Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mavericks 4, Beavers 3

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Johnny on the spot: The Mavericks needed a goal, a big momentum-turner, something. "We needed our captain to make a play," coach Mike Hastings said Saturday night. Johnny McInnis, who had been goal-less in MSU's first five games of the season, broke through with 4:52 remaining in the third period. Using a power move that would have made last year's captain, Eriah Hayes, proud, McInnis beat a defender, bee-lined to the net and then put in his own rebound for a go-ahead score. It would have been the ninth game-winning goal of his career if not for a Beavers goal with 1 second left in the game, which came moments after an empty-netter by Teddy Blueger.

2. Still a trend: The Mavericks once again had a strong start followed by a not-so-good second period, just as they did in Friday's 4-1 loss and on the road opening weekend at Providence. The difference on Saturday was that MSU scored in the first period (Zach Stepan on the power play, his first career goal) and increased that lead to 2-0 in the second (Bryce Gervais in the slot off a nice feed from Jean-Paul LaFontaine). But Bemidji came back with a pair of goals, including a power-play goal with just 18 seconds remaining in the period. It seemed like the Beavers had grabbed the momentum in their home building, but McInnis changed that late in the third.

3. A new face in goal: Hastings opted to go with freshman Cole Huggins in goal on Saturday, the first time since Nov. 30, 2012 that Stephon Williams didn't get the start for the Mavericks. Williams allowed four goals on 20 shots on Friday, but Minnesota State also needed to see what they have in the freshman. He was solid on Saturday, stopping 28 of 31 shots, including 14 of 15 in the third period. "He deserved to play," Hastings said. "He's been working his tail off." Huggins said he found out that he would be starting late Friday night. He said he took the news in stride. "For me, it's nothing different than in juniors. ... It was a little different atmosphere, though. We needed the points."

Highlights from Saturday's game here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 1, Alaska Anchorage 0 ... Ferris State 3, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Wisconsin 8, Lake Superior State 1 ... Michigan 2, Michigan Tech 1 ... Northern Michigan at Alaska (late)

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