Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Long shot: Yes, the Mavericks are a long shot to win this 2 vs. 11 matchup and get to the Final Five, but it was the long shot that did them in. Not to fault Austin Lee, who was outstanding with 34 saves, but Brady Lamb's 60-foot-floater redirected off an MSU defender and into the net at 11:58 of the third period for the game-winning goal. Lee said all three of Duluth's goals "hit something" or "got tipped." (UMD's fourth goal was an empty-netter.) Lamb also scored from the blue line on a shot that went through some traffic in front of Lee. That put the Bulldogs up 2-0. J.T. Brown scored the game's first goal midway through the first.
2. Solid second: The Mavericks scored a pair of second-period goals that tied the game 2-2. Max Gaede shot in a fat rebound off a Mike Dorr shot with Mike Louwerse also assisting, and Joe Schiller caught a break with 45 seconds left as his low-angle shot from the wall slipped between goalie Kenny Reiter's pads. Reiter finished with 26 seconds. Also in the second period, Lee stopped UMD's Keegan Flaherty on a penalty shot. Flaherty was slashed by Schiller on a short-handed breakaway and was awarded the shot. He didn't make much of a move on his penalty shot, firing a low wrister from the hash marks that Lee stopped with his pad.
3. Not so healthy: Minnesota State played without top-line center Zach Lehrke, who was out with an upper-body injury, related to something that happened a week ago at North Dakota. He practiced much of the week but was held out of the game. While Austin Lee was going to be the starter, Phil Cook was not available as his backup after straining his back during practice this week. Cook did not make the trip, and Evan Karambelas moved up to the No. 2 spot. Louwerse replaced Lehrke on the top line with Dorr and Gaede.
Deep thought: How's this for a stat? This is the first even-numbered year since 2002 that the Mavericks haven't won their opening playoff game. In '04, '06, '08 and '10, they won the Friday-night game in overtime, only to lose the next two games. If MSU wins on Saturday, a third game will be played on Sunday.
Around the WCHA: Minnesota 2, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... St. Cloud State 4, Nebraska Omaha 0 ... North Dakota 4, Bemidji State 1 ... Wisconsin 1, Denver 0 ... Michigan Tech 3, Colorado College 1 (Wisconsin and Michigan Tech were road winners)