Spartan Hockey All-Access ’18: “A Good Day, for a Good Day”

are you are you beating uncle bill Tom our
whole lives we’ve had a rink in the backyard and that’s where he taught me
how to skate how to shoot we’d be out there every day in the winter when we
could so those are some my best memories of hockey – I always loved the game and I
thought it offered so much for kids so many life lessons to learn playing
hockey and he was the kind of kid who would skate whenever he could you know
he would want to lace them up in the backyard and play he put big lights
around the rink and we put a speaker and they’d have music and there were always
so many kids on that rink and our whole porch was like littered with skates and
just mittens and gloves and snow pants and I had boxes of gear all over the
house all winter and it was total chaos but also total joy we played basketball
we swam we played tennis we played football the whole time me and my
brother both just loved hockey more than anything we couldn’t stop playing hockey
couldn’t have enough whether it was in practice and games are in the backyard
rink our buddies would we’d be playing all the time we’d be playing mini sticks
so hockey was the main love Maureen would turn the lights off and that and
then turn it back on and that Becky it was ten minutes to finish up and we
would see who was yeah who’s gonna win the Stanley Cup in the backyard and they
would go at it and then we’d come in for hot chocolate so great memories for us
we started to coach in the Birmingham mini mite league and then they went out
and moved up to the house League and then and squirt he started playing
travel so we put a team together it was great I would drive was seeing
the miracle in the car and watched the movie and I’d be listening I think we
probably did that at least a hundred times and I just loved it they the kids
loved the movie they loved riding in the car together
it was just a lot of fun the other team was like why are they all getting frozen
Mountain Dews they just got killed but they won the third period so he was that
kind of coach he loved that sport so much and he was all about them loving it
he didn’t like cutting kids he just always was really encouraging he knew
Tommy was a good player and he just always said if you’re meant to play at
the next level you you will it was actually good coaching and father-son in December of 2009 was actually at a
hockey Christmas party I was clearing up carrying a plate of food down the stairs
and I yeah and I almost dropped it and I didn’t understand what was going on my
arms just kept getting weaker and weaker and then finally I went to a neurologist
and he said in 2010 you have ALS and have about two to five years to live we knew something was wrong because his
arms using strength in his arms and he kept dropping stuff we didn’t know
really what was going on fear terror devastating and scary and then him
telling telling them him sitting them down and explaining to them at that age
what we had to tell them because you knew something was wrong and it was just
going to keep getting worse you know right when you told me I’m
thinking I’m gonna be watching my dad slowly slowly die which kind of I mean
it’s awful to think about but that’s just what the disease is it’s terrible
and when it goes through your head you’re really freaking out to be honest
but when he’s saying everything’s gonna be okay and he was just happy he’s still
cracking jokes he’s just always so happy it makes everything a lot easier
for everybody else and he just said you know I there’s no cure for this disease
right now and but we can just pray for one and hope for one and just everyday
live the best life we can all live and I think the kids really just bought into
that they all try to do that and it’s hard and they’re so close with him so I
know it’s hard for them but they’re it’s pretty impressive I think they take
their cues from him though I think we all do
I mean he’s still my dad he’s like a different person because he has ALS you
still just such an amazing human being he’s always always happy and looking at
things in a good way and whenever I say hey Dad how you doing like if I call him
and see how he’s doing he’ll say it’s a good day for a good day despite how challenging some days maybe
Paul’s positive attitude and focus on his family helped them push forward
he continues to defy the odds of his diagnosis every day drawing inspiration
from his father Tommy progressed on the ice ultimately
landing at Michigan State something he and his dad dreamt about for years Paul brainwashed our kids about Michigan
State when they were babies this is where he dreamt of playing when I’m big
I want to play at Michigan State I mean he would come to a hockey camp here when
he was little he would take us to some football games he would take us we’d
watch every Michigan State game on TV every football game and we came to some
hockey game some basketball games I honestly always wanted to go to Michigan
State the first time we came to Michigan State and see Tommy when we’re in the
green and white was it was just it was a thrill first real game here Dee you
scored a goal and that was it was a thrill for us and we were just so happy
for him it’s great to see how happy is and it’s a it’s a great experience every
time we come to the game where we’re really proud of him and we know that
he’s worked hard for it and that he’s really happy so that means a lot to us
it’s so awesome that I can look up there and see my dad when we’re playing I
always check to see how he’s doing out there he’s always in the same spot if
we’re not there he worries about us so so we always have to be there for the
start of the game before before the game starts because and he won’t worry and I
think it means a lot to him that were able to come in and it means a lot to me
that’s it’s it’s a thrill to see him play he doesn’t want to miss I’m like a
minute of anything we couldn’t have written a better script honestly for him
because he really wanted to play hockey but for him to be able to play here and
for Paul to be able to get to his games you know if he played anywhere else it
would be hard for me to get him there he’s tough on me he’ll tell me what I
need to work out he’s honest because I want to get better he’s very positive
about it like positive reinforcement of of what I need to work on I really think
that hockey has been something that the whole family has done together and it
really made us much closer as a family it’s been a great experience not just
for for me but for Maureen Tommy Teddy and Ellie it’s it’s been a
lot of fun well it’s our thing that connects us we were a hockey family we
just start it was so great growing up and in high school and in here and it
makes him feel so good and so loved and so supported and that’s what hockey does
for you it’s you know it gives you a lot more than just gives you that community
that’s really helpful hockey means everything my family we we
talked about hockey all the time we watch videos and hockey all the time try
to watch every Wings game yeah we really bond over the game and it keeps us close
you have to just find the things that are good you know the things that bring
you joy and bring your family close together and this is one of them
bringing him up here to watch these games is like it is it’s a lot of work
but it’s worth it every time and and it’s true like the first time to see
your kid and his green and white and it’s just a thrill it means a lot that
they get to see me play at this level after they know I’ve this is my dream to
play not just college hockey but at Michigan State so they’re really happy
about it I’m happy but I just want to keep working hard and trying to be as
successful as I can and to see my dad working hard every single day too
that act he acts like it’s not even a big deal it’s it’s pretty inspiring
enjoy as a as a 21 year old kid living in the dorm because you’ll never get
that experience again enjoy everything that happens on all the all the workouts
all the hard work because before you know it it will be over and for me you
know I don’t I don’t know how long I’ll be around so I I just enjoy every game
that I can come to you good evening everyone and welcome once
again to the Value City Arena in Columbus Ohio or tonight’s hockey game
Michigan State taking on the Buckeyes of Ohio State we’re desperate for a win
Ohio State they are playing extremely well 10 of 11 games they’ve
won hottest team in the country but Michigan State scrappy and they’ve been
playing with a lot of grit one of these close games we’re gonna win why not
tonight high slot Ghafari throws it down the middle shot goal for Michigan
State Butrus Ghafari with his second career tally the Spartans take the early
lead tonight here comes a single Ohio State coming in
with a goal by lack of it oh my goodness what a save as john Lethemon it stood tall
I threw it right in the net into the right circle shot goal for Michigan
State a snipe from the right circle goes in two nothing Spartans what a shot by
Austin came back to the left side shot from there blocked away by Carson Gatt
out in front and then he blocks another one nice and the takeaway by Hirose Patrick Khodorenko likes the lamp in
the final minute of the period Kiefer holds it at the half boards
drives in looks for the shot turned it go in get in and back out
David Kiefer he picks up a goal and for Kiefer that is his second as a Spartan
to the blue line oh and a show goes in from behind
Carson Gatt threw it down may have been tipped out front
but anyway make it a fistful Spartans up five to one all another
doesn’t get in the net a lot Scott Carson gets us his third of the year and
the puck comes out from underneath shot goal Ohio State with their third power
play goal of the eve what guys pull within two we do this there appeared to
be entertaining Scott is gonna be 1350 left to go page out to the left circle
shot I forced high blocked into the right corner send it up to the point not
out Spartans get it back and now Lambdin carries it out to Center is it throws it
towards the net it goes in an empty net goal for Michigan State will come up
with a hard earned win against the number five team in the nation Michigan
State and Michigan have clashed 319 times since 1925 making it the most
played rivalry in all of college hockey this rivalry is one of the fiercest in
college hockey and has helped showcase the sport on a national stage throughout the years close games and
intense emotion have contributed to an overall tight series the lasting rivalry
brings out a drive on game day that can erase any bad memories of beatings
previous in 1991 emotions boiled over in a matchup
at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in 2016 the team’s began fighting for the iron D
trophy something that both newly appointed head coaches won a piece of in
2018 but then cold now leaning the Spartans and Mel Pearson behind the
bench for the Wolverines the rivalry begins a new chapter in this storied
history I think the Michigan versus Michigan
State rivalry means a huge deal to college hockey it puts the focus of the
state on hockey for a particular weekend rivalry weekend really catches the
attention of the average fan because it’s Michigan Michigan State really
doesn’t matter the sport but everybody figures out pretty quickly that in
hockey it is the biggest show in town and that rivalry means so much to both
fan bases that they really pay attention it’s the time for college hockey to be
in the spotlight it’s one of the weekends where everybody sort of focuses
on this game nationally along with like the other great rivalries around the
country like bu BC Minnesota Wisconsin those games are the ones that people pay
attention to because they know it’s a rivalry and the great thing about it is
that they play at least four times a year so it’s the classic in-state
rivalry between the Spartans and Wolverines but I think more than that is
that a lot of people don’t realize how close the hockey community is and these
kids know each other they’ve either played with each other
played against each other growing up so there’s a lot of pride on the line
when these two teams meet so they don’t want to be on the losing end of that
game no matter what it is I would think that the game that stands out is the
game in Detroit in 1991 the bra game in which a bra broke out after the first
period of a great great Michigan State Michigan game
it was Jason masotti and Steve shields the goaltender spot Jason was out he
wasn’t even in the starting going he came off the bench defended teammate had
been whacked by Steve shields and the brawl was broke out all over the ice and
you couldn’t even focus on just one the good thing about it though as you look
at Michigan st. won that game six to two and got a split in that series there are
so many huge moments in this rivalry you know just recently Knutson ‘he’s
first ever goal being scored at Yost’s and being the game-winner i think my
favorite one is 2012 both sides of the fan bases can can appreciate it
night one at Yoast Michigan wins 5-1 and then they come back to the East Lansing
for the next night and the Spartans dropped seven on the Wolverines and it
was a sold-out crowd and mine and the energy in the building was was
phenomenal and really encapsulated everything that this rivalry has to
offer my other game would be in Ann Arbor in which Jake Hildebrand almost
single-handedly will the Spartans to victory would save after save after save
in the third period in one of Michigan’s best teams ever first thing I sort of
learned when I started covering this rivalry in 1972-73 is that it didn’t
matter what the records were if one team was ranked high that had a good record
the other team was struggling 2016 in the first two games of the rivalry
mission at outscored Michigan State 15 to 5 but then when the game goes to the
Jo you have Mike Ferrentino carrying around the trophy and everybody
remembers that game and they don’t remember the first two very much well I
think it just makes it a good spectacle there’s a trophy to play for and you get
some hardware to take home and display in your you know trophy cabinet and it
also makes it a little bit of like a big deal in Detroit which which would
attract fans in Detroit area they market it pretty well they have a name for it
it’s pretty crazy to think that both teams are adjusting to new coaches in
the same season you’ve had so many iconic coaches in
this rivalry that both teams are going through the transition at the same time
so pretty crazy but it’s really energizing both the programs both on the
recruiting trail and on the ice and these teams are battling for for the top
players in the state all the way down and into bantams and peewee hockey so
you know there’s a lot on the line and and both of the coaches are very
familiar with the rivalry they know what it takes to be involved in this mel
coached in it for over 20 years Danton was a player in this rivalry so they
both get it they know it and they know that they’re battling both in a weekend
series but 365 days a year for hockey supremacy in the state and Danton’s been
thrilled as a player I had great success as a player during his time at Michigan
State when the Spartans were sort of dominating and now it’s a time for him
to shape this program and along the way you want to beat Michigan can the top
off the game will be that game in Detroit and then perhaps in the future
maybe a Michigan State Michigan final in either Munn Arena
or Yost Arena for the title and that would be the epitome of where this
rivalry is going it doesn’t matter if if they’re playing at the big house or
they’re playing in a street hockey game right outside of Munn Ice arena it’s a war
when these two teams meet and it’s always going to be a war and these two
coaches have their programs on track for this to become an even more important
rivalry as we progress through the years welcome to Little Caesars Arena in
downtown Detroit the new hockey town and this one’s a special one because it’s
the duel in the d– iron D trophy is on the line tonight walking into Little
Caesars tonight’s got there was a lot of people there’s a good buzz in the
corridors of Little Caesars arena it could be a lot of fun it’s always fun
when these two teams get told yeah these are the games you look forward to aren’t
they a storied rivalry some classic games of the year an intensity level
that seems to rise with each meeting this is a fifth meeting of the year
between Michigan and Michigan State and these two teams have had some great
battles already the iron D is on the line tonight and Mel really emphasizing
the start tonight has to be good for his team Wolverines keep it in loose pad
save rebound shots go and the feed from Calderon and the
Wolverines take the early one of the lead from the slot not much on that
chapter Lewandowski the save by Lavine but heavy pressure right now that shot
from piazza blockers saved by Lethemon it they said that’s an amazing number
shot on going up in the air loose out in front in the shootout win lambdin shot
loose out in front couldn’t get anything that was milan now
circling in milan again and that’s a good save my levine slot on the right
side 11 now the pass and the shot by Hughes one time were in a save by left
in him defensively lost it centering out in
front say by Levina puck was loose all they had a golden golden opportunity the
wrap around once twice shot score Becker puts it in and the Wolverines
lead my to Rosie on the face of Cheska Taro Hirose 21 seconds into the third
period makes it a one goal game and all of a sudden you can feel the energy
level rise Brodie carries in far side no saucony
huge shots car great passing by the Wolverines and back to a two goal lead
little wrinkle will carry in it’s got Hirose keeper with his third of the year the Spartans
back to then one that shot got through Levine another shot did it go oh my
goodness the Spartans were three golden opportunities and somehow the Wolverines
kept it out of the gold Michigan wins the duel in the B for the second time in
three years you

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