Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday morning skate

Minnesota State will play its first two-game series at home since January 11-12 when it hosts Michigan Tech tonight and Saturday. The Mavericks are coming off their sweep at Minnesota Duluth and appear to be making little, if any, changes to their lineup from last weekend. Michigan Tech split a home series against Alaska Anchorage a week ago and defeated nonconference rival and future WCHA member Northern Michigan on Tuesday. In those three games, the Huskies have scored 18 goals, seven on the power play.

Getting to the previews, Matt Leitner leads the Mavericks in scoring, just as he did last year as reshirt freshman, and is the first 30-point scorer for MSU since the 2008-09 season, but the real improvement in his play this season may be in areas that don't show up on the score sheet. As for the series, check out The Free Press' 5-hole preview for some odds and ends to know going into the weekend.

Stephen Anderson of The Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton, Mich., covers Tech, and suspects the Mavericks and Huskies match up pretty well against each other.

More links: Former MSU Reporter writer Dan Myers has a good article on Teddy Blueger in Minnesota Hockey Magazine. ... The Mavericks were College Hockey News' Team of the Week this week.

Going around the WCHA ... 

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: The series highlight will be Sunday's outdoor game at Soldier Field, but the teams are trying to focus on tonight's opener in Madison first, not to mention improving their game for WCHA playoff position. Go here if you want to see the special jerseys the teams (including Notre Dame and Miami in the other game) are wearing for the outdoor game. My 2 cents? I rank them: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Miami.

Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State: This is a series against two teams that haven't won in awhile. The Beavers' last win came on Dec. 15, and they're 0-9-3 since then and have only the ties to feel good about, while the Bulldogs are on a five-game losing streak with their last win coming Jan. 18.

Nebraska Omaha at Alaska Anchorage: The red Mavericks are in third place in the WCHA but feel like they need to sweep the Seawolves this weekend to maintain their position and start moving back up the Pairwise. Despite their record, Jordan Kwas and Anchorage have been swept at home just once this season.

Be sure to check up on the blog or Twitter throughout the day for any updates on this weekend's games. I'll of course be live blogging from the Verizon Wireless Center tonight and Saturday.

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