|Janet Hostetter/The Associated Press|
1. Kill joy: The Mavericks allowed three power-play goals to the Gophers and are now a paltry .676 on the penalty kill for the season. A big problem on Friday night was an inability to clear the zone when they had chances. Players fanned on pucks and bobbled passes. Minnesota State had leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the game-tying (Nate Schmidt) and game-winning (Zach Budish) goals both came after MSU had chances to get the puck to neutral ice and setting things down. Schmidt fired a rocket shot past Phil Cook, using the 6-3, 214-pound Budish as a screen. Budish's goal was a rebound goal on Kyle Rau's second assist of the game.
2. More Blueger, please: Minnesota State freshman Teddy Blueger put the Mavericks up 2-1 in the second period, finishing off a greasy scramble in front of Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox. It was a fourth-line goal with the Penguins second-round draft pick getting assists from linemates Zach Lehrke and Max Gaede, but it will be interesting to see where Blueger is skating in Saturday's rematch. Here's what coach Mike Hastings had to say about him: "I thought Teddy was good tonight, not only offensive but defensively,” Hastings said. “I think I’ve got to find a way to get him more ice. I thought he was good hockey player tonight, and (he’ll get) a little more ice tomorrow.”
3. Next step, a win? All in all, it was a better performance from the Mavericks than they had a week ago at St. Cloud State. Zach Palmquist finished off a pretty play from Jean-Paul LaFontaine for the game's first goal, snapping a three-game streak without a power-play goal. And as Hastings said, the "compete was better." The Gophers agreed. Said Schmidt: "(The Mavericks) play extremely hard. We knew before the game they had a tough weekend at St. Cloud. We knew they would come in and play hard and play tough." Still, after starting the season 2-0-2, the Mavericks are now 0-3-0 in WCHA play.
Read The Free Press game story here.
Up next: The Mavericks and the Gophers will play again on Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.
Around the WCHA: Nebraska-Omaha 2, Michigan Tech 1 ... Colorado College 5, Wisconsin 4 (OT) ... North Dakota 4, Boston University 2 ... St. Cloud State 3, Denver 0