Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Blocked from advancing: The Mavericks hadn't been shut out all season, and they've been a strong third-period team — one of the best in terms of goals scored — all year as well. So when they were down 1-0 after two periods, it was easy to think they were in the game. But coach Mike Hastings has praised Miami's defensive play all week, and the Redhawks were stifling. Blocking 28 shots for the game, Miami shutdown MSU's high-flying forwards and prolific power play, and Ryan McKay became the first goalie to shut out the Mavericks in nearly 13 months. McKay saw just four shots in the final period, and the first didn't get to him until the frame was 12 minutes old.
2. Major pain: Sometimes a team can gain a bunch of momentum from killing off a five-minute major. Other times, it comes with a cost. Coach Mike Hastings said the first-period kill of Evan Mosey's kneeing penalty "sapped some of our energy." The penalty ended up injuring Miami's Jimmy Mullins, perhaps badly, but it was more misfortune than anything. A minor for interference maybe? But not a major and certainly not a game misconduct. Mosey got the gate, and the Mavericks played with five D the rest of the way. That was the Mavericks' only penalty of the game. Speaking of special teams, Minnesota State finished 0 for 4 on the power play but got just two shots to McKay.
3. Senior salute: More on this to come down the line (Monday's paper), but it's amazing what a difference a year makes. One year ago this weekend, Troy Jutting was dismissed from coaching at Minnesota State, reassigned to another department. On Saturday, the Mavericks were playing in the national tournament. Hastings is a big reason for that turnaround, but the job the seniors did in turning things around can't be overlooked. Eriah Hayes and Tyler Elbrecht, especially, put the team on their backs and should be proud of their final season. I liken it to the old camping motto: Leave it better than you found it. They did that this year.
Read The Free Press game story (and more) here.