Friday, October 10, 2014

Omaha 5, MSU 3

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. So much for exhibitions: Toss 'em out. Minnesota State defeats something called Trinity Western 12-1. Omaha loses to Northern Alberta 4-0. So much for setting up the season-opener. Who know what each of those teams took from their exhibition games. One thing we can guess, though, is Dean Blais was able to get his team's attention. The red Mavs' power play was on fire, thanks to Austin Ortega (2 goals, 1 assist) and Jake Guentzel (1 goal, 3 assists). And after overcoming a very good opening 10-12 minutes by MSU, the home team controlled play for a majority of the rest of the game.  "I thought their best players were their best players," MSU coach Mike Hastings said. Probably couldn't say the same of his team.

2. Boxed in: You can read more about the penalties in my Free Press gamer, but taking seven penalties on opening night, especially when, after the first couple, it was clear that Omaha could really swing the puck around with the man advantage, MSU needed to try to stay out of the box. Couldn't do it. Chase Grant and Teddy Blueger each took two penalties, and Omaha scored three times on the power play, including the game-winner. If you were reading my live chat, there was some confusion about Blueger's second penalty, which led to the GWG. He was called for delay of game on a new rule in college hockey in which the center cannot play the puck with his hand on a faceoff.

3. Freshman report: The Mavericks erased a 3-1 deficit, tying the game on a 2-on-1 play from Dylan Margonari to freshman forward Brad McClure. McClure finished off the perfect pass nicely. Hastings said he should have gotten McClure more ice because of the way he played when he was out there. McClure was on the third line, and fellow rookie C.J. Franklin was on the fourth. Franklin was being used on the penalty kill, and Hastings said he showed improvement as the game went on (he was on the ice for one of Omaha's three power-play goals. Zeb Knutson was a scratch. Curious to see if he plays on Saturday, and, if so, for whom.

Around the WCHA: Bemidji State 5, North Dakota 1 (!!!) ... Bowling Green 3, Miami 2 ... Robert Morris 3, Lake Superior State 1 ... Alaska 1, Wisconsin 0 ... Colorado College 3, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Alaska Anchorage 3, Maine 1

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