Just rolled into Duluth a bit ago (it's snowing!) and saw that Paul Allan posted the Mavericks' lineup on Twitter. Turns out, MSU is down another defenseman.
Senior D Cameron Cooper is not in the lineup. He sat out of Wednesday's practice with an undisclosed injury but said he'd be good to go this weekend. Apparently that's not the case tonight.
So the Mavericks will put Mike Louwerse on the blue line with Joe Schiller, a pairing of two senior forwards. Schiller has been playing D the last four games, and coach Troy Jutting said he's done a very good job there. He is +2 with two assists in that stretch. Louwerse was listed as a D the second game against UMass-Lowell but lasted less than a period before getting the gate for checking from behind. At the time, Jutting said Louwerse was chosen for that spot because he had the ability to break out the puck from the D zone.
The Mavericks' three other defensemen — Tyler Elbrecht, Brett Stern and Danny Heath — are back in Mankato nursing various ailments. It sounds like Stern is close to returning. Elbrecht should return sometime in December. Heath might be out for awhile.
Meanwhile, with Louwerse on defense, Corey Leivermann will play wing on the fourth line, with Justin Jokinen moving to center.
Here are Minnesota State's lines tonight:
Adam Mueller - Eli Zuck - Michael Dorr
J.P. Burkemper - Zach Lehrke - Eriah Hayes
Jean-Paul LaFontaine - Matt Leitner - Max Gaede
Johnny McInnis - Justin Jokinen - Corey Leivermann
Mike Louwerse - Joe Schiller
Zach Palmquist - Evan Mosey
Josh Nelson - Mat Knoll
Be sure to come back later for tonight's live chat. We'll see how those D hold up against the champs.