Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday morning skate

The Mavericks look to break their three-game slide and six-game winless streak in WCHA play when they travel to St. Cloud State today. After this weekend's series, Minnesota State will have just one road weekend left in the regular season.

Speaking of the "road," junior center Joe Schiller has endured quite a journey as an MSU hockey player, going from forward to defense and back to forward. But, it appears, he's found himself an important role on this team. As for the rest of the team, injuries forced the Mavs to make some lineup changes last Saturday in Madison. Coach Troy Jutting said everyone has been cleared to play this weekend but there could still be some changes. Read the Freep's series preview here.

As for the Huskies, "grillmaster" Jordy Christian has helped spark the team's offense. St. Cloud has won six games in a row, dating back to a tournament championship in Florida.

Going around the rest of the WCHA:

Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota: For the Gophers, they are seeing the domino affect of a goalie going down with injury (the story is similar to the 01-02 Mavs). At the other end of the ice, the Gophers have been instructed to attack the net. ... For the Seawolves, they have their sights on getting home ice in the WCHA playoffs for the first time in their history.

Wisconsin at Michigan Tech: The Badgers are playing well defensively (see last weekend's games against MSU) but a couple of players would like to break out of their goal-scoring slumps. Andy Baggot also has a Q&A with the team's top goal scorer, Craig Smith. ... As for the Huskies, they are trying to find some bright spots in what's now a 20-game winless streak.

North Dakota at Colorado College: The Grand Forks Herald takes a look at North Dakota's top defensive defensemen, both of whom bring a bit of a football mentality to the rink. ... Meanwhile, the Tigers' Tyler Johnson is enjoying a standout senior season, thanks, in part, to a pair of freshmen on his line.

Alabama-Huntsville at Nebraska-Omaha: Omaha is the next stop on the independent Chargers' WCHA tour. While it's a nonconference series for UNO, the red Mavs are looking to gain momentum after last weekend's split at North Dakota.

Off the beats, USCHO takes a look at this weekend's MSU-St. Cloud State series. ... Inside College Hockey also sees St. Cloud starting to make a move.

Be sure to check back later tonight for PucKato's live blog during the Mavericks-Huskies game.

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