From the sound of things, Minnesota State had a heck of a start on Friday night. The Mavericks dominated play for 10-plus minutes, grabbed a 1-0 lead and held that lead through one period of play. Even after two period, when they found themselves down just 2-1, things didn't seem that bad.
But the wheels came off early in the third period, and Providence ran away with a 5-1 season-opening win.
The Friars scored three goals in less than 9 minutes to start the final period, and the Mavericks took just as many penalties in that stretch.
Chatting with Mike Hastings on the phone after the game, he said some of MSU's old habits reared their ugly head. Indeed, nine penalties (two each by Chase Grant, Brett Stern and Max Gaede) and a bit of a drubbing in the shot category did them in in the end. Stephon Williams, who got the hook early in the third period, seemed to be hung out to dry more than once, judging by the radio call.*
Bryce Gervais scored the Mavericks' lone goal, getting an assist from Jon Jutzi. The Mavericks finished 0 for 6 on the power play.
John Gilmour had two goals and an assist for the Friars, and Mark Jankowski scored twice. You can read the Providence Journal's account here.
* Did you catch the radio call? With Mike Sullivan's voice out of commission right now, MSU communications guy Paul Allan, who usually does color commentary with Sully on the road, went solo with the play by play. I won't go so far as to say this is a Lou Gehrig-Wally Pipp situation, but PA held his own calling the game. Kudos to him.
There were a couple interesting scores around college hockey on opening night. Sacred Heart upset top-ranked UMass-Lowell, and Bentley went to Omaha and shocked UNO. The new WCHA went 3-5-1 with Alaska beating Air Force, Lake Superior State topping Robert Morris and Alaska Anchorage defeating Quinnipiac.