Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday morning skate

In honor of Veterans Day, the Mavericks
will be wearing this sticker on their helmets.
There will be real, live hockey in Mankato tonight! It's been awhile, more than a month. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the Mavericks play a game for the first time since that rather dreadful Lowell series. Talking to a few players, they would love nothing more than to give a better performance to the home fans, especially against rival St. Cloud State.

A couple of notes from today's Free Press gameday preview: The Mavs are getting healthier, and J.P. Burkemper and Max Gaede each likely will play a game this weekend. ... Austin Lee, who ranks second in the WCHA in save percentage, is the likely starter in goal. ... Michael Dorr scored his first goal last weekend and, by all accounts, had good chemistry on a line with his old high school teammate, Adam Mueller.

Meanwhile, this week's story is about the emergence of the Minnesota State freshmen — specifically Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Zach Palmquist and Matt Leitner — who rank 1-2-3 in scoring for the Mavericks.

As for St. Cloud State, the Huskies are led in goal scoring by junior forward Ben Hanowski, an outdoorsman who can shoot the puck, too. The team's top point man, Drew LeBlanc, is out after suffering a broken leg last weekend. St. Cloud Times beat writer Mick Hatten also has a column about friend-of-college-hockey Cathy St. Martin, who has hopes of singing the National Anthem in every WCHA rink before the conference breaks up in two years.

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

Minnesota at Wisconsin: The WCHA's Big 10 schools meet with the Gophers ranked No. 1. Part of the reason for Minnie's success is freshman Kyle Rau, who already has eight goals and 15 points. As for the Badgers, they're mixing things up with their freshman goaltenders. Also, having Minnesota in Madison should be a boost to Wisco's dwindling attendance.

Alaska Anchorage at Minnesota Duluth: The Seawolves have stumbled at the start of the WCHA schedule, but it gets no easier with a trip to face the defending national champs. As for the Bulldogs, they're not afraid to make some mid-game adjustments if things go south early. It worked last weekend at Denver.

Nebraska-Omaha at Bemidji State: The red Mavericks head to northern Minnesota to face the team that gave them fits all year long in both teams' first season in the WCHA. The Beavers went 5-0-1 against UNO last year. Like clockwork, of course, the folks in Bemidji say last year was last year and aren't concerned about what happened in '10-11.

Check out more on the WCHA on College Hockey News, USCHO and Inside College Hockey.

A couple of other items: Don't forget to check back on the blog tonight for a live chat during tonight's Mavericks-Huskies game and follow me on Twitter @puckato for any updates or ramblings during the day. Finally, the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey silent auction will begin at 5 p.m. tonight at the Verizon Wireless Center.

1 comment:

Hockey25 said...

Is there anyway we can buy those stickers they are wearing on their helmets?