Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Short bench: Minnesota State was already missing Rylan Galiardi, who was back in Mankato with an injury. Then, before the game, coach Troy Jutting scratched Mike Louwerse for poor play and gave freshman J.P. Burkemper his first night off. Freshman John McInnis was playing for just the third time this season, and Danny Heath, a freshman D, got moved up to center (he had been playing up front in practice since Galiardi went down) for his second collegiate game. Once Joe Schiller, Chase Grant and Zach Lehrke went out with injuries, that left a pretty small group of forwards to choose from during a one-goal game. "That's as short a bench as I've ever had as a coach," Jutting said. There was a lot of mixing and matching late in the game. Even senior D Kurt Davis played a couple of shifts as a forward.
2. Signs of life: The Mavericks scored two power-play goals in the game, just the second time in 10 games that they have gotten more than one goal with the man advantage. Davis and Eriah Hayes had the goals. Davis fired a slap shot from the center point, and Hayes deflected in a Sackrison shot from the wall. McInnis collected his first collegaite point on Hayes goal. However, UNO coach Dean Blais insisted that Hayes' goal was played with a high stick. It was reviewed -- twice! -- but the overhead camera angle could not confirm a high stick. "We have to get better technology all over the league," Blais said. Jutting said his power play still needs work. "I thought we did a better job with our puck movement at times," he said. "But there are still times when it makes you want to pull your hair out."
3. A little love: Blais had kind words for Minnesota State's play throughout the weekend, echoing words he often said when he was the coach at North Dakota. "Troy Jutting's teams play their hockey just like we do," the UNO coach said. "That's aggressive and honest. There's not one player on their team that cheats or looks for shortcuts." Blais also praised MSU freshmen Chase Grant and Corey Leivermann, both of whom played for Blais when they were with the Fargo Force of the USHL two seasons ago. Blais said Grant from a mucking, grinding player under him to a 30-goal scorer in his second year at Fargo. Leivermann "scored some outstanding goals for me and more last year." Later, "I was surprised with the year they had last year; I'm not surprised by the way they're playing in Mankato.
Read The Free Press story here. Read the Omaha World-Herald story here. See the box score here.