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|Michigan State Spartans|
|University||Michigan State University|
|Head coach||Rick Comley|
|5th year, 117–73–19|
|Arena|| Munn Ice Arena |
|Location||East Lansing, Michigan|
|Colors|| Green and White
|Fight song||MSU Fight Song|
|Rivals|| Michigan Wolverines
|NCAA Tournament Champions|
|1966, 1986, 2007|
|NCAA Tournament Frozen Four|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|Conference Tournament Champions|
|1966, 1967, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006|
|Conference Regular Season Champions|
|1959, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1976 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2001|
The Michigan State Spartans men's ice hockey team is the college ice hockey team at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. The men's ice hockey team plays at the Munn Ice Arena. The current head coach is Rick Comley, who has a 117-73-19 record at MSU. Since the Big Ten Conference does not cover Division I ice hockey, Michigan State competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Along with the University of Michigan and Ohio State University, it is one of three Big Ten schools in the CCHA.
The MSU ice hockey program has seven CCHA regular season championships and 11 CCHA Tournament titles. MSU has also won 12 Great Lakes Invitational titles. The Spartans have been in the NCAA tournament 23 times, with nine Frozen Four appearances and three national titles (1966, 1986, and 2007). On April 7, 2007 the Michigan State Spartans won their third Collegiate Championship by beating the Boston College Eagles 3-1.
Current Coaching StaffEdit
- Head Coach: Rick Comley
- Assistant Coaches: Tom Newton, Brian Renfrew and Rob Woodward
- Athletic Director: Mark Hollis
- October 7, 2001: The Michigan State University Spartans men’s hockey club hosted an outdoor game at Spartan Stadium. The school would set an attendance record for an outdoor hockey game as 74,554 fans attended. 
|January 11, 1922||Michigan State plays its first intercollegiate hockey game, falling to Michigan, 5-1.|
|February 11, 1923||MSU gets its first win, 6-1 over the Lansing Independents.|
|January 12, 1950||MSU plays its first game since 1930, losing to Michigan Tech, 6-2.|
|November 29, 1951||MSU plays its first game under legendary coach Amo Bessone, defeating Ontario Agricultural College, 8-2, in East Lansing.|
|February 6, 1954||Goaltender Ed Schiller makes a Spartan-record 73 saves in a 5-4 loss to Denver.|
|December 7, 1957||MSU sets a school record for most goals in an 18-0 win vs. Ohio State.|
|March 1, 1958||MSU completes its first winning season at 12-11, despite losing to Minnesota in the final, 5-1.|
|March 13, 1959||MSU makes its first NCAA tournament appearance, defeating Boston College in the semifinals, 4-3.|
|March 14, 1959||The Spartans fall to North Dakota, 4-3 in overtime, in their first national championship game. MSU finishes the season 17-6-1.|
|March 5, 1966||MSU defeats defending national champion Michigan Tech, 4-3, to win the WCHA playoffs after finishing sixth in the regular season.|
|March 18, 1966||Doug Volmar's goal gives MSU a 2-1 win over Boston University in the NCAA semifinals.|
|March 19, 1966||MSU completes one of the most unlikely postseason runs with a 6-1 win over Clarkson to claim its first national championship. Goalie Gaye Cooley is named the tourney MVP.|
|March 16, 1967||MSU, fifth in the WCHA regular season, defeats champion Michigan Tech, 2-1 in overtime, to win the playoffs for the second straight season. Doug Volmar netted both goals, including the winner at 5:44 of overtime.|
|March 18, 1967||After falling to Boston University in the NCAA semifinals, MSU captures third place with a 6-1 win over North Dakota in the NCAA consolation game.|
|Dec. 28, 1973||MSU wins its first Great Lakes Invitational, defeating Michigan Tech, 5-4, in the finals.|
|Oct. 25, 1974||Munn Ice Arena hosts its first game, a 4-3 MSU loss to Laurentian.|
|Nov. 16, 1974||The first sellout crowd in Munn history sees the Spartans down North Dakota, 6-2. MSU goalie Ron Clark sets a record with 30 saves in the first period.|
|March 3, 1979||Amo Bessone coaches his final game, a 5-3 win over Michigan.|
|April 1, 1979||Ron Mason is named Spartan head coach.|
|Oct. 19, 1979||Ron Mason gets his first win at MSU, 7-6 over Western Michigan.|
- Most goals in a career: 138 Tom Ross (1972-76)
- Most assists in a career: 186 Tom Ross (1972-76)
- Most points in a career: 324 Tom Ross (1972-76)
- Most penalty minutes in a career: 466 Don Gibson (1986-90)
- Most points in a career, defenseman: 164 Steve Beadle (1986-90)
- Most wins in a career: 83 Jason Muzzatti (1987-91)
- Most shutouts in a career: 7 Bob Essensa (1983-87)
Team (since 1950)
Hobey Baker Memorial AwardEdit
Spartan Hobey Baker Winners: Kip Miller & Ryan MillerEdit
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award has been presented annually since 1981 to the outstanding college hockey player in the United States by the Decathlon Athletic Club of Bloomington, Minnesota. The award is named after college hockey great Hobey Baker of Princeton, a member of both the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn., and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Also a standout in football, he is also a member of the National Football Hall of Fame. Baker's brilliant skating and stickhandling abilities allowed him to dominate the college game and lead Princeton to the Intercollegiate League Championship in each of his three years of varsity hockey (1911-14). He added to his physical prowess the exemplary qualities of being a completely unselfish sportsman and an opponent of publicity. Facts about Baker's career often sound more like myths, such as the story of his playing every second of a 73-minute game against Harvard, or the claim that he was penalized just twice during his career, and both times the mere suggestion that he had violated a rule of the game nearly drove him to tears. To date, two Spartans have won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award: Cousins Kip and Ryan Miller.
Spartan center Kip Miller was the recipient of the 10th Hobey Baker Memorial Award in 1990 after leading the nation in scoring for the second consecutive season with 101 points on 48 goals and 53 assists. A two-time first-team All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association honoree, Miller was recognized as the league's Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring for the second straight season with 36 goals and 38 assists for 74 points. In MSU's career record books, the two-time first-team All-America selection finished third in goals (116), assists (145) and points (261). He closed out his career among the NCAA's top 25 all-time point producers. Over the course of his four seasons, the Spartans won three CCHA regular season and playoff titles and amassed an impressive 132-45-9 record. The 1989-90 Hockey News/Bauer College Hockey Player of the Year also led the Spartans to their ninth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance as a senior.
In 2001, Michigan State goaltender Ryan Miller backstopped the Spartans into the Frozen Four as the number-one team in the nation. Miller shattered the NCAA record for career shutouts in just his second year of college hockey, with 18 overall. The sophomore's selection made him just the second goaltender ever to win the Hobey Baker. Minnesota netminder Robb Stauber was the first, in 1988. To win the award, Miller edged forwards Brian Gionta of Boston College and Jeff Panzer of North Dakota, who tied for second place in the balloting. The native of East Lansing, Michigan, posted 31 wins with a .950 save percentage and a 1.32 goals against average, leading the nation in all three categories. His 31-5-4 record in 2000-2001 included 10 shutouts to also lead the nation in that statistic. Miller, the CCHA Defensive Player of the Week five times during the season, was previously named a First-Team All-American and CCHA Player of the Year, as well as being a member of the all-conference first team. He holds four league and seven school netminding records. Ryan was a general business management major with a 3.07 grade point average. Off-ice activities for the All-Academic goalie included volunteering with the D.A.R.E. drug-resistance program, reading to elementary-school children and giving tours of the dressing room — sometimes during games. Ryan Miller currently plays for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and Kip Miller plays for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.
Spartan Hobey Baker FinalistsEdit
The Spartans have had 14 players among the top 10 candidates for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, including 1990 winner Kip Miller and 2001 winner Ryan Miller. Goalie Ron Scott was the runner-up to Bowling Green's George McPhee in 1982.
- Ron Scott, 1982
- Ron Scott, 1983
- Kelly Miller, 1985
- Craig Simpson, 1985
- Mike Donnelly, 1986
- Kip Miller, 1989
- Bobby Reynolds, 1989
- Kip Miller, 1990
- Bryan Smolinski, 1993
- Anson Carter, 1995
- Chad Alban, 1998
- Mike York, 1998
- Mike York, 1999
- Shawn Horcoff, 2000
- Ryan Miller, 2001
- Ryan Miller, 2002
- John-Michael Liles, 2003
- Jim Slater, 2004
As of August 15, 2010.
|29||Drew Palmisano||Junior||Ann Arbor, MI||Omaha (USHL)|
|32||Kyle McMahon||Junior||Broomfield, CO||Wichita Falls (NAHL)|
|35||Will Yanakeff||Freshman||Jerome, Michigan||Waterloo (USHL)|
|2||Chris Sandmeyer||Freshman||Portage, Michigan||Green Mtn. (EJHL)|
|5||Brock Shelgren||Junior||Chicago, Illinois||Fairbanks (NAHL)|
|7||Tim Buttery||Junior||Northville, Michigan||Chicago (USHL)|
|14||Zach Josepher||Sophomore||Wantagh, New York||Penticton (BCHL)|
|15||AJ Sturges (RS)||Junior||Madison, Wisconsin||US NTDP (USHL)|
|17||Matt Crandell||Junior||St. Cloud, Minnesota||Sioux City (USHL)|
|23||Matt Grassi||Sophomore||Burnaby, British Columbia||Salmon Arm (BCHL)|
|42||Jake Chelios||Freshman||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan||Chicago (USHL)|
|44||Torey Krug||Sophomore||Livonia, Michigan||Indiana (USHL)|
|4||Trevor Nill||Junior||Novi, Michigan||Penticton (BCHL)|
|8||Chris Forfar||Sophomore||Darien, Illinois||Lincoln (USHL)|
|9||Daultan Leveille||Junior||St. Catharines, Ontario||St. Catharines (GOJHL)|
|10||Dustin Gazley||Senior||Novi, Michigan||Sioux City (USHL)|
|11||Brett Perlini||Junior||Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario||Soo (NOJHL)|
|13||Mike Merrifield||Junior||Beverly Hills, Michigan||St. Louis Bandits (NAHL)|
|16||Dean Chelios||Sophomore||Bloomfield Hills, Michigan||(Chicago (USHL)|
|18||Kevin Walrod||Sophomore||Westside, British Columbia||Cowichan Valley (BCHL)|
|19||Joey Shean||Senior||Pleasant Lake, Michigan||Fairbanks (NAHL)|
|21||Anthony Hayes||Sophomore||Canton, Michigan||Green Bay (USHL)|
|22||Lee Reimer||Freshman||Landmark, Manitoba||Canmore (AJHL)|
|27||Derek Grant||Sophomore||Abbotsford, British Columbia||Langley (BCHL)|
|86||Greg Wolfe||Freshman||Canton, Michigan||Omaha (USHL)|
|91||Zach Golembiewski||Sophomore||St. Clair, Michigan||Indiana (USHL)|
All-Time Coaching RecordsEdit
|(1925-1931)||John H. Kobs||6||8-18-1||.315|
|Totals||5 coaches||66 seasons||1133-813-109||.578|
Though John H. Kobs was MSU ice hockey's first coach, Harold Paulsen was hired as the first varsity ice hockey coach at Michigan State on August 1, 1948. Before recruiting or coaching, Paulsen oversaw the renovation of Demonstration Hall into an indoor rink with artificial ice-making capabilities. Paulsen struggled through his first two years at Michigan State with a 6-25 record. MSU athletic director Ralph Young felt the hockey program's progress was inadequate and Paulsen resigned. Following the 1951 season, Amo Bessone accepted the head coaching position at Michigan State University. Bessone would remain at MSU for the next 28 years.
When Bessone arrived at Michigan State, the ice hockey program was just beginning its third season and its youth was evident with a 6-25 record over two seasons. The Spartans struggled with six losing seasons before Bessone turned things around in his seventh season as coach. In 1957-58, Michigan State enjoyed its first winning season. The following season, Bessone guided MSU to a Big Ten championship and a berth in the NCAA tournament. The Spartans lost the 1959 national championship game in overtime to North Dakota. Following 1959, Michigan State became a charter member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), which was a reincarnation of the loosely affiliated Midwest Collegiate Hockey League and Western Intercollegiate Hockey League that disbanded following the 1957-58 season. Bessone and MSU struggled during the first five seasons of the WCHA. Again, Bessone turned things around with a winning season in 1964-65. The following season, Bessone coached Michigan State to an improbable NCAA National Championship.
MSU began the 1965-66 season 4-10, but rebounded winning 12 of their last 15 games including both WCHA playoff games which earned MSU a spot in the NCAA tournament. In the national semifinals, Bessone squeaked out a 2-1 victory over highly-favored Boston University. In the national championship game, Bessone and the Spartans faced Len Ceglarski's Clarkson team that owned the national-best record of 24-2. Michigan State shocked Clarkson with a dominant 6-1 victory sealing MSU's first national championship. Len Ceglarski and Amo Bessone shared the Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year in 1966. The national title and coaching award cemented Bessone's legacy as a coach. To this day, Bessone's 1966 Michigan State team remains one of the biggest underdog stories in NCAA ice hockey history. The total number of team victories (16) and team winning percentage (.551) is the lowest of any NCAA ice hockey champion. MSU made the NCAA tournament again with a strong WCHA playoff finish in 1967, but lost in the national semifinals.
Bessone began the 1970s with six straight winning seasons. As MSU hockey was building momentum, Munn Ice Arena opened its doors in 1974 as one of the finest on-campus hockey facilities in the country. The peak of the momentum came in 1975-76 when Bessone guided MSU to its best WCHA conference finish. Michigan State was on the verge of earning an NCAA tournament berth when Minnesota knocked MSU out of the WCHA playoffs in triple overtime. Minnesota, who had finished below Michigan State in the conference, received an NCAA tournament bid instead. The loss proved devastating to Bessone and the MSU hockey program. The Spartans suffered three straight losing seasons following 1976. Bessone announced his retirement effective at the end of the 1978-79 season. He finished his coaching career with a 5-3 victory over archrival Michigan completing the weekend series sweep of the Wolverines. His success at Michigan State helped form a loyal group of MSU hockey supporters dubbed "Amo's Army."
After Amo Bessone retired from Michigan State University, the MSU Athletic Director, Joseph Kearney, hired Ron Mason as the Spartans new head coach. Mason would have unparalleled success with Michigan State for the next 23 seasons (1979-2002). It was a rough start in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for Mason, but when Michigan State switched to the CCHA in 1981-82, Michigan State, under Mason, became one of the most successful NCAA hockey programs. Mason and the Spartans would win a national title in 1986, seven CCHA regular season titles and a conference-record 10 CCHA tournament titles. In addition, MSU under Mason made 21 NCAA tournament appearances (an all-time record for a single coach at one school), seven NCAA Frozen Fours and two National Championship appearances.
Over his 36-year career Mason coached two Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners, Kip Miller in 1990 and Ryan Miller in 2001, and 15 Hobey Baker finalists. 1982 Hobey Baker award winner George McPhee was a 1978 recruit of Mason at Bowling Green State. He coached 34 AHCA First and Second Team All-Americans, 10 CCHA players of the year, 93 First and Second Team All-CCHA selections, one First Team All-WCHA selection, 54 players who went on to play in the NHL and two members of the 1980 Gold Medalist U.S. Olympic ice hockey team (Ken Morrow and Mark Wells). He also coached the first college player to be taken first overall in the NHL Draft, Joe Murphy. In 36 seasons of coaching Mason had 33 seasons with a winning record, 30 seasons winning 20 or more games and 11 seasons winning 30 or more games. Mason won ten CCHA regular season championships and 13 CCHA tournament titles. He advanced to the NCAA tournament 24 times—six times as the No. 1 seed—making the Frozen Four eight times. Mason was the CCHA coach of the year six times. He won the Spencer Penrose Memorial Trophy as the national coach of the year in 1992. Ron Mason finished his coaching career following the 2001-02 season as the all-time career victories leader in college hockey history with 924 wins.
Rick Comley was announced as Ron Mason's successor as head ice hockey coach at Michigan State University in March 2002. Comley's tenure at MSU has been turbulent replacing the iconic Ron Mason. While Mason's final five years produced no less than 27 wins in a single season, Comley has yet to win more than 26 games in a single season in his first five years. Inconsistent play, sub-par records, missing the NCAA Tournament twice in his first three seasons and no CCHA regular season titles have left doubt in MSU hockey fans' minds that Comley is an acceptable replacement as coach. The unwillingness by MSU to make a coaching change has left those fans with the thought that Mason, now athletic director at MSU, hired and keeps Comley as part of a friend helping a friend. Comley is slowly erasing doubts with improvements in 2006 and 2007. After missing the NCAA Tournament in 2005, Comley guided MSU to a second-place CCHA finish and a CCHA play-off championship in 2005-06. In 2006-07, Michigan State was preseason ranked No. 5, which was MSU's highest preseason ranking since October 2001. The team was, again, inconsistent but earned an NCAA Tournament bid. In a stunning series of games, the Comley-led MSU team defeated three higher-ranked teams en route to the national championship including No. 1-ranked Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional final and No. 4-ranked Boston College in the National Championship game. Since that time, Comley's teams have missed the NCAA Tournament three consecutive years; their most recent season in 2009-2010 came to an end at the hands of archrival Michigan, being swept in two straight games at Munn Ice Arena. Michigan fans drastically outnumbered Michigan State fans at the games, and Comley's job is in jeopardy as his detractors want him fired.
- Michigan State Spartans Ice Hockey. East Lansing: Michigan State University Intercollegiate Athletics.