Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mavericks 4, Lakers 3

Freddy's three thoughts (from afar) ...

1. Johnny on the spot: Minnesota State captain Johnny McInnis scored two goals, including his sixth game-winner of the season. The senior forward now has 19 goals and, I believe, if he didn't before, has made himself a lock to be an All-WCHA player. Talk about a player who's gotten better every year and who's saving his best for last. McInnis ain't afraid to shoot the puck and put eight on net against the Lakers. He ranks 10th in the country with 135 shots on goal, and his shot is a cannon.

2. Road tough: It's been well-documented that the Mavericks haven't been great on the road this season, but they found a way to get a road sweep — just their second of the season — on Saturday. While they dominated on Friday, Saturday's game was a grind, and the Lakers "came out and punched us right in the nose," coach Mike Hastings said in a phone interview afterward. Lake Superior had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 and quickly cut MSU's 4-2 lead to 3-2 with more than 15 minutes to play in the game.

3. Unsung heroes: Hastings said a lot of different players stepped up in the series, noting Dylan Margonari, who had an assist for a three-point weekend, and Max Gaede. Gaede got a lot of extra minutes, power-play time and late-game action. The reason, Hastings said, is because he was playing well and deserved them. The Mavericks appears to be a team firing on all cylinders.

Deep thought: How about the MSU women's hockey team Saturday night? The Mavericks forced a decisive third game in the opening round of the WCHA playoffs by shutting out No. 2 Wisconsin 3-0 in Game 2. Danielle Butters stopped a career-high 51 shots, and got some goal support with an early score in each period. That was the Mavericks' second win all-time against the Badgers. Game 3 is at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 3, Northern Michigan 2 ... Bemidji State 4, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Alaska 5, Ferris State 3

WCHA standings
1. Minnesota State (38 points)
    Ferris State (38)
3. Alaska (28)
    Michigan Tech (28)
5. Alaska Anchorage (26)
    Bowling Green (26)
7. Bemidji State (24)
    Lake Superior State (24)
9. Northern Michigan (23)
10. Alabama Huntsville (5)

Next week's matchups
Michigan Tech at Minnesota State
Lake Superior at Ferris State
Bemidji State at Bowling Green
Northern Michigan at Alabama Huntsville
Alaska Anchorage at Alaska


puckluck said...

Great weekend for the Mavs, both in the Sault, and in Fairbanks. Question for you Shane: Is a tiebreaker used to determine who wins the McNaughton Cup? If so, how would that shake out?

Shane Frederick said...

The tiebreaker just determines playoff seeding, I believe. If the teams are tied for first place they'd share the MacNaughton Cup, as St. Cloud State and Minnesota did last year.