Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. On the rebound: The Mavericks bounced back from last weekend's disappointing series at Providence to eke out a victory against UConn. The score didn't reflect just how much MSU controlled play. They outshot the Huskies 31-17 and didn't allow goalie Stephon Williams to be bothered by too many tricky shots. The Mavericks stayed out of the penalty box (just two trips compared to last week's parade) and got their own power play moving a bit (one goal on three chances). UConn goalie Matt Grogan was quite good, stopping 29 shots.
2. Top line shines: Minnesota State's top line was pretty dominant at both ends of the ice. Teddy Blueger and Dylan Margonari had goals, and Johnny McInnis assisted on both plays. McInnis stepped up his game and logged a lot of late minutes after UConn pulled Grogan for an extra attacker. "He deserved that at the end of the game," coach Mike Hastings said. "That's what a leader is supposed to do, and he did that. We need those players to win games, and our upperclassmen did their job tonight." Matt Leitner also had an assist and earned some praise from coach Mike Hastings for his defensive effort. Defenseman Jon Jutzi saw significant ice time, along with his playing partner freshman Carter Foguth.
3. Good crowd: The attendance was announced at 3,829, and it was a pretty good crowd. There still seemed to be too many empty seats, although they look much better in purple than in red and blue. The student section was pretty much packed, and the kids arrived early. The players took note of that, McInnis said, adding that it was one of the best student crowds he's seen in his MSU career. Speaking as a fan of college sports, I hope the students continue coming to the rink.
Deep thought: The MSU pep band was moved back to the student section this year, which seems like an odd choice as they try to fill that section with a rowdy crowd. Not sure where the best spot is for them. The band sounded good again, but I have one complaint: Take away the microphones. All they do is pick up the instruments playing directly into them, and that's what gets broadcast over the arena's sound system. The band should be able to make enough noise without any amplification.
Around the WCHA: Lake Superior State 6, Union 5 (OT) ... Bowling Green 1, Clarkson 1 (OT) ... St. Lawrence 3, Ferris State 2 ... Nebraska Omaha 2, Northern Michigan 1 ... Notre Dame 3, Michigan Tech 2 ... Minnesota 6, Bemidji State 3 ... Western Michigan 6, Alaska Anchorage 2 ... Alaska 3, Denver 2