Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday morning skate (updated)

It's hockey day!

The puck drops on the college season today with Minnesota State playing at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the country's 18th-ranked team. Sadly, PucKato will not be in Troy, N.Y., for the games but will try to give you the best coverage it can in spite of being 1,300 miles away.

Getting started, the Mavericks are counting on more production from their forwards, especially knowing they no longer have Kurt Davis and Ben Youds to put up the points. Davis led the team in scoring last year and was tied for the team lead as a sophomore. In between, Youds sat atop the points list. But do they have forwards to carry the load? Senior Mike Louwerse thinks so.

As for tonight's game against the Engineers, the Mavericks' lines will look similar to the way they did in Monday's exhibition game, which they won 3-1. Here are the expected lines:


Extra: McInnis


Extra: Stern

UPDATE: Lee is listed ahead of Cook on the line chart, posted online by MSU this morning and will be the starter tonight. Coach Troy Jutting didn't commit to a starting goaltender on Wednesday but suspected both Lee and Phil Cook would play this weekend. It might depend on Lee's performance tonight.

As for RPI, the Engineers were an NCAA team last year but lost some top-end scoring and goaltending. They're looking to fill those spots.

Going around the WCHA ...

Michigan Tech hosts American International, Bemidji State is at Miami, Wisconsin hosts Northern Michigan and Minnesota hosts Sacred Heart all in two-game series.

The series of the week, though, is in Duluth where Minnesota Duluth will play its first game as defending national champions, and get a tough matchup against No. 1 Notre Dame, the team it beat the Frozen Four semifinals.

In tournament action ...

North Dakota will host the Icebreaker, playing Air Force today and either Boston College or Michigan State on Saturday. Lots of good coverage on the tournament and North Dakota hockey here.

Nebraska-Omaha will host the Maverick Stampede, playing Mercyhurst today and either Robert Morris or Colgate on Saturday.

St. Cloud State is in Alaska for Alaska-Anchorage's Kendall Hockey Classic. The Huskies will play Alaska today and Alaska-Anchorage in a nonconference game on Saturday. Anchorage starts off with Clarkson.

Denver and Colorado College will each play one exhibition game against the U.S. Under-18 Team.

Check out WCHA previews by College Hockey News and USCHO.

1 comment:

Sam said...

What's the reasoning for Joe Schiller centering the top line? Does it have more to do with the fact that he's a veteran, playing on a veteran line? Or is it simply because the chemistry seems pretty good (so far) across the other three lines? Just curious.