When I was growing up I went to every Michigan State hockey banquet, where I was introduced to the song where I draw inspiration for this post's headline. It was tradition under Ron Mason that the banquet closes with a video montage to the outgoing seniors set to Frank Sinatra's 'My Way'. It is such a great song for a group of young men facing the final weeks of their hockey career, while embodying the type of confidence hockey players are known for.This tradition went away under Rick Comley and while I haven't been to a banquet in the Anastos years I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't brought that tradition back.
Frank Sinatra - My Way (1969) (via ElektraMSK)
The curtain came to a close on Tom Anastos' third season, with a 2-1 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the opening game of the B1G Tournament. This season on the whole was a disappointment but not all that surprising. As I pointed out back in my preview of the season in October, the ceiling for this team was probably 4th place and that is about what happened. The Spartans finish the season with a record of 11-19-7 and will graduate three of their top scorers in Greg Wolfe, Lee Reimer and Jake Chelios. I have gone back and forth on the direction of the program under Tom Anastos but after seeing the future of the program in action the last few weeks by way of recruits that are coming in, I am still in his corner. It falls on development of that talent over the next season and that will decide the fate of the program under Anastos. I know there are many who dislike Anastos but I will leave you with this, Ron Mason who is my idol was 40-46-1 after three seasons at MSU and had made one NCAA appearance. Anastos is 44-60-14 with one NCAA appearance. Mason then ran off 8 straight NCAA appearances (some with Anastos as a player) and a national championship. I can only hope that Anastos will look back in five years at a national championship celebration and tell us all he did it his way.
|Ohio State Buckeyes
|Michigan State Spartans
|Tanner Fritz (7), Drew Brevig (3)
|Greg Wolfe (13)
The first period actually went very well for the Spartans. They controlled play in the Buckeyes end and if it weren't for the outstanding play of Buckeye goaltender Christian Frey. they likely would have had a multiple goal lead. Just over 4 minutes into the game the Spartans capitalized on physical play, leading to a turnover and took the early lead. Travis Walsh pinched down from his defensive spot and knocked over a Buckeye trying to exit the zone. Lee Reimer scooped the puck up and sent a beautiful pass through the slot to a wide open Greg Wolfe, who roofed a shot over the glove of Frey.
That goal would hold up until there was just over three minutes remaining in the second period. After Jake Hildebrand stopped a point shot, Buckeye forward Anthony Greco made a great effort, diving to put a backhand shot on net from the slot. Hildebrand made a toe save but kicked the rebound out to an open Tanner Fritz who deposited the Buckeyes' first goal of the game. The teams would play a back and forth third period, with 9 shots a piece and scoring chances on both sides. With around ten minutes remaining the Spartans got their best chance of winning the game, when Villiam Haag crashed the net. working from the boards and was stopped by the toe of Frey. Michael Ferrantino had a chance to poke the puck in but Frey held strong and kept the puck out.
The overtime period was short but was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes registered six shots in just 4:23 to the Spartans one. The winning goal began with Max McCormick wrapping around the Spartan net and putting a shot on goal. While playing down, Hildebrand was run into by Anthony Greco (a similar play earned a penalty on Spartan Matt Berry earlier) and lost his stick in the process. While Hildebrand scrambled to get back into position forward Tanner Fritz collected the puck and fed Drew Brevig a perfect pass that he collected and fired past Hildebrand. The refs reviewed the goal but after a few minutes, the Spartans fate was decided and the season was over.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State - B1G Men's Hockey Tournament Highlights (via bigtennetwork)
This marks my last recap of the season here at The Only Colors covering hockey. I want to thank Chris, Pete and all the guys for the opportunity to write here. It has afforded me a lot of pleasure and gotten me back into something I have loved since I was born. I have attended games at Munn since I was 6 months old and my parents still attend every home game. I will still be around here in the comments section for basketball and football and will find a way to get some relevant hockey posts up over the off-season. You can also stay in touch with me and interact during the upcoming hockey tournament on Twitter. I'll be back next season doing this again and can't wait until next October!