Freddy's three thoughts of the game:
1. They let them off the hook! Minnesota State should have won three, maybe four points against Denver this weekend but it simply couldn't put the sixth-ranked Pioneers away. On Friday, the Mavericks led 4-3 with 1:47 to play and ended up setting for an overtime tie. On Saturday, they were up 3-0 early in the second period, and Denver scored four unanswered goals, including Dustin Jackson's wide-open shot in front of goalie Phil Cook just 21 seconds into overtime and lost. In this stretch of good play -- now 8-3-1 in their last 12 games -- the Mavericks couldn't close out two of the WCHA's best teams, North Dakota and Denver, and got one point in those four home games when they should have gotten five or six.
2. Not enough goals? The theme all around the locker rooms after the game was not the comeback as much as it was the Mavericks' failed scoring opportunities early in the third period. Michael Dorr put a 2-on-1 shot right into the belly of goalie Adam Murray, and John McInnis and Justin Jokinen fired wide on rushes when shots on net could have resulted in goals, rebounds, sustained pressure, etc. Dorr, Troy Jutting and DU coach George Gwozdecky all agreed that there would have been no comeback had the Mavericks been able to make it 4-1. As it turned out, the Pioneers went "all in" and talented freshmen Nick Shore and Jason Zucker scored two minutes apart to tie the game by the 13:31 mark of the third period.
3. Dangerous (as usual) but how deadly? The loss dropped the Mavericks to a tie for 10th place in the WCHA standings but Gwozdecky called them "a terrific team that deserved" to be on a hot streak. "They gave us all they wanted and more throughout the weekend," he said. "We were very fortunate." Cook was solid in goal, and Chase Grant, Channing Boe and Eriah Hayes had goals on Saturday to cap good weekends. But Minnesota State doesn't have a Jason Zucker or the Shore brothers or even an Anthony Maiani right now. There's no doubt that opponents will respect MSU over the rest of the season, starting next week with Wisconsin, but can the Mavericks score some big wins over the rest of the season and avoid a playoff series at Denver or North Dakota?
See Saturday's box score here.