Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday-morning skate

It's a hockey day in Mankato, and the Mavericks host Colorado College this weekend. It ought to be busy around the Verizon Wireless Center this weekend as the inaugural Mankato Marathon is going on, too.

Check out  The Free Press' coverage of the marathon on our website. There have been plenty of stories, including a couple by yours truly (this must be how Kevin Pates feels!).

Getting to hockey, though, Minnesota State junior forward Michael Dorr is playing meaningful hockey games in October for the first time in several years (he did get in one Halloween game as a Gopher playing against the Mavericks two years ago).

Dorr will be playing on a line with Mike Louwerse (as he has every game so far this season) and Corey Leivermann. The Mavericks are without two injured players, defenseman Evan Mosey and forward Eli Zuck. Mosey was on the ice skating this week but Zuck was not. Coach Troy Jutting said he'll likely rotate his goalies again this weekend. If he stays true to form, Phil Cook will start tonight's game.

As for Colorado College, the Tigers are 2-1-1 but, like the Mavericks (0-1-3), haven't scored many goals. CC has outscored its opponents 9-8. MSU has been outscored 16-13.

"It could become a special teams war," Tigers coach Scott Owens told The Gazette's Joe Paisley. "They'll play with intensity because they will be a desperate team."

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota Duluth: Everyone knows that Duluth has the high-octane scoring line of Fontaine, Connolly & Connolly, but look out league, the Bulldogs also have hot line of Kyle Schmidt, Travis Oleksuk and J.T. Brown. The News-Tribune's Kevin Pates (mentioned earlier) also has a story on UMD equipment manager Chris Garner, who is recovering from a bone-marrow transplant. ... As for the Seawolves, they have shown some resiliency this season, making late comebacks, including one in a season-opening tie with North Dakota.

St. Cloud State at Minnesota (Friday-Sunday): The St. Cloud Times features Huskies freshman Nick Jensen, who is off to a nice start. Funny story: Jensen was asleep when he was taken by the Red Wings drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. ... As for the Gophers, Mike Hoeffel has been nicknamed "The Huskies Killer" by SCSU coach Bob Motzko, according to the Strib. Hoeffel led Minnesota in goals last season. But the Gophers are young up front and, according to the Pioneer Press, their freshmen will have to mature quickly this season.

Wisconsin at Denver: Here's a pretty good matchup between two teams that lost a ton of talent in the offseason. The Badgers' Jordy Murray is suddenly the team's top offensive threat and scored his first hat trick a week ago. ... As for the Pios, they're banged up, and freshman Sam Brittian will be starting in goal as Adam Murray is out with a groin injury.

North Dakota at Maine: The Sioux may be playing at Maine, but that's almost home for New Brunswick native Brad Malone, who grew up five hours away from Alfond Arena and will have 38 family members in attendance. The games will be the fifth and sixth on the road to start the season for UND, and the team has made it all across the country, starting the year in Alaska, playing Bemidji last week and Maine tonight.

Nebraska-Omaha at Michigan: The red Mavericks will step out of the league and return to the CCHA for a weekend to take on Michigan. UNO is just 1-14-0 at the Wolverines' Yost Arena but this will be the first time it's there as a WCHA team.

Check out weekend previews and league notebooks by USCHO, Inside College Hockey and This is the WCHA. College Hockey Weekend's Facebook page also has some links to check out.

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