The Spartans areÂ going back to where they belong:Â The Frozen Four.Â Make sure you take time to thank Comley.
I said back in February after the Spartans lost a big lead and tied with UM, â€œThe Spartans certainly arenâ€™t one of the elite in the nation.â€Â At that time they werenâ€™t, and I stand by those comments.Â Some will say that being rated #6 in the nation (which they were) disproves my thought and I respect them, but having your arch rival on the ropes and letting them up may be what good teams do but not elite.
I can also tell you now that they are an elite team.Â All of the credit for the Spartansâ€™ march into the Frozen Four rests on the shoulders of head coach Rick Comley.Â He wonâ€™t tell you that.Â His players will.
I have been one of Coach Comleyâ€™s strongest supporters since his arrival in East Lansing and last night was not the reason why.Â Back in February when I wrote those comments about this team, I also included the fact that he called the tie â€œdisappointing.â€Â Comley isnâ€™t afraid to call a spade a spade and he isnâ€™t afraid of letting his guys know reality.Â He keeps the rooted in reality and that is what makes them tough and him great.Â You donâ€™t get coach speak from Comley you get truth.Â He recruits kids that can handle that and he gets the most from them.
Before the CCHA tournament he said he thought the Spartans had to win it to make the NCAA Tournament.Â They didnâ€™t win the CCHA, but they did make the NCAA Tournament and now they hold one of the four golden tickets for the Frozen Four.
Sure Little Jeff Lerg was huge, but to be real honest you have to just look and see a team.Â This Spartan team does what Comley likes, they play team hockey.Â That has been a staple of this great program for years and continues today, albeit with the Comley style.
The Spartans may not have the most talent in St. Louis, but they will have the best coach and they will also have a band of brothers that play for the team and no one, I mean NO ONE will have their heart.Â I, for one, love college hockey and canâ€™t wait to make the trip to St. Louis to cover this.
Spartan fans need only know one thing:Â Like every good team this group has evolved.Â When I wrote back in February that they werenâ€™t among the elite in the nation I was right.Â They are now, and the credit for this team peaking at the right time goes to the man behind the bench and the team that believes in him.Â How many times have heard people talk about team peaking at the right moment?Â Just look at these Spartans to see the classic definition.
Win it all or not in St. Louis, this is a great example of what being a Spartan is all about, and a great role model for Spartan hockey teams years from now to admire.
They better fire up the BBQ in St. Louis; here I come.