There will be a couple of changes in Minnesota State's lineup tonight. Defenseman Brian Kilburg and forward James Gaulrapp will return after being benched last Saturday. Kilburg will go in for Blake Friesen, and Gaulrapp will go back to the fourth line in place of freshman Rylan Galiardi. Coach Troy Jutting put both moves in the "coach's decision" category.
That means the Mavericks' lines should look like this (I'll post any changes during a pregame blog):
The Mavericks practiced Thursday at the Alltel Center, and Denver arrived just as practice was beginning. Coach George Gwozdecky and a few players stood outside the glass for a few minutes before leaving the arena. As for Denver, according to the Denver Post, leading scorer Brock Trotter is not on the trip.
As for the Mavericks, junior forward Mick Berge has been on a good roll, and you can read about him in Friday's Free Press. Berge is fourth in the WCHA and first on the Mavericks with 14 goals. His 26 goals over the last two seasons is the best on the team.
For those of you Mankatoans (Mankatoites?) who can't get enough of your hockey fix, the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep team will take on Benilde-St. Margaret's at 2:15 p.m. at the Alltel Center.
A couple more non-MSU hockey notes:
Mankato West and Rochester Lourdes, the sixth- and 12th-ranked teams in Class A squared off in what might have been a Section 1A semifinal or even final preview Thursday night at All Seasons Arena. Lourdes won a great game 4-3. Other top teams in the section include Red Wing, New Prague and Albert Lea, who beat West earlier in the year and will play the Scarlets again next Thursday in Mankato.
A three-bus contingent of Mankato Area Hockey Association folks -- including my 7-year-old son and I -- attended Wednesday's game between the Wild and the Ducks. The Wild put on a great show with a 5-1 win. It was a chance for Mankato fans to see ex-Maverick Ryan Carter play for the Ducks, too. Although he was scoreless, Carter won eight of 10 faceoffs and got significant time on the penalty kill.