Coach Troy Jutting heaped praise on his defensemen, as only five played against the Seawolves due to injury. Three of those players were freshmen. Jutting cited rookie Zach Palmquist's amazing pass to Michael Dorr for Saturday's game-winning breakaway goal, as well as the continued improved play of Brett Stern and Mat Knoll. He added that junior Tyler Elbrecht and Evan Mosey had good weekends, too, and that Elbrecht played a lot of minutes.
Elbrecht, I started to think, could be the Mavericks' MVP this season. When he was out of the lineup with a broken arm, Minnesota State (which had suffered several other injuries around the same time) went 2-10-1 (2-7-1 in WCHA). With him, the Mavericks are 10-9-0 (6-8-0).
Could that be the difference between 10th place and competing for home ice with four games remaining in the season? It's one factor, for sure.
You might not expect a defensive defenseman with three assists to get that nod but it's a thought. Of course, there are other good candidates, too, including Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Eriah Hayes.