Saturday, October 2, 2010

And they're off!

Minnesota State kicked off the men's hockey season Saturday morning with its first official practice of the new year.

"I was pleased with the intensity level, especially for 9 in the morning," coach Troy Jutting said.

It's hard to say too much about lines at this point, since the Mavericks are preparing for Monday's exhibition game against British Columbia. Jutting said forwards Rylan Galiardi, Michael Dorr and Eriah Hayes (possible No. 1 line?), as well as defensemen Kurt Davis and Ben Youds, will sit out that game in order to get the rookies acclimated not only to game action but the routine of a college game day.

"We need to get the young kids in a game situation so they understand how we do things and know our modus operandi," Jutting said.

That freshman class includes Corey Leivermann, the first Mankato native to play for MSU. His reaction to Day 1: "Nervous." Look for more on his first day and his expectations for this year in Sunday's edition of The Free Press.

In case you missed it, here was Saturday's story leading up to the first practice and Galiardi's reaction to being picked 10th in the WCHA preseason polls. Also, be sure to check out more on this year's team in Monday's Free Press.

The Mavericks will have a second practice in on Saturday evening and another on Sunday before playing Monday night at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Other notes: Defenseman Channing Boe missed Saturday morning's practice due to a family commitment, however, he's expected to be at the evening session. ... British Columbia, MSU's opponent on Monday, is playing Nebraska-Omaha tonight and Minnesota on Sunday. ... There is one college hockey tonight that will count, as Michigan hosts Mercyhurst. ... I've been hearing through the grapevine that Josh Berge will not be following his brother, Mick, to Minnesota State after all, and this story out of Lincoln confirms it. Academics might be an issue.

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