Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elbrecht likely to play against Gophers

Minnesota State junior defenseman and co-captain Tyler Elbrecht survived his first full-contact practice since early October on Monday, as well as the rest of the week, and it appears he'll be in the lineup Friday against fifth-ranked Minnesota.

The Gopher series was Elbrecht's target weekend since breaking his arm in the first game of the year against RPI, even if doctors, trainers and coaches were a little skeptical that it might happen.

Even Wednesday, coach Troy Jutting said he would have liked to have given Elbrecht another week of practice to get his legs ready for game action. But 1) the Mavericks need him in the lineup (see below) and 2) this is a pretty important WCHA weekend.

Elbrecht's return will be a huge boost for the Mavericks. For one thing, it will be the return of the team's emotional leader. But also all still is not rosy on the injury front as defenseman Brett Stern re-aggravated  his upper-body injury and likely is out until after Christmas, and defenseman Danny Heath remains out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

As for other injuries, forward Adam Mueller practiced this week and appears set to play again after missing Saturday's game against Alaska Anchorage.

A few other items ...

Minnesota's hockey sports information guy Paul Rovnak asked me to contribute to a little Q&A about this weekend's series. You can read that here.

Later today or tomorrow you should check out Star Tribune beat writer Roman Augustoviz's blog where, once again, he has challenged me in a WCHA pick-'em contest. Currently, Roman has some notes on this weekend's series from Wednesday's media session at the U.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Hallelujah! The Mavs desperately need Elbrecht back on defense, especially against a potent offense like the Gophers. Elbrecht is by far MSU's best all-around defensemen, and is a warrior on the ice. Can't wait to see him taking charge against the Gophers this weekend!