The Big Ten Conference’s head coaches selected the preseason teams, and the results were announced yesterday. Among them were two Spartans, Dennis Cesana selected All-Big Ten first team and Mitchell Lewandowski selected All-Big Ten second team. The Spartans as a whole were picked to finish sixth in the conference.
Congrats to our Preseason All-Big Ten honorees! pic.twitter.com/vXxF59Uws8— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 10, 2020
Per the MSU press release on the announcement:
Cesana has garnered All-Big Ten honors in each of his first two seasons as a Spartan. He was named to the all-freshman team as a rookie, and last year, was selected to the second team. Cesana had more points – 22 – last season than any other 2020-21 returning Big Ten defenseman. He ranked second on the team with 15 assists, while his career-high seven goals were second among B1G defensemen. The native of Providence, Rhode Island had three power play goals, which tied for most among B1G defensemen and ranked second on the team.
In 72 career games, Cesana has 46 points (10G, 36A).
Lewandowski has recorded at least 20 points and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades in each of his first three seasons for the Spartans. His 20 points (8G, 12A) ranked third on the team last year, while he led MSU in power-play goals with four.
Lewandowski, who is a native of Clarkson, enters 2020-21 with the second highest career goal total among active players in the NCAA with 43. His 88 points are ninth most among active players entering the season.
The Conference also released the 2020-21 preseason poll on Monday, in which the Spartans were picked sixth.
The Michigan State Spartans hockey team announced the 2020-2021 team captains last Friday, Nov. 6. Head coach Danton Cole announced the team captains are seniors Tommy Apap and Tommy Miller, and junior Dennis Cesana and senior Mitchell Lewandowski will be assistant captains.
Your 2020-21 Spartan hockey team captains! pic.twitter.com/YcAfL93Yoa— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 6, 2020
Per MSU Athletics’ press release, Apap was voted MSU’s most improved player last season after recording career highs in goals (7), assists (5), and points (12). He was also second in the Big Ten in faceoff circle winning percentage at 58.7, and leads the Big Ten overall with 389. Miller has appeared in all 108 games he was worn a Spartan jersey for, and scored two goals last season while adding seven assists.
The Spartans will have at least four games live broadcast on television. The season opener against Arizona State Nov. 19, and the Wisconsin series in East Lansing on Dec. 8 and 9 will all be on the Big Ten Network. The Dec. 19 game at Notre Dame will be on NBC Sports Network.
TV update— MSU_Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) November 10, 2020
The Spartans will have a minimum of four appearances on national TV prior to winter break! pic.twitter.com/EcohNSZ0Ag
Munn Ice Arena will not be allowing fans to attend games during the first 10 games of the season announced last week. It is unclear if that policy will be revisited in the future. However, just like with Spartan Stadium, MSU fans can purchase a cardboard cutout to be placed in the arena seating areas. Cutouts can be purchased here.