Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mavericks 3, Wildcats 0

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Lehrke keeps rolling: Zach Lehrke broke a scoreless tie at 11:16 of the third period to help the Mavericks to their fifth win in a row and second straight WCHA series sweep. The power-play goal was his eighth point in six games since returning to the team. He's been quite the catalyst for Minnesota State's surge over the last few weeks. I wrote more about Lehrke in my game story, but one key stat that didn't get in this: In 10 games without Lehrke in the lineup, the Mavericks were 4 for 46 (8.6 percent) on the power play. In six games since his return, MSU is 12 for 30 (40 percent).

2. Shutout for Huggins: Coach Mike Hastings went with Cole Huggins again on Saturday after the freshman got the win on Friday night. A week earlier, Huggins won on Friday and Stephon Williams got the start on Saturday. "I thought he earned another start," Hastings said. Huggins stopped 17 Northern Michigan shots for his second shutout of the season. Like his first shutout, the game was scoreless for most of the game. He didn't have to wait until overtime, though, as Lehrke got the Mavericks on the board with 8:44 to play. Huggins is 6-3-0 with a .932 SV% and a 1.80 GAA.

3. Depth comes through: Freshman center Jordan Nelson scored the Mavericks' second goal, less than two minutes after Lehrke scored. It was quite a shot, as Nelson had fallen to his backside and pushed the puck through the goalie's legs. It was a much-deserved goal for the line of Nelson, Max Gaede and Brett Knowles, who were rock-solid all weekend. "That was a real big moment for us," Hastings said. Add to that the play of the third group of defensemen, Sean Flanagan and Mat Knoll. Flanagan had two assists, and Knoll ate a lot of minutes, getting a chance with Casey Nelson out with a lower-body injury.

Around the WCHA: Alabama Huntsville 4, Bowling Green 3 (OT -- first win of the season for the Chargers!) ... Ferris State 3, Lake Superior State 1 ... Bemidji State 2, Michigan Tech 2 (OT) ... Alaska At Alaska Anchorage (late)

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