Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday morning skate

The Mavericks are in Anchorage, Alaska, this weekend to take on the Seawolves in an important WCHA series. This trip will the fourth and final one for Anchorage native Eli Zuck, whose family has traditionally treated the team to a Thursday-night meal. Zuck, a senior center usually playing on the fourth line, has given MSU some real depth down the middle of the lineup. But where he has really shined is on the penalty kill, where the Mavericks have allowed just three goals in their last 16 games.

The Anchorage Daily News, meanwhile, takes a look at another of MSU's Alaska natives, goaltender Stephon Williams, a native of Fairbanks, along with some other notes about this weekend's series. The Seawolves are hoping to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Hoping to see the series? There will be a free video stream of the games on the Seawolves website.

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

Bemidji State at Michigan Tech: The Beavers lost two overtime games at home the last time they played Michigan Tech; now they're hoping to return the favor. For the Huskies, they haven't had a win in WCHA play since that series at Bemidji, going 0-5-3.

North Dakota at Minnesota: This will be the last regular-season meeting between these two teams until who knows when, thanks to the conference breakup coming after the season. Also, word is the Fighting Sioux nickname controversy lingered too long to keep this great 83-year-old rivalry going in the immediate future (or did it?). If and when the two teams play again, will the passion be the same?

Denver at St. Cloud State: After going through a mid-season hiccup, the Pioneers seem to have gotten back on track. For the Huskies, they're struggling to score goals and know fixing that problem won't be easy against a hot goalie.

Minnesota Duluth at Colorado College: Look out for the Bulldogs, who suddenly have thrust themselves into the WCHA race with just one loss in their last eight conference games. The Tigers, meanwhile, have won just one of their last nine WCHA games and are saying that it's now "crunch time."

Miami at Wisconsin: The red-hot Badgers step out of conference play to host the NCHC-bound Redhawks. Last week's Maverick killers are the focus of's weekend preview. Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves must not be a superstitious man, as he's flip-flopping his goalie rotation for this series.

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