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The KHL Line | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Hockey

August 26, 2019


(modern electronic music) – [Announcer] For Michigan
State, they’ve got the KHL line. – [Second Announcer] Really
one of the best lines in the big ten, one of the
best lines in college hockey – [Third Announcer] Top
line for Michigan State to start the night that
was so effective yesterday, as on the power play as well. Final 15 seconds of the period. Khodorenko whips it to the circle, score! Lewandowski off the feed! – [Fourth Announcer] Hirose
leaves it for Lewandoski, pass to Khodorenko, and
there is the KHL line, working to perfection. – [Fifth Announcer]
For Patrick Khodorenko, Lewandowski, Hirose, scores! That’s why they’re one of
the most dangerous lines in the division. – I don’t really know
what the start of it was, I think it was more of like
a Neal, Neal’s notebook type of thing. – Yeah. – But then it just kinda
turned into the announcers and people around school
starting to pick up on it. Yeah, just happy to be
part of the KHL line. – Yeah, I always remember
there was the CCM line in Michigan, and the
Civic Rim line in Denver, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of. Didn’t really expect it to
stick at first, honestly. – We got a lot of heat in
the room, a little bit. – Yeah. – It’s worth it. – [Announcer] That haunted
line of Khodorenko, Hirose, and Lewandowski, a pair of
juniors and a sophomore. And they’ve been together
for two years now, they know each other
very well as line mates, and that’s why they have
such great chemistry. – I think just having
confidence in us right away the first day of practice
really once we got down to it was us three together, and it
kinda just clicked right away and they had that confidence
where if we had a bad game they weren’t gonna try to split us apart they just always kept us
together and had that confidence in us that we were gonna have
some results the next night. – It’s just nice to have that
consistency with each other and at practice we know
sort of what works so we can sort of mess around and have
fun with it and stay loose so that’s a big part for us. – And I think it’s pretty
special but at the same time there’s a lot of responsibility
that comes with it and the three of us
have a little group chat that we text in sometimes before games to keep each other going
and just talk about the game and how we coulda been better,
you know the little things that we coulda done. – I think you can tell,
when we have a good shift or when we’re buzzing
around, the crowd sort of gets really into it, so I
mean that’s pretty exciting when we’re on the ice, and
I know that we started the Goodrell Gatorade thing on the bench now, I’ve been giving these guys
water on the bench now, and it’s been working
the past couple of games so we’re gonna have to keep it up. – It’s definitely fun to
see when Lew scores a goal and you can see Taro’s face– – Going up and down in the
stands of the student section, it’s pretty cool. – Yeah I think we wanna be more
than just an offensive line, I think you look at our plus-minus,
we’re pretty good there, so I think playing good
in the defensive zone and playing the right way sort
of leading in that direction as well and not just
making the fancy plays in the offensive zone. – I think with hockey too, a
lot of, a big part of it is trying to make your teammates better, and learning from both of them every day, and it’s good to see both
of them get rewarded for their performances. – Yeah and I think we sort of
take the individual rewards as sort of a team thing or a line thing, so when Pat or Lew is getting
a star, or me, it’s always just sort of we did that
sort of thing together, it wasn’t just the one
guy having a good weekend it was sort of all of us. – [Announcer] Michigan
State is rebuilding but second year coach Danton Cole
has one of the best lines in college hockey, center
Patrick Khodorenko, right wing Mitchell
Lewandowski, and left wing Taro Hirose, the nation’s
leading scorer with 20 points– – They’re important to our
team, and that’s easy to say but they work hard and practice,
they do a lot of things the right way, they’re
probably our best forward checking line, they’re out
there in a lot of different situations, so there’s a
lot of responsibility on em but they’ve done a great job with that. – They’re a constant threat
to score, and that’s always a nice thing for a head coach
when he can roll out a line knowing that he’s gonna
generate some offense, but even more than that, it’s
a line that generates momentum so even if they don’t score,
they generate chances, they generate offensive zone
time, they make teams defend. And because they play
against everybody’s top line, and against everybody’s top
D pair, and they play more of their time in the offensive zone, they’re preventing scoring from happening because of the fact that
they can control pucks and they can play in the offensive zone. So it’s kind of a double
edged sword for ya. You get the offense, the best
defense is the best offense kinda thing, and you get the
constant threat to score. – It’s been a while since
we’ve had, Michigan State, a line that pulls fans, or
media, out of their seats. When they get the puck,
you’re like okay, what’s gonna go on now? But what I like about it is
the fact that they’re all improved from last year. – When you take a look
at them individually, I love what Khodorenko
can do in terms of the way he distributes the puck,
the way he can play higher in the zone and move
pucks where he wants to, but he can also play a hard heavy game. – He’s using his size and strength. He goes on the corners now,
and he knocks people off the puck, he’s playing like
Brendan Shanahan played for the Red Wings as a power forward. – [Announcer] Now to Khodorenko, oh! Great puck movement by Michigan State. They wind up in the slot
with Patrick Khodorenko and he buries it. – And then you look at
Lewandowski, who, lately everything he touches turns to goal. He’s got a great release,
and he’s one of the players in the NCA you notice
because of the fact that he can find soft spots
on the ice to be open. That’s a skill I think
is really under rated, and he’s got a really
good ability to do it, and you combine that with how
quickly he gets his shot off, that brings another dimension to it. – [Announcer] Yes! – [Second Announcer] Front
shot goal for Michigan State! Hirose passed it into the
slot and Lewandowski converts. – I woulda been very
surprised if someone had said Taro Hirose, in late January,
early February, is leading the league in scoring, and
leading the country in scoring. But because of the fact that
that line has been so good, five on five and in the power
play, now I’m not surprised, just the way they’ve improved and the way they mesh together. – [Announcer] Shot, goal! Oh what vision by Khodorenko
to see Hirose streaking in off of the bench. – Cesana has helped
immeasurably at the right point, and basically Cody Milan,
digging pucks, setting people up, he’s a perfect fit. And so the way they mesh
together, every time The Spartans get a power
play, and even if they’ve been on the ice, they go off
for one cheer, come back on, because that’s what this offense is about. – Even late in the games
when we’re up a goal, that’s a line we look to. Just, their puck possession
is so good and their hockey smarts is so good
that they can help us if we’re down a goal or up a goal. Bigger picture is, they’re
important to our program and what we’re trying to build
and where we’re trying to go, they’ve done an outstanding job for us, and they’re helping us
build what we have here as a program and a culture,
and you hate to look ahead, but eight, nine, 10 years
from now, I hope those guys can look back and we’ve got our program where we want it to be
and they’re gonna know that they were a real big
part of turning things around and getting us where we need to be. (dramatic music)

1 Comment

  • Reply HD Swizzle March 13, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Welcome to Detroit HIROSEEEE

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