Saturday, December 3, 2011

Minnesota 3, Minnesota State 2

Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game:

1. Digging a hole: Minnesota State fell behind 3-0 in the first period Saturday, and it tried to mount a comeback from there. But this wasn't Alaska-Anchorage. The Gophers made the Mavericks work. Zach Lehrke scored two power play goals — one in the second period and one in the third — but that was as close as MSU would get. Jean-Paul LaFontaine assisted on both MSU goals.

2. Can't make it up: Lehrke probably needed a hat trick to make up for his first-minute penalty, one that Mavericks coach Troy Jutting called "stupid," "dumb" and "selfish" in separate statements. Forty seconds into the game, Lehrke hit Minnesota's Erik Haula after the whistle and was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Seth Ambroz scored on the power play to give the Gophers the early lead. "I just got frustrated, I guess, with Haula," Lehrke said. "Even last night he was getting in my head a little bit. I just gotta control that."

3. Breaking away: The Mavericks missed out on two breakaway chances Saturday and ended up 0 for 5 for the weekend in that category. With the game 1-0, Gophers goalie Kent Patterson gloved a shot by Justin Jokinen, and when it was 3-1 late in the second, Patterson made a nice play to get his blocker on Matt Leitner's open rush. Patterson finished the game with 26 saves.

Deep thought: MSU goaltender Austin Lee (37 saves) played much better than he did on Friday, and made an amazing save in the second period, as Kyle Rau fired a shot that hit the right post then the left before Lee reached behind his back while spinning around to swat the puck away. Good stuff.

Quote of the night: "I'm worried about the next game. The winless streak, with the things that have gone on with our hockey team this year, don't bother me. We just played an excellent hockey team two nights in a row in their building and battled them to the end both nights. We're getting better." — MSU coach Troy Jutting on the Mavericks' seven-game winless streak.

Around the WCHA: Nebraska Omaha 6, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Minnesota Duluth 5, Michigan Tech 3 ... Bemidji State 3, St. Cloud State 1 ... North Dakota at Alaska Anchorage (late)


MSU Grad 97 said...

MSU does look better, but they still have a lot of work to do on the defense side of things. Next year with their recruits and Grant coming back should make things much better offensively, but I am resigned to the fact that this year the one Freshman line that can score will not be enough. Next year with two lines who can really score, they'll really have a chance of winning those types of games.

That being said, I don't think the Gophers are as good as many others. They could have easily piled it on, and instead they did their best Vikings impression and let MSU back in the game. Some credit definitely goes to Lee figuring things out and the Freshman Line getting on top of things, but that was not a #5 team, and definitely not a former #1 team. Top 20 certainly, but this MSU team should not really have much of a chance in a visiting building of a top 10 team, especially when down 3-0 after one period.

Dave said...

I hope the Mavericks abandon this trap style hockey where they live and die by the breakaways. I will agree that the Gophers allowed the Mavs to stay in the games this weekend but I don't care for how MSU is playing right now at all. And what is with the chippy crap every time we play the Gophers? Just play the game and the rest will take care of itself. Last night was like watching Coach Bombay and the Ducks trying to draw penalties. I don't mean to offend but this is just how I saw the game happen.

hockeyfan said...

As you all know I love the freshman but they need to learn D in their own zone. Two of top freshman are -10 and -8. Not good. I loved the chippiness. Elbrecht last year drew them into a penalty with four minutes left which hurt Minn chances to beat us and yesterday drew an extra. This team needs to play chippy ( chippy does not mean stupid, there is a time place and way you go about it, and not everyone can do it)but only if they stay out of the box unless they are drawing extra on the other team. We still need Stern to round out the D. We are headed in the right direction. I think we are going to have a great second half. Go Mavs.