EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The saying “what a difference a year can make” couldn’t be more spot-on for the Michigan State University hockey team.

In 2022, after only winning 12 games last season, the Spartans find themselves in a Big Ten battle for first place against No. 4 Minnesota this upcoming weekend.

MSU’s success has a lot to do with the 12 new faces on the hockey team’s roster.

Freshman forward Karsen Dorwart is one of those fresh faces.

But Dorwart is not focused on getting his name out there, it’s about doing what he can to help his team win.

“When coaches are putting you out there in kind of big moments, you want to do everything you can to help,” Dorwart said.

Dorwart attributes some of his success to having a familiar face with him.

Daniel Russell and Dorwart played together in the United States Hockey League, and both now play for MSU.

Plus, Russell and Dorwart are roommates.

“It made the transition a lot easier having him,” Dorwart said.

The freshman recalled hearing from Russell about being offered a spot from the Spartans, right before getting his own offer from hockey assistant Jared DeMichiel. Dorwart was thrilled.

“I’ve always wanted to play at a Big Ten school,” said Dorwart. “So to be able to do that is awesome.”

As for the Spartans’ success on the ice for the season, Dorwart said that everyone is a “key piece.”

“Everyone is contributing every night, so we get a lot of different scoring from a lot of different players, and I think that’s been huge.”

To hear about a game Dorwart excels at that isn’t on the ice, watch the video in the player above.