Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's hear from you

PucKato wants to know what you, the fans, think of the upcoming hockey season.

Post a comment with your predicted order of the WCHA standings, your preseason WCHA player of the year, preseason all-WCHA team (three forwards, two defensemen, one goalie) and your preseason WCHA rookie of the year.

Others receiving votes?

Just got back from vacation and nearly ready for hockey to begin. While I was away, USA Today released its preseason men's hockey rankings -- a top 15 -- and Minnesota State is among the others receiving votes. Despite last season's fourth-place finish in the WCHA, the Mavericks are behind six conference teams in the poll, including North Dakota (fourth), Colorado College (fifth), Denver (sixth), Minnesota (ninth), Wisconsin (13th) and St. Cloud State (15th). Defending national champion Boston College is ranked No. 1, followed by Michigan and Notre Dame.

Here are the rankings (first-place votes in parenthesis):

1. Boston College (27) 490
2. Michigan (4) 432
3. Notre Dame 376
4. North Dakota (1) 371
5. Colorado College (2) 355
6. Denver 299
7. New Hampshire 287
8. Miami 263
9. Minnesota 223
10. Boston University 203
11. Clarkson 173
12. Michigan State 159
13. Wisconsin 103
14. Northern Michigan 75
15. St. Cloud State 69
Others receiving votes: Princeton 51, Cornell 30, Harvard 30, Minnesota State 28, Air Force 24, UMass 9, UMass-Lowell 9, Niagara 9, Vermont 6, Maine 3, Northeastern 3

Monday, September 15, 2008

Preseason stuff

MSU released its men's hockey preseason prospectus on Monday. You can read it here. Practice will get underway on Saturday, Oct. 4, with the Mavericks playing right away on Oct. 10-11 in a nonconference home series against Bemidji State.

A few items of interest:

The Mavericks have nine freshmen, including redshirts forward Mike Louwerse (medical), goalie Austin Lee and forward Brett Peterson.

For those of you who like the numbers game, here are the jersey numbers of the incoming freshmen: 3-Cameron Cooper (D), 8-Baylor Dieter (D), 15-Justin Jokinen (F), 16-Tyler Thompson (F), 24-Adam Mueller (F) and 26-Joe Schiller (F). "I really like this group of kids," coach Troy Jutting said in the news release. "When you add the redshirts, it gives us some competition for positions for positions on the roster. This is a talented group with skill and offense, just great additions to our program."

Forward/defenseman Ryan Gunderson is no longer on the team. He is the only underclassman besides Jon Kalinski, who signed with Philadelphia last spring, not to return. Gunderson had one assist in 18 games last year and two assists in 24 games over two seasons.

Scott Rideout is the team's new equipment manager. He replaces Eric Pederson and is the husband of MSU women's assistant coach Mandy Krause-Rideout.

This will be the Mavericks' 10th season in the WCHA and 13th year of Division I hockey. In regular-season play, MSU is 102-117-33 (.470) in nine seasons in the conference.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Xcel game tickets on sale

Minnesota State announced Monday that tickets for the WCHA College Hockey Showcase, are available through the MSU athletic department.

The Nov. 1 event at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul features two regular-season games: Minnesota Duluth vs. St. Cloud State at 4 p.m. and Minnesota vs. Minnesota State at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are for both games.

Prices are $40 for lower level, $35 for upper level along the side and $30 upper level end-zone seating, with an additional $2 facility fee added to the final purchase price for each ticket. All tickets are “best available” in each team's designated section.

Tickets are available through the MSU Department of Athletics (507-389-6111) until Oct. 1. After Oct. 1, tickets will be available through Ticketmaster outlets.

Meanwhile, MSU single-game home tickets for Alltel Center will be available, starting Oct. 6, four days before the Mavericks' home opener against Bemidji State.