Story by Charlie Crowley, Sports Intern
Photo courtesy of mgoblog.com
This year, we’ve looked at hockey all over the state of Michigan. We’ve look at the usual suspects of the Detroit Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins, and also the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL and Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. Obviously there’s been coverage for both of AQ’s Hockey Teams, but it’s time to look at two of the biggest college hockey teams in the Mitten, Michigan and Michigan State.
The University of Michigan Wolverines have been hot all season long, currently holding the #5 ranking in the USCHO ranking. Boasting a record of 16-3-4 and 12 NHL draft picks, the Wolverines have had their big guns firing all year with three players ranking top ten nationally in points. First-year Kyle Connor currently sits second in goals and first in the nation in total points. Junior JT Compher is second in assists and fifth in points, while fellow junior Tyler Motte is first in goals and seventh in points. Senior goaltender Steve Racine has compiled an impressive 11-1-2 record, posting a .908 save percentage and goals against average of 3.03. The Wolverines are in a good spot to make the NCAA tournament, a tough invitation to receive in a bracket tournament with only 16 spots available.
The Spartans of Michigan State are having a bit of a rough go this season. With a record of 6-18-2, the Spartans are ranked in the bottom ten teams in the country and are tied for last in the Big Ten with Wisconsin. Currently leading the way in points is junior Mackenzie MacEachern, a St. Louis Blues prospect, with 10 goals and 10 assists in 26 games. Senior Michael Ferrantino is right behind MacEachern with 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 24 games. Senior goaltender Jake Hildebrand has shouldered the load this season with a 6-17-2 record, posting a .896 save percentage and 3.28 goals against average. Unless the Spartans were to win the Big Ten tournament for an automatic bid, they will not be getting the invite to the NCAA tournament this year.
As the NCAA season begins to make the final turn into the homestretch, the Wolverines will look to solidify themselves a spot in the tournament, while State will be hoping for a miracle shot. Although people may look at the New England region or Minnesota for college hockey power, the state of Michigan has a few teams up their sleeves that turn heads every year.
About the writer…
Charlie Crowley is a junior studying communication and journalism.He is The Saint‘s Sports Intern and future Sports Editor. He spends most of his time playing hockey, sleeping, eating, and on Reddit. He’s also a Hoosier, and proud of it, but can’t hit the open three to save his life.