Coach Danton Cole says sophomore defenseman Dennis Cesana is becoming "more of a complete player" and smarter in his decision making in leading the rush or following the rush.
He's the Spartans' best offensive defenseman, and with his skill as a puck-handler and passer, he's been anchoring the top power play since arriving as a freshman last year.
Cesana, 21, a 5-foot-9, 195-pounder from Providence, has also developed into a solid defender and is used in all situations Ė to help get the big goal or prevent the late goal.
"He continued to improve from the first half of last year to the second half,'' Cole said. "I thought his defensive game has improved, his angles and his closes have come a long way, and he continues to improve on that.''
In Tuesday's 5-2 win over Ferris State in the GLI third place game Cesana had a goal and two assists and three shots on goal. He also had three shots on net in Monday's semifinal against Michigan Tech.
"He's more confident with the puck, and the other thing I like is when he gets too far ahead of the rush sometimes, and works so hard to get back, he's starting to realize that there's a right time and right place to do that,'' Cole said.
"He's smart in that sense and he's starting to realize you can be a lot more effective and get a lot more done offensively and not work quite as hard. That's a hard thing to get a young man to understand. That's a tricky mindset to have.''
Cesana is MSU's third-leading scorer with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points, one point behind Mitchell Lewandowski (6-9-15).