Former Spartan All-American Bryan Smolinski will be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the entire 1996 World Cup of Hockey Team, which will be enshrined later this year. The 1996 World Cup of Hockey Team captured the inaugural event title with a 6-0-1-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. After sweeping round-robin play, the U.S. topped Russia, 5-2, in the semifinals. In the best-of-three championship series against Canada, the U.S. fell in the opener, 4-3, in overtime, but followed by winning the final two games in Montreal by identical 5-2 scores.
The Michigan State hockey team will be turning to new faces to try and take the step back in the winning direction, and change the trend that has seen the Spartans have a sub .500 record in 3 of the last 4 seasons. Long time starting goaltender Jake Hildebrand, captain Michael Farrantino, forwards Ryan Keller and Matt DeBlouw, along with defensemen John Draeger and Travis Walsh all graduated. This allowed head coach Tom Anastos to bring in a recruiting class of ten players that he believes to be one of his best ever to fill in their places.
Michigan State’s annual Pro Camp will take place next week at Munn Ice Arena with over 15 Spartans slated to take part in the event.