Everyone knows hockey players love to watch hockey on television.
So it may seem ironic that on a critically important night where outcomes of various other college hockey games – most of them televised – would affect Michigan State’s NCAA future, that many players chose not to watch any hockey.
Michigan State was eliminated from the CCHA tournament in the quarterfinals a weekend earlier. That’s when the waiting began, a painful grind that didn’t provide any outcome until after all conference championship games were played.
“I didn’t watch any of the games,” admitted Spartans junior forward Anthony Hayes. “It’s hard to watch hockey when you know how much of your fate depends on and you’re completely helpless.”
Senior forward Trevor Nill was just like Hayes. He couldn’t watch the conference finals last Saturday, but admits, he knew what needed to happen to get the Spartans to the tournament.
“Me personally, the USCHO PairWise Predictor was the number one visited site on my computer,” said Nill. “I didn’t get a chance to watch any games but the scoreboard updating and the PairWise Predictor were always on the screen.”
Junior defenseman Torey Krug wasn’t going to hide. He watched every single game (except the ECAC title game, he admits, because that was online pay-per-view and he didn’t want to spend the $10). He did, though, realize the irony that accompanied that ECAC final.
“It’s unique because we were rooting for Union College to win and here we are facing Union,” Krug said of Sparty’s first round opponent.
The players were a little varied in how they handled the stress. But first-year head coach Tom Anastos admitted that he was glued to the tube all night on Saturday.
“I have a set up at my home that has three TVs,” said Anastos. “I went to the CCHA third-place game to watch that live, then went home and watched the three championship games (Hockey East, CCHA, WCHA) on TV.
“I was only following the live score of the Union game and I finally caved in and paid the 10 bucks for the final period.”
That, of course, became money well spent when the Dutchmen rallied from a 1-0 third period deficit to win 3-1.