Friday, December 7, 2012

Mavericks 3, Seawolves 1

Pat Christman/The Free Press
Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. First responders: For the first time in their winning streak — now at five games — the Mavericks' opponent scored the first goal of the game. Anchorage's Matt Bailey scored on somewhat of an excuse-me shot between goalie Stephon Williams' shoulder and the right post just 1:49 into the game. Was this the start of the wheels coming off? Nope. Minnesota State tied the game on the power play just 70 seconds later (an Eriah Hayes redirect ... changed after the game, it was announced as a Zach Palmquist goal) and ground out the win from there.

2. Nice to Knowles: Freshman forward Brett Knowles scored his first college goal, putting MSU up 3-1 at 4:42 of the second period. While it seems like the Vanderhoof, B.C., native has had a quiet start, he's done many good things. Going into the game, he had five assists, led the Mavericks in plus-minus and has proven to be quite the backchecker and penalty killer. "They've given me the opportunity to kill penalties, and I enjoy it," he said. "It's a big part of the game. I try to take pride in killing penalties." But it had to be nice to score the goal, too. He had chances before that, including earlier Friday when he had a partial breakaway stymied when a defender lifted his stick off the puck at the last second.

3. Goalie stories: The Mavericks outshot the Seawolves 40-21 and had no easy time getting the puck past Anchorage's Chris Kamal, who made a couple of highlight saves (two on Dylan Margonari). Hayes had a deflection and Knowles scored on a rebound, as did Johnny McInnis (pictured), whose score with 4:36 left in the first period ended up as the game-winning goal. But it was Williams, once again, who came out with the win. The MSU rookie stopped 20 shots, including a couple of timely ones among his nine saves in the third period. Williams has allowed just six goals in the last five games.

Deep thought: Not quite at the halfway point of the WCHA season and the Mavericks are in a tie for fourth place, just one out of third, yet just 3,041 attended Friday's game. Hey, the Verizon Wireless Center might just be the place to warm up after the big MSU football game on Saturday.

Read my Free Press game story here.

Around the WCHA: Minnesota Duluth 4, Bemidji State 2 ... Michigan Tech 1, Wisconsin 1 (OT) ... Denver 2, North Dakota 2 (OT) ... Nebraska Omaha 6, St. Cloud State 5 ... Minnesota 4, Colorado College 2


VoiceOfReason said...

The fans in Mankato should be embarrassed. For years, all they've complained about it how the team doesn't win, the team needs a new coach, etc.

Well, the team is winning. The team has a new coach. And still only 3,000 people show up.

The people in Mankato should be ashamed of themselves. No wonder the NCHC has no interest in taking Minnesota State.

BIGhkyfan said...

Good points and perhaps one needs to look at the root cause - the Athletic Program as it relates to Mens Ice Hockey.

Was talking with some Blue Line Club members last night and they made some interesting observations about the program in general.

1. Pep Band, here today, gone tomorrow.

2. Teddy Bear Toss? Who knew!

3. Home team penalty and they play music bashing our guy!

4. Big Bobber section - EMPTY

This next one blew me away.

5. Senior Night Jan 5th. School closed for the Holidays vs a non-conference team.

That simply shows a complete lack of respect for your senior class who we ALL know have endeared a lot these past 4 years. As least Jutt's respected his seniors!!! Considering that, what a fitting send-off.

Until those running the program change their ways, attendance results will continue to be a challenge.

Maybe the Blue Line Club members should be consulted as they have a much better read on what is needed in addition to winning.

Oh to better results.


MSU Grad 97 said...

Not saying this would have boosted the attendance that much, but the Winona State basketball game on the same night? Only the last 5 NSIC baskeball games are on different nights, and I think that is killing some of the interest in both sports. I know I would love to go to both, and when it alternates weekends, there is always something fun to do around here. Need to use some pull with these league officials and see if something can be done about this.

Yes, the band needs more than just the 6 games they have scheduled, and I understand it has to do something about charging to play. The lady DJ has no excuse, and I know the athletic department has talked to her about it. If she doesn't know the game, replace her. Maybe someone should go up to her (end of section 205) and comment as soon as she does something like that; maybe then she'll understand how embarrassing it is and should be to her.

Shane Frederick said...

A couple of conflicting thoughts on attendance/atmosphere ...

Between hockey and basketball, more than 5,000 people were at two MSU events last night. In a town of 50K, that's 10% of your population. In a media/business market of 100K, that 5%. That's a lot.

Still, I believe more has to be done to build up hockey as "the thing to do" again. Get the band here every night, invest in the building, etc.

But I also agree with VoR that the people who were talking the talk on a coaching change last year need to walk the walk this year and show up.

hockeyfan said...

I agree about the DJ. Get someone who knows hockey. I also agree about senior weekend. Your asking parents from far away to travel to Mankato at the worst time of year weather wise not counting the lack of attendence. Why can't this be put off until the last home stand? I also agree that people who wanted all the changes need to get out to games and bring some friends with them. I also didn't know it was teddy bear toss night. The team has come a long way but the administration part needs to catch up. Is it really that hard to have a pep band at every game? Get high schools to do it if MSU can't .