The Mavericks are out east for a nonconference series against UMass-Lowell. Both teams have two wins and are trying to get out of a losing funk. Minnesota State has lost four in a row, while Lowell has lost seven of its last eight games.
Minnesota State is coming off its first idle week of the season, and it's hoping that the break can give it a boost. "We needed it bad," junior defenseman Cameron Cooper said.
After going 0 for 14 on the power play at Denver, the Mavericks are changing things up, just as coach Troy Jutting promised. Jutting wouldn't go into too many details but said defensemen Ben Youds and Kurt Davis will be placed together on the power play (each usually ran his own), while Cooper and Justin Jokinen will get their chance.
"And we're changing the kind of power play we're running," Jutting said. "It hasn't been working the way it was, so we're going to try a couple different things."
Also, freshman defenseman Josh Nelson is in the lineup, replacing Evan Mosey. Mosey is on the trip and available but the coaches clearly want to see more from him. Zach Lehrke is the extra forward on the trip. Players not on the trip include: Leivermann, Peterson, Heath and Karambelas. After practice Wednesday, Jutting said he hadn't decided on his starter in goal. He did suspect that both would play in the series, though.
Read more on the series here and here.
A few other interesting items from around the WCHA:
• This will be the last year of the College Hockey Showcase, which features Minnesota and Wisconsin vs. Michigan and Michigan State ever year. It appears this is setting the stage for the Big Ten hockey conference. The real news of this story is that the WCHA is already planning for the loss of its Big Ten members and will be helping those schools out with their schedules. Meanwhile, Madison's Andy Baggot opines that the Big Ten won't kill college hockey.
• North Dakota will host Notre Dame this weekend but it's the WCHA's UND that features one of the country's top goal scorers.
• There is only one WCHA series this weekend, as Alaska Anchorage goes to Colorado College. For the Tigers, seniors Stephen Schultz has been on a roll.
• In nonconference play, Denver will host Lake Superior and Bemidji State will host Northern Michigan.