Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The Mavericks left Mankato this morning for their series at UMass-Lowell. Unfortunately, PucKato is not on the trip but should be well-rested in time for the team's long-awaited return home. Here are a few notes going into the nonconference series:

• MSU is fully healthy for the first time since the first night of the season, as freshman forward Chase Grant is back in the lineup.

Grant missed the last two games with a lower-body injury. Team captain Rylan Galiardi missed five games before that, and defenseman Evan Mosey was injured on opening night and missed the next five games.

"This might be the first time we've had everybody," coach Troy Jutting said. "It's tough, especially when we went with a 26-man roster this year, versus 27 or 28. Twenty-six is the perfect number -- if everybody's healthy."

Said Grant: "I feel incredible. I've been itching to get back out there. I feel good."

• MSU freshman forward John McInnis is a Boston native and will be in the lineup Friday at Lowell, which is located a little more than 30 miles north of Massachusetts' capital. McInnis said he hasn't played near home in about three years. He spent the last two seasons in Canada, playing for the Okotoks Oilers of the Albert Junior Hockey League. McInnis was the Oilers' team MVP last year, scoring 42 goals and 73 points. He has two assists in five game this year. "I'm pretty pumped," said McInnis, who expects to have several family members at the two games.

• Minnesota State is 1-2 all-time against Lowell, but all three of those games took place in the late 70s/early 80s when the two schools were Division II powers. All of those meetings took place in the national tournament, with the Mavericks' lone win coming during the 1980 NCAA semifinals. They would go on to win the national championship.

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