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Michigan State hockey center stage in international play

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Michigan State hockey
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State hockey has taken center stage in international play as one of the best tournaments in the sport is taking place.

The holiday season is in full swing, and with that means time for arguably the second greatest hockey tournament of the year. One of the benchmarks for how well a college hockey team is doing is how many players get invited to represent their country in world juniors. For some nerds of the developmental sides of sports, this time of year is one of the most exciting, more so than even the Olympic hockey tournament which is void of NHL talent due to non-agreements between the NHL and the IIHF. This year’s Michigan State hockey club has four players going to represent their countries, which is a massive number from years past.

Trey Augustine, USA (G) (DET)

Trey has been the backbone of this year’s MSU squad and will be for this year’s team USA. Boasting one of the B1G’s best save percentages and an 11-3-2 record. He started is fourth team USA tour of duty with a 4-1 victory over Norway.

 

Isaac “Ike” Howard, (LW) (TB)

Ike has been a top facilitator this season in college hockey with over a point-per-game average. In his third time representing the US the Minnesota-Duluth transfer has a goal in the USA’s first contest against Norway, his 16th point in 12 international matchups.

Maxim Strbak, (D) (BUF)

The Slovakian second round draft pick is no stranger to representing is homeland, with this being his ninth time representing Slovakia in international tournaments. He got in on the scoring early against the rival Czechs in a blowout win.

Tommi Mannisto, (RW)

While off to a quiet start to his freshman year, it is far from his first time in international play. The winger has so far put up five points in his first Spartan campaign but off to a hot start in the tournament netting one against Germany in their 4-3 loss.

Whether you’re a fan of the Spartans, an NHL club with young draft picks, or just a fan of exciting sports in general, the world junior holiday season is one of the best. Seeing Spartans getting to not just represent their country, but in high profile roles like starting goalie is the kind of stuff you see in a top tier program.

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