The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 11, 2013

McInnis, Mavericks head east

McInnis, MSU head east for season-opener

(Continued)

"I think the biggest thing with Johnny McInnis is his transformation physically from his first day here until now," assistant coach Darren Blue said. "It's from the hard work he's put in off the ice."

One of just three seniors on this year's roster (two others from his rookie class are redshirt juniors), McInnis was voted captain of an MSU team that faces higher expectations than almost any in the program's Division I era.

"There wasn't a question in the voting who was going to be captain, not in the least bit," Hastings said. "He earned it."

McInnis also replaces a good friend, Eriah Hayes, in that leadership role and will be called on to help fill Hayes' skates as a top-six forward and power-play contributor.

McInnis said he's always admired Hayes, who scored 20 goals last season, including 13 on the power play, and is now a professional player in the San Jose Sharks' system.

"To see where he's at now and to watch how hard he worked to get there ... it's not easy," McInnis said. "I think, through watching him, I've learned that. ... I'm not going to try to be Eriah, because there's no way I am Eriah. I'm going to try to do some of the things he did because he did them the right way.

"But I'm going to have to find my own way."

He's used to doing that.

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