A couple of notes: Phil Cook will get the start in goal tonight, and why not? He's allowed one goal in each of his first two starts, a win and a tie.
On defense, freshman Evan Mosey will be in the lineup for the second game in a row. He'll be skating with Nick Canzanello, while the top four D will stay the same.
Coach Troy Jutting hit the shuffle function for his forwards, and all of the lines will have a little bit different look tonight. Michael Dorr, who has three points in his first three games, will move up the line chart, and Eli Zuck will be back in. Tyler Thompson is banged up but also ineligible to play tonight due to a fighting major during the Mavericks' last game.
A couple of players have missed a practice this week due to a sickness, so I'll post the official lines during pregame. Onto the reading:
In today's Free Press, I have a story about the Mavericks' Mr. Assist, Ben Youds, who has only enjoyed the taste of a collegiate goal once in nearly 90 games. However, he has 35 assists, including 16 this year. The latter total not only leads MSU in points but ranks tied for second in the WCHA in scoring among defenseman.
The U.S. Olympic team gets chosen today, and everyone expects ex-Mav David Backes to get a roster spot. USA Today called Backes "a lock since last summer" and put him on the fourth line.
Around the WCHA, only one other team is in action tonight, as Denver opens the Denver Cup tournament. The Pioneers will have talented defenseman Peter Wiercioch available as he did not make Canada's world-junior team (which defeated the U.S. in a shootout last night). The snub is something Wiercioch is still bitter about.
Denver will play Nebraska-Omaha and Boston College in its tournament. Other WCHA teams will begin tournament play on Saturday. North Dakota is in Illinois for the Shillelagh Tournament with Niagara, Colgate and Notre Dame. Minnesota Duluth is in Burlington, Vt., for the Catamount Cup with Mercyhurst, Alabama-Huntsville and Vermont. Minnesota is hosting Bowling Green, Northern Michigan and Clarkson in the Dodge Holiday Classic. Wisconsin is hosting Merrimack, Ferris State and Yale in the final Badger Showdown.
St. Cloud State, meanwhile, is playing a nonconference series against Brown. For the Huskies, a surprise might be the play of goaltender Dan Dunn, who not only has done well this season but will be the man this weekend as highly touted freshman Mike Lee is playing for the U.S. world-junior team this week.