Saturday, October 9, 2010

Minnesota State 1, St. Lawrence 1 - OT

Minnesota State rookie Chase Grant (20). (Wright Braudt photo)
PucKato's Three Thoughts of the Game

1. Don't speak too soon: So much for praising the Mavericks for scoring goals. On Saturday, they had 38 shots on goal but only ended up with on goal -- and that one had to be jammed during a scramble in front of outstanding freshman goalie Matt Weninger. MSU had eight power plays to mess around with and failed to score, including on a Saints penalty in overtime. There are many new faces on the power play, though, and it might take time for them to jell. The Mavericks had one power-play goal on two chances on Friday, although the first chance was a five-minute major. 

2. Jock jams: Mavericks junior forward Justin Jokinen scored the Mavericks' lone goal and finished the series with two goals and an assist. It's a great start to the year for a player who was a healthy scratch for the last 10 games of last season. He played in 21 games as a sophomore and finished the year with three goals and one assist. Could it be a breakout season for the fourth-round NHL draft pick? "He had a good summer," MSU coach Troy Jutting said. "He was a kid who was young (coming straight to college from high school). He's the same age (now) as our freshmen. It takes a little time. But he's bigger and stronger and has gained some confidence being bigger and stronger."

3. Young fellas: Every freshman skater except defenseman Danny Heath got on the weekend. The only ones who played both games were Chase Grant and J.P. Burkemper. Grant looks the part on the top line, making some nice, smart plays that looked more like a veteran made them than a freshman. Burkemper came to MSU a little under the radar. A 6-3, 190-pound forward who was not a top scorer in junior hockey, one might think he was coming in as a grinder. But he appears to be an excellent skater with skill enough to make the kind of plays that led to MSU's goal. "He's a very good skater, a great skater," Jutting said. "He's got very good skill. He's a little bit younger than the other freshmen. I thought he played very well this weekend."

1 comment:

Alexander Parker said...

If Jokinen works as hard as he did this weekend, I think we may start to see him realize some of that potential. I've never seen him play that hard. Evidence: Diving for the puck to draw the whistle on a delayed penalty. I don't think he would have done that last year.