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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spartans add pair of Bandits for '08-09

Compiled by MiCHO Staff

Michigan State has announced the signing of Mike Merrifield (Beverly Hills) and Ben Warda (Lake Orion) to National Letters of Intent.

Both players recently wrapped up their seasons with St. Louis of the North American Hockey League, helping the Bandits to the NAHL’s Robertson Cup championship.

“We’re excited, because we’re adding quality players to our class for the fall,” explained MSU head coach Rick Comley. “These are smart, exciting players with a good talent level. They bring offensive skill, have played in all situations and fit in with the rest of our players well."

Warda, a two-year player for the Bandits, helped St. Louis to back-to-back Robertson Cup championships (2007 and 2008) and was an All-NAHL selection in addition to being selected as a North Division All-Star in his second season. Warda led the Bandits in scoring (31-43--74, +29), and ranked among the top scorers in the NAHL this season as he tied for fifth in scoring, ranked sixth in goals, tenth in assists, second in shorthanded goals (4), third in game-winning goals and tied for seventh in plus-minus.

Merrifield was named to the NAHL All-Rookie Team, nabbed Rookie of the Year honors and posted a 18-39--57 scoring line (+33). He netted the game-winning goal in the Bandits’ 5-2 victory over Mahoning Valley in the Robertson Cup championship game and overall in the postseason had eight goals and six assists in 11 playoff games. In the regular season, he ranked 19th in the NAHL in scoring, 15th in assists and tied for second with Warda in shorthanded goals (4). He also ranked tied for third in plus-minus. In 2006-2007, he had a 36-31--67 stat line for Victory Honda Midget AAA.

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