Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Entertaining game: The Mavericks put up a good fight against some of college hockey's best young players. Minnesota State led 1-0 and 2-1 on power-play goals by Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Johnny McInnis. LaFontaine and Zach Palmquist each finished with a two-point game. The U.S. outshot MSU 30-22. But it was good to see the Mavericks play the exhibition with a lot of energy on the night before going on break. The game-winning goal by Minnesota's Hudson Fasching was as pretty a goal as you're going to see. Tough play for Blake Thompson and Evan Karambelas to defend.
2. Good test for the U.S. ... Team USA coach Don Lucia said the Mavericks gave his youngsters a good test before it heads to Sweden for the World Junior Championships. "With (MSU's) game, we knew it was going to be a good, up-and-down game. They're an older, stronger team with 22- and 23-year-old guys." Lucia also appreciated that the game went to overtime where the teams played 4 on 4, which will be how the WJC format will work. The U.S. coaches and management will meet on Wednesday morning and make some cuts. What will the fate of Zach Stepan be? (See link below.)
3. ... and for MSU, too: Minnesota State got to play some different players in different positions in the game, and coach Mike Hastings said he was pleased with what he saw. Thompson made his MSU debut after sitting out the last year after transferring from Minnesota, and Dylan Margonari got his first chance to play center, playing on a line with LaFontaine and Zach Lehrke. Karambelas, the Mavericks' third-string goalie, got a rare chance to play, spelling Stephon Williams, who was excellent in the first two periods, including one particular glove save on, of all people, Stepan!
As for more of the Zach Stepan story, give that a read here.
And one more thing ... The Mavericks go on break now and are scheduled to return for practices on Dec. 29. MSU will head to Alaska on Jan. 1 for a 12-day trip