Michigan State has announced two roster changes at the end of the first semester: freshman forward Mike Merrifield (Beverly Hills) will return to junior hockey to play the remainder of the 2008-09 season, while junior defenseman Ryan Turek (Northville) has been dismissed from the squad for failure to meet team expectations.
Merrifield will return to junior hockey for the spring semester, and will play for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. His coach in Green Bay will be Jon Cooper, who coached Merrifield last season in the North American Hockey League with the St. Louis Bandits. Merrifield will then return to the Spartans in the fall of 2009 as a sophomore.
“In Mike’s case, this is a mutual decision, but one that will set him up for success and allow him to return here to Michigan State in the fall and be an important member of our hockey team,” noted MSU head coach Rick Comley. “It will give him a chance to play more than 30 games in the second half, and work not only on his game, but also on his physical strength. We look forward to Mike coming back to Michigan State and to our hockey program in September.”
“We’re disappointed, however, that we have to part ways with Ryan Turek. We have expectations for the members of this program and Ryan did not meet them. It's unfortunate and we wish him well as he pursues his next opportunity.”
The Spartans now have 27 rostered players with the departures of Merrifield and Turek.
Additionally, two players will miss the remainder of the season due to injury: senior centerman Nick Sucharski and sophomore defenseman A.J. Sturges.