Since the blog went up in September, some of you have had questions for PucKato. Sorry I haven't been able to get to respond to all of them right away, but tonight I'm going to answer a few of them. Here we go ...
Why didn't MSU have any preseason games? I asked Troy Jutting today if, in retrospect, he wishes he would have had a nonconference series or an exhibition game before the Michigan Tech series, and he said he tried to get games for that weekend but was unable to do so. With the improvement the Mavericks have shown against Alaska-Anchorage and Alabama-Huntsville, it appears that some preseason action would have been helpful.
Has a new athletic trainer been hired to replace Jason Bushie? Not yet. MSU's head athletic trainer Jeff Chambers has been around the practice rink, though, and made the last two road trips.
Isn't Lucas Fransen playing in the Netherlands? I haven't been able to track that down. The former MSU defenseman doesn't show up on hockeydb.com, which is a great source for hockey statistics of all leagues and levels. However, I forgot to mention ex-Maverick Aaron Fox, who is now playing in Austria. Fox, who played at MSU from 1997-2000, has enjoyed a nice career in Europe, racking up tons of points in several countries, especially Germany.
Will the Alltel Center be full for Friday's game against the Gophers? It's certainly looking that way. As of tonight, Ticketmaster only had standing-room-only tickets available.
Will Mike Zacharias start in goal both nights against Minnesota? Since it's Monday, that decision isn't even close to being made. I'm guessing Zacharias, who has a .943 save percentage in five games, will start Friday. But, based on past history, Jutting won't -- at least publicly -- make a decision on Saturday's starter until after Friday's game or the next morning. Jutting noted Monday that he was glad to see Dan Tormey get back on track with a solid performance Saturday at Huntsville.
What happened to Ryan Gunderson? He's on the team, practicing hard every day. The sophomore played in six games last year as a freshman and had one assist. Remember, he was converted from forward to defense when he arrived last season, and he's probably the eighth D on a team with seven pretty solid defensemen right now.
That's all for now. Thanks for the questions. Keep them coming.