Sunday, October 7, 2012

Minnesota State 7, Lethbridge 1 (exhibition)

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. A little chemistry: Matt Leitner led the Mavericks in assists and points last season playing most of the year with Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Eriah Hayes. On Sunday, he was placed between Chase Grant and freshman Bryce Gervais (pictured) and showed that he can dish the puck to anybody. Leitner finished with a goal and three assists. Gervais, "a pure goal scorer," according to his new center, finished with two goals and an assist. Grant, back from a medical redshirt season, had two assists. "Obviously when you see a group have some chemistry like 9 (Gervais), 18 (Leitner) and 21 (Grant) had ... it's very positive," coach Mike Hastings said.

2. How good a test? The game was tied 1-1 after one period, but the Mavericks dominated after that. They scored seven unanswered goals and outshot the Pronghorns 65-10 for the game. Goalie Phil Cook stopped five of six shots in the first period. Evan Karambelas got the win, stopping just three shots in the second period. And freshman Stephon Williams had to make just one save in the third, as the Mavericks had a 29-1 advantage over the final 20 minutes. "We have a long ways to go," Hastings said. "I like that we played for 60 minutes, especially the way we finished. Obviously, our power play needs a lot of work." Johnny McInnis scored the lone power play goal. The Mavericks were 1 for 5 with the advantage with 21 shots on net.

3. Quiet crowd: Early October hockey is often a tough sell. Probably tougher when it's an exhibition game at 5 p.m. on a lovely fall Sunday and right in the middle of the now-4-1 Vikings game. No one should be shocked that a crowd of just 1,222 was announced. Still, I thought there would be more students in the crowd as well as more people who wanted to check out Hastings' first game behind the bench. There were a lot of young hockey players there who got free tickets for the game during this weekend's tryouts. The Mavs will be off to Alabama Huntsville next weekend and will return to Mankato Oct. 19-20 to take on RPI.

Deep thought: Freshman Dylan Margonari left the game in the second period with what appeared to be a painful leg injury. Hastings did not have a status report after the game, but Margonari, who scored a pretty goal earlier in the second period, was seen leaving the rink after the game on his own power. It did not appear to be a serious injury.

Read The Free Press game story here.

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