The Mavericks left for Houghton, Mich., this morning for this weekend's season-opening series at Michigan Tech, and I won't be far behind (I'm leaving Friday morning, but in my mind, I'm already there).
All of the players I've talked to this week are itching to drop the puck. Minnesota State was the only WCHA team not in action last weekend, and they are getting tired of playing against themselves. Although official practice has been going on for only two weeks, the Mavericks were conditioning and going through captains practices basically since school started at the beginning of September.
A few things to know about this weekend:
Coach Troy Jutting said Mike Zacharias will start in goal Friday. "He's had a good fall," the coach said. "He deserves to play the first game." That's not a surprise. Zacharias was the best of the three goalies in the Purple-Gold game. Although Jutting was noncommittal about Saturday's starter, I wouldn't be shocked of Dan Tormey gets the nod.
The forward lines are basically the same as they were during the scrimmage (see below). The only exception is Matt Tyree moved up to the fourth line with Zach Harrison and Rylan Galiardi because Jason Wiley is out with an undisclosed injury.
I'm going to try my hand at pre- and postgame blogging for the first time this weekend, so I'll have all of the lineups tomorrow night. Who knows? There might even be some in-game posts, so keep checking. Also, be sure to read Friday's Free Press for a full preview, including a feature on senior captain Joel Hanson and a WCHA preview.
I'd love to hear your take on this season and, especially, this series. Thanks to everybody who's already posted comments.