Nation, as of yesterday afternoon, Jutting said he had yet to decide on his starting goaltender. He has a tough decision, too, as there is no clear-cut No. 1 and Phil Cook definitely put himself in the mix last weekend. Jutting probably could put the names in a hat and draw out Friday's starter, but I suspect he'll puts more thought into it than that. ... Dorr has been skating with Adam Mueller and Justin Jokinen this week. Dorr and Mueller were linemates and best friends at Roseville High School, so it will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry they have. ... As for the team MVP? That's a great question. Jerad Stewart has been on fire over the last eight games, Zach Harrison, too. Probably one of those two guys right now, but there's no clear-cut MVP.
From Ian: I've haerd plenty of negative comments about Dorr from UMD and UofM people for obvious reasons. Does Dorr seem to genuinely enjoy it at MSU? I don't know the story of his transfer (whether it was playing time or other issues), so perhaps you could fill me in.
Ian, yes, Dorr did commit to Duluth as a junior in high school then went to Minnesota for a semester before transferring to Minnesota State. As a Gopher, he played in just two games and saw the writing on the wall. Last January, he told me, "It was playing time. I wanted to play. I feel like I have a better opportunity to get playing time here." I would say that, from what I've seen in practice, that he does enjoy it in Mankato. Is there more to it than that? I don't know. Personally, I'm surprised this kind of thing doesn't happen more often. These are big decisions for 17- and 18-year-olds make. Kids change their minds, and athletes have to give up a year of playing their sport if they do opt to transfer. It's tough. Fans of other teams might be bitter, but do you think Gopher fans are upset that their team will be playing a transfer over the second half, too? Probably not.
From Sam: I'm curious to know what other people around college hockey or even the professional ranks have had to say about Tyler Pitlick this year? ... Do you know the reason for the Mavs. vs. Mavs home-and-home weekend series? ... With Hayes back, who sits on Friday? Dorr needs to be on the ice.
Sam, I haven't had a chance to talk to pro scouts about Pitlick, but Mavs games have been crawling with scouts all season (home and away), so you can bet he's high on their radar. I have not heard a bad word about him, and his performance is proof enough of how good he is. He could easily have more goals, too, which would turn even more heads. ... The MSU-UNO series had long been a Thursday-Saturday, home-and-home series on the last weekend of the regular season until the CCHA changed up its playoff format. Then it went to a couple of random Tuesdays during the season. The schedule is up to the coaches, and they decided that back-to-back games in Mankato and Omaha would work. ... Hayes and Dorr will be in the lineup, as they were on Saturday night (before Hayes got hurt). It looks like Zuck might be the odd guy out on Friday.
From hockey25: Who do you see having a big second half of the year? Do you think it is beneficial to have a couple of weeks off around the holidays or a couple of idle weeks in the second half of the season?
hockey25, I think both Tyler Pitlick and Michael Dorr will have big impacts over the second half of the season. But I also think Kael Mouillerat is on his way to putting up some numbers. He's finally putting the puck in the net and has put up a ton of shots all year. Geoff Irwin is playing well, too right now, and I expect that to continue. He seems like a really determined player right now. ... As for the break, I'm sure it would be nice to have a couple of weeks off, but too much time in row could be rough, like taking two steps back over the holidays. There's a stretch in January and February, I believe, where the Mavs play once over three weeks. That might be a better time to nurse some bumps and bruises before closing out the final month of the season.
From TEAMWORKER: Why does this team carry more players on the roster than others? In some cases, two or three more players. We have forwards and D sitting week after week that would be dressed with other teams, correct?
TEAMWORKER, that is not correct. College hockey teams typically carry 27-28 players but can only dress 20 for games (21 in home games if you count a third goalie). Usually, the Mavericks have 15 forwards and dress 12 for games, eight D and dress six and three goalies. During road weekends in conference play, they're allowed to take two extra skaters on the trip. That should make for good competition as well provide depth for injuries. Do the Mavericks have healthy scratches who would be playing for other teams? Perhaps, but I think think there are still jobs out there to be won and lost.