Munn Ice Arena
East Lansing, MI
It was senior night here at Munn Ice Arena this evening.Â Considering that the amazing turnaround in Spartan hockey this season couldnâ€™t have happened without this group buying in from day one; it was fitting that a senior led them.
After taking a back seat to sophomore Will Yanakeff earlier this season, senior goalie Drew Palmisano got the start.Â MSU head coach Tom Anastos sat his productive youngster to give the senior net minder Palmisano the nod, in what couldnâ€™t have been an easy decision.Â Palmy didnâ€™t disappoint.Â He shut out the Alaska Nanooks to get the 3-0 win.Â He had 27 saves.
Palmy talked about getting the start on senior night and what it meant to him, â€œI was a little nervous coming in.â€Â That was a big admission from the high character young man.Â Palmy had not played in five games, but the way he practiced you would have never known.Â Certainly he had to be disappointed, but each day he came early, he stayed late and gave his all.Â
When most seniors would have pouted by being benched for a younger player, Palmy showed character.Â He said, â€œI just wanted to play my best in practice every day.Â I didnâ€™t want to give up any easy goals to my team.Â I wanted to do my part to have them ready.Â This was Palmisanoâ€™s 5th career shut out.
Anastos raved about his seniors play by saying, â€œDuring the course of a career, and I reflect on mine a lot, you are going to have highs and lows.Â Heâ€™s played well this season.Â Heâ€™s had a good season.Â I thought our players would play well for him he is a team leader.Â I wasnâ€™t surprised with the way he played tonight.â€
Former Spartan star goalie and current goalie coach Mike Gilmore raved about his senior goalies.Â â€œWhat a great solid performance by Palmy.Â He hasnâ€™t played in five games and it didnâ€™t matter.Â It really showed his character to come in and play so strong.â€
Assistant captain, junior Anthony Hayes said of Palmisanoâ€™s play, â€œDrew Palmisano is one of the hardest workers on this team.Â Every day he comes to the rink and gives 100% 100% of the time.Â None of us in that locker room were surprised by his performance.â€
Once again the Spartan Nation responded to the amazing job Anastos has done this season by packing Munn Ice Arena.Â 6,916 showed up and they got their reward.Â Anastos said of the crowd, â€œThe crowd was great.Â The momentum keeps growing.Â Wow the crowd was great.Â Great to look up and see no empty seats and people standing around, reminding me of the old days.â€
Junior captain Torey Krug had another great game.Â He was getting treatment after the game and was not made available to the media.
This win keeps the Spartans at fourth in the CCHA.Â The Spartans will get a chance to host a CCHA playoff series at home now (after a buy for the first round of the playoffs) if they can hold on.Â The thought of such a scenario was absolutely unfathomable when The Stache (Tom Anastos) was hired after last season to lead this program.Â
That is a discussion for another day.Â The Spartans head to South Bend next weekend for a two game tilt with the Irish.Â Spartan Nation will be there.Â It and that is the last regular season series of the year.