Student tickets were distributed on Wednesday, and there seems to be a little more buzz about this weekend's Minnesota State men's hockey home opener than there was for the Mavericks' exhibition game a couple of weeks ago.
Hockey is definitely on the mind now that MSU has played a couple of games, getting that win and tie at Alabama Huntsville last weekend. In my Wednesday Free Press column, I wrote about how that series was just the first step it Mike Hastings' attempt to change the culture of the program. No easy task but one that seems to be taking place.
As for this weekend's series against RPI, the Mavericks appear to be healthier than they were a week ago. Freshman Dylan Margonari and senior Eli Zuck will be back in the lineup, which should help bolster the middle of MSU lineup. Margonari has been skating with Eriah Hayes and Jean-Paul LaFontaine in practice this week, and during his radio show on Wednesday night, Hastings said the group has been dominant.
Looking ahead to Friday, I will have a feature story in the Free Press on Chase Grant's triumphant return to the MSU lineup after missing nearly all of last season with an injury and subsequent surgery.