I've always wondered how much interest there is in college hockey in early October, but the season begins next week. Michigan State begins formal practice Saturday and hosts Windsor in a pre-season game at 7pm Monday. Then it's off to Minnesota for two games October 12-13.
Not much expected this season I guess. The CCHA pre-season poll has MSU picked no higher than 6th and 7th in separate coaches and media polls. Second year head coach Tom Anastos told me Thursday at picture day he is not surprised since MSU has so many new players. As I watched the 26 suited up on ice for the team picture there were many names I found unfamiliar.
Anastos says it is his experience each year that there is a surprise team that contends for the title and he says "why not us?" We'll see. MSU lost nine seniors and captain Torey Krug a year early to the NHL and that was from a team that was a mere three games over .500.
But maybe year two will provide some offense to help veteran goaltender Will Yanakeff. Assistant coach Kelly Miller told me he's off recruiting tomorrow to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to watch some promising junior players who might one day become winning Spartans.