind. The first game was the best game (a banner game) State played all year. They had jump, speed and a bunch of adjectives only English majors could define (stuff like moxy, no kidding ask Kaunisto, Conboy moxied his ass) but NMU managed a tie(ish). Lerg stood "tall" in MSU's first shootout and Schepke and Kivisto buried the winners.

Game Six, We Won! It wasn't as pretty as Friday but it was more effective. Lerg was on his game, thanks el cap'i'tan. Conboy was out, as was Sucharski and Warda. I don't know which if either were the disciplinary sitters. I hope neither, they're both good guys. I noticed today, before the game, members of USCHO talking about NMU's PP cycle and how Comley had a 'stationary positional pass PP.' It was exactly the opposite of that tonight. MSU had a nice cycle on the PP and NMU tried to stick to their position and feed the 'slot guy.' Anyway, we won, they lost and there were NO Puckheads.

A this point I'd like to give my good, better and best assessments but it's late, I'm biased and you don't care. With that I'll leave you with a "WE WANT SHEGOS!"

See Ya

Angry Guy

Angry, not really, frustrated, often. After 30 years in the second row at Munn Ice Arena you tend to get loud and, well, frustrated. Most often the frustration comes from the poor, but difficult, decisions made by the only guys on the ice earning a paycheck. I love college hockey and all (most?) of the people involved. It just seems that the people 3 or 4 feet away should see the play better than those sitting 10 or 12 feet away. Problem is they don't. Probably. Anyway, I'll try to throw up some thoughts on MSU hockey, college hockey, former Spartans and random thoughts on occasion. I may even post some historical shizzle if it seems appropriate.

Stay tuned and stay passionate.