Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Tale of two halves: If the Mavericks had played the entire game like they did when they were down 3-0, they might have had a chance to pull of the upset over the No. 1-ranked Gophers. Coach Mike Hastings called his team "passive" early, and defenseman Zach Palmquist described MSU's play as "sluggish." "Kids against men," former Minnesota coach Doug Woog said, sitting next to me in the Mariucci Arena press box. And that's indeed how it looked for 30 minutes. When the Mavericks finally woke up, they really tested goalie Adam Wilcox (34 saves, including 15 of 16 in the third period).
2. Second goal a killer: Despite being on their heels early on, the Mavericks did block some shots (15 for the game) and disrupted some of Minnesota's pretty passing (maybe a little too cute at times for coach Don Lucia's liking). Freshman goaltender Cole Huggins was more than solid, too. Had MSU escaped the first period down 1-0, it might have been in good shape. Instead, Mike Reilly's goal with 1:27 remaining in the first period made it a two-goal game. No matter what they say about the two goal lead being the worst lead in hockey, I think that rule doesn't apply very often at Mariucci Arena.
3. No offense, but ... For the fifth time this season, the Mavericks have been held to one goal or less. Of course last week, one goal was enough to win a game. Finishing is a real issue right now for this team. Palmquist scored MSU's lone goal, ripping an open shot from the slot after a nice feed from Jean-Paul LaFontaine, who was falling down near the goal line and poked the puck out to the defenseman. Wilcox made impressive saves on Johnny McInnis and Bryce Gervais during a third-period power play when the score was still 3-0. But the Mavericks also seemed to miss the net a lot, something that's not going to give them the second and third chances they're looking for in the offensive zone.
Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 3, Ferris State 3 (OT) ... Lake Superior 5, Michigan Tech 3 ... St. Cloud State 10, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Bemidji State 4, Alaska Anchorage 1