Friday, March 22, 2013

The waiting game

Minnesota State will head back to Mankato on Friday (as will I), following its loss to Wisconsin in the opening game of the WCHA Final Five.

After the game, coach Mike Hastings said the team would take Friday off and practice on Saturday with the (very likely) hopes of getting selected to the NCAA tournament on Sunday night (selection show at 8 p.m. on ESPNU). The Mavericks remain 12th in the Pairwise Rankings.

Nothing really new on the injury front since the end of MSU's game. If there was good news, it came before Thursday's nightcap between North Dakota and Colorado College. That's when Stephon Williams (upper body) was introduced, along with the WCHA's other major award winners — Hastings, Drew LeBlanc, Nick Jensen (Ryan Walters wasn't there)— and participated in the ceremonial puck drop.

Chase Grant and Eli Zuck both left the game early with lower-body injuries, and there was a lot of room on the Mavericks' bench by game's end.

As for more coverage on the MSU-Wisconsin game, check out the Wisconsin State Journal story here.

Like Wisconsin, Colorado College kept its season alive by upsetting North Dakota in overtime on Thursday night, Friday's semifinals will feature Wisconsin vs. St. Cloud State and Colorado College vs. Minnesota. Everyone's curious to see if all of the North Dakota fans in town will stick around for the rest of the weekend.

In other news ...

The Hobey Baker Award top 10 was announced on Thursday, and the field includes four WCHA players: St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc, Nebraska Omaha's Ryan Walters and North Dakota's Danny Kristo and Corban Knight. See the rest of the list here.

On Saturday, there will be two announcements, likely the unveiling of next season's Minnesota Cup tournament and the decision on where next year's WCHA championship weekend will take place.

Eriah Hayes scored his 20th goal of the season on Thursday, becoming the first MSU player to do that since Mick Berge had 20 in 2007-08. Matt Leitner recorded his 30th assist in the game, becoming the first Maverick to hit that number since Grant Stevenson and Shane Joseph each had 36 helpers in 2002-03.


puckluck said...

I'm over here in Wisco and (unfortunately) watched the game with some Bucky Boys. I think I got beat up nearly as bad as Williams did.

Wisco had more to play for, but that really was a dreadful start by the Mavs. Turnovers just killed them. Gotta stop that bad habit for the NCAA's.

BIGhkyfan said...


Has the question been asked why a SR D who leads the D in +- and plays well against WCHA teams is a "healthy scratch"?

Shane Frederick said...


First of all, I have to say I always appreciate your questions and your comments on the blog.

However, if this is a continuation of the four-years-running debate about Evan Mosey's place in the Mavericks lineup (always anonymous comments that never name the player in question, I might add), I can say this from the questions I've asked of coaches and have tried to answer on the live blog ...

This is and has been a debate about the team's 5th-6th-7th defenseman. It's a tenuous position to begin with, just as it is for the fourth forward line. At the end of the week, somebody's going to play and somebody's going to sit.

I feel for the bubble guys, I really do, because they can be in the lineup one day and out the next, and depending on how their replacement plays, it might be awhile before they see the ice again.

Mosey had a rough game on Friday night against Omaha, even if that didn't show up in +/- (an overrated stat, most of the time). Gave up some chances, took a bad penalty late in the second period that led to a PPG. He was replaced by Buchanan the next night. Buchanan did all right that game and, in my opinion, was very good, played a smart, simple game, on Sunday. He deserved to stay in the lineup.

Obviously, Buchanan had a bad start and a tough day against the Badgers (all of the D did, it appeared), but you can't dress scratches between periods.

What will happen going forward? Not sure. It might depend on how both of those players, if not all the D, practice this week.

As for how many questions I ask about this, the subject only comes up on the blog when 17 is not in the lineup and the Mavericks lose. And when I cover those games, I can't say the first question that comes to my mind in those games is, "Why wasn't Evan Mosey playing today?"

Would the coaches rather play a senior D at that spot than a freshman right now? From talking to them, I'd say yes. But expectations are high with Hastings, as is accountability, especially with how the team defends and especially with the older guys.

BIGhkyfan said...


Thank you for your comments.

I coached this young man and know his ability and passion for the game.

Hope this TEAM gets another chance next weekend.

Coach Chad