LAWRENCE NAMED SPARTAN HOCKEY CAPTAIN
Hondo S. Carpenter
LAWRENCE NAMED SPARTAN HOCKEY CAPTAIN
Four alternate captains named for upcoming season
East Lansing, Mich. -Senior forward Chris Lawrence (Havertown, Pa.) has been named the captain of the Michigan State hockey team for the 2006-07 season, as announced by head coach Rick Comley on Thursday. In addition, Comley also announced that four players will serve as alternate captains for the upcoming season: junior forwards Bryan Lerg (Livonia, Mich.) and Chris Mueller (West Seneca, NY) and senior blueliners Ethan Graham (Xenia, Ohio) and Tyler Howells (Eden Prarie, Minn.).
"This is a tremendous group in terms of leadership," noted Comley. "They are great players, and great â€˜program guysâ€™. We look forward to them helping guide the team in this upcoming season."
Lawrence is a two-time letterwinner for the Spartans, and played in 39 games a year ago as a junior. He scored two goals and added four assists - both of his goals coming on the power play. In the CCHA quarterfinal series against Alaska-Fairbanks, Lawrence combined with Tim Crowder (Victoria, BC) and Bryan Lerg to set a new league record for the fastest three goals in tournament history - the three each tallied a goal in a span of 1:46.
"Chris is a very mature player who understands his role, and brings a tremendous attitude and work ethic to the rink every day," notes Comley about his newly-elected captain. "We have the utmost confidence in his ability to manage that locker room. He played a key role on our team last year and helped us achieve some great things. He was the unanimous selection by his teammates to serve as captain, and that is a testament to their confidence in him as a leader."
"Iâ€™m extremely excited," commented the captain-elect. "This is something I can look at with a lot of pride. Itâ€™s really a great honor, particularly in a program like Michigan State, to serve as captain. Itâ€™s extra-special because it comes from a vote of my teammates - the guys you go to battle with every night. To have the confidence from them, itâ€™s something Iâ€™m really looking forward to. Iâ€™m excited to get the season underway."
Lawrence, who skated on the wing with rising junior Zak McClellan (Frankenmuth, Mich.) and centered by sophomore Nick Sucharski (Toronto, Ontario) for the stretch run last year, has appeared in 62 games in his Spartan career. He appeared in 23 games as a freshman, and just four as a sophomore before earning a consistent role last season on the Spartansâ€™ high-energy fourth line. He helped Michigan State to a remarkable second-half run (17-4-3), a second place finish in the CCHA regular-season standings, as well as the CCHA Tournament Championship at Joe Louis Arena. The Spartans earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA East Regional, and fell to the University of Maine, 5-4, in the East Regional Final. The squad was 25-12-8 on the year overall, and 14-7-7 in CCHA competition.
Lawrence played for the Pittsburgh Forge of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) before enrolling at MSU; the team was the Junior "A" National Champions in 2003 and Junior "A" National Finalists in 2002. He previously spent time with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL (2001), and was a member of the 1999 U.S. Under-18 Select Team that won a silver medal at the Four Nations Cup in Prague, Czech Republic.
The alternate captains also played a large role in the success of the 2005-06 Spartan team. Howells, Lerg, and Graham were among the five MSU players to appear in each of the teamâ€™s 45 games a year ago. Lerg was the teamâ€™s second-leading scorer with 15 goals and 23 assists, potting five power-play tallies. Mueller missed four games, but contributed 11 goals and 15 helpers on the season. Howells, a versatile rearguard with offensive skills, was fourth on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 24 assists, and led the team with a plus/minus rating of +21. Graham, by comparison, is a stay-at-home defenseman who was able to contribute three goals and nine assists for 12 points.
Michigan State returns 18 letterwinners for the 2006-07 season, its 65th of varsity hockey. The team will also welcome five newcomers to the lineup.
Â Courtesy of MSU SID!