Even for an average hockey fan, the name Chelios resonates as perhaps the most famous name in American hockey history.
Chris Chelios was a standout for Wisconsin in the early 1980s and led the Badgers to the 1983 NCAA championship. He went on to a 26-year career in the NHL, which included three Stanley Cup championships, 11 all-star game appearances and enshrinement into the Hall of Fame. In addition, he was a member of the United States Olympic Team four times, including a silver medal in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. In his NHL career, he scored 948 points on 185 goals and 763 assists while playing in 1,651 games.
“I never really looked at there being more pressure on me because of my last name,” Jake said. “When I was younger and hadn’t proven myself there probably was, but I didn’t really fully understand it, so it didn’t have an impact. Now there isn’t any pressure and in fact it is really a positive.”
Dean was the first Chelios to play for the Spartans as he started his career in 2009-10 when he was one of the team’s leading scorers as a freshman. His progress continued until he was forced to miss last season with an injury. In his four years, he has compiled 51 points on 21 goals and 30 assists in 126 games. This year he is fifth on the team in scoring and second on the team in assists.
Meanwhile, Jake started his career a year later and is now also having his best season as a senior. He is second on the team in scoring with 15 points and a team-high 13 assists. In his career, he has played in 141 games with 17 goals and 31 assists.
“Jake and Dean have been great assets to our program,” Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos said. “Both have been consistent and steady performers throughout their careers, have been a pleasure to coach and are very well liked by their teammates.”
The path to their successful hockey careers was laid early on.
“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing hockey,” Dean said. “My dad never forced us into it, he always let us make the choice to play whatever we wanted. I was really into baseball as well growing up, but ultimately hockey won out.”
“For the most part it was a pretty typical childhood,” Jake said. “My dad played a lot of his career in Chicago and Detroit and because hockey is so huge in those towns the people were always very respectful when we were out.”
The childhood has evolved into four-year careers with the Spartans which will see both student-athletes graduate. Dean is majoring in psychology and will graduate this spring, while Jake is majoring in communications and will likely complete his degree July 1. Both are planning on playing hockey for as long as it will take them.
For now, though, the focus is on the current and final season of their careers. The Spartans started the season 3-7, but have rebounded and are now 8-12-3 headed into this weekend’s series with No. 1 ranked Minnesota.
“We started out the season struggling a little bit,” Dean said. “Since the Christmas break we have started to play a lot better. Last week against Michigan was a little step back, but we just need to keep playing better so when we get into crunch time at the conference tournament we are playing our best hockey of the season.”
Chris Chelios is a frequent visitor to Michigan State games as he attends every game he can. According to his sons, their father has had a big impact with advice both on and off the ice.
“Definitely the best advice my dad ever gave us was about work ethic and working hard,” Dean said. “He always said that the people that work the hardest are the people that go the furthest.”
Crossing the blue line
Friday's game between Harvard and Princeton marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most notable games in the series between the two schools. The game took place Jan. 24, 1914 and featured a Princeton squad led by the legendary Hobey Baker. Harvard won that game 2-1 in OT but Princeton went on to win the 1914 national championship beating Harvard in a best-of-3 series. Prior to Friday's game the two teams will recognize the anniversary of the historic meeting with a ceremonial puck drop.
Bentley is 11-1-3 since Nov. 15. During the streak it has scored at least three goals in every game except for three. In all three of those games it scored two goals and every one of them ended in a tie. Bentley is also on a five game-winning streak headed into a weekend series at Mercyhurst. During that same 15 game-span senior forward Brett Gensler has scored 13 goals and added 15 assists.
Minding the net
Michigan Tech has not lost a game in which it led heading into the third period. By the same token, it has not won a game in which it was trailing heading into the third period. … Penn State has scored more than three goals only three times all season and are 2-1 in those games. … Providence and Boston College meet Friday night in a contest between the two teams that have scored the most third-period goals this season. BC has scored 40 third-period goals while Providence has scored 37 goals in the final frame. … Holy Cross senior Adam Schmidt is just two points away from reaching 100 for his career. … Connecticut is 7-1 in one-goal games. … Yale plays host to Cornell and Colgate this weekend. Both Cornell and Colgate are currently riding seven-game unbeaten streaks heading into the weekend. … Alaska-Anchorage is 8-0-0 when leading after the first period and 8-0-1 when leading after the second. … Bowling Green has seen 11 different players record at least one multi-point game through 28 games this season. … Minnesota has the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at 12 games, while Boston College is just behind at 11. … Maine and Mercyhurst share the national lead with eight short-handed goals on the season.