Freddy's three thoughts (from afar):
1. Welcome back, Zach: How about Zach Stepan? Ten-hour difference between Sweden and Alaska. Makes his way to join his MSU teammates in Fairbanks. Forget jet lag. The freshman scored the Mavericks' first goal and made a real impact on the game. "That was a real gutty performance," coach Mike Hastings said in a phone interview afterward. "He's a mentally tough kid. He played a lot of minutes and was our best face-off guy tonight." Stepan now has five goals and nine points in 15 games.
2. Laf it up: Jean-Paul LaFontaine scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Mavericks. He now has a team-high 10 goals and 19 points. One of his goals came on the power play, his eighth with the man-advantage this season. Hastings cited another three-point player's effort, as Chase Grant finished with a goal and two assists. "We've needed him," Hastings said. "Ever since we came back (from break), even in practice, he's started to assert himself offensively." The Mavericks were 2 for 5 on the power play after going scoreless on Friday, but getting four even-strength goals might have been bigger.
3. Mad Max: Max Gaede scored his first goal of the season as part of a three-goal third period for the Mavericks. The goal ended up standing as the game-winning goal. Gaede didn't have to wait as long as he did last year for his first goal. That came in Game 3 of MSU's first-round playoff series with Nebraska Omaha and was also a game-winner. Another fourth-liner, Jordan Nelson, also had a goal, getting a nice feed from Grant.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 3, Lake Superior 2 ... Northern Michigan 3, Bemidji State 1 ... Bowling Green 4, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Colgate 3, Ferris State 0 ... Wisconsin 4, Alaska Anchorage 3