Friday, November 28, 2014

Mavericks 7, Lakers 0

Freddy's three thoughts from afar:

1. Big night for B.K.: Brett Knowles had double hip surgery in the offseason, and his rehab has come along slower than he'd probably like. There have been setbacks, and as a result, he's played in just four games so far (including Friday). But he got a nice reward for the work he's put in by scoring his first career hat trick. In a phone interview after the game, coach Mike Hastings talked about the Knowles' effort and adversity to get back into the lineup,  and gave a lot of credit to new athletic trainer Masayasu Takaiwa for his part in Knowles' rehab. The fourth line of Knowles, Max Gaede (two assists) and Jordan Nelson was pretty good throughout the game.

2. Williams keeps rolling: It's easy to overlook the goaltender when a team scores seven goals, but give credit to Stephon Williams for his 24-save shutout, his first of the season and sixth of his career (he had one last season and four as a freshman). Ten of his saves came in the first period when the Mavericks had a 1-0 lead. They had a 9-1 shot advantage through part of the period but then were outshot 9-5 the rest of the way after going to the box twice. Williams made some a big saves to keep the score that way at intermission. The Mavericks scored four goals in the second period to open things up. Williams now has 10 victories and a .924 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average.

3. Secondary scoring: Including Knowles and his line, it wasn't necessarily the usual suspects who did the scoring for the Mavericks. Chase Grant had a three-point game, including two goals, and Casey Nelson also scored a goal (and had an assist). Defenseman Sean Flanagan finished with three assists. One of the primary guys, Teddy Blueger, had the other goal, and Jean-Paul LaFontaine finished with two assists. Defensive partners Flanagan and Nelson each finished the game +3. The seven goals marked a season high and the most for the Mavericks since a 7-3 victory over Alaska Anchorage on this same weekend last year (Nov. 30, 2013).

Read more about the game here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 4, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Ferris State 1, Wisconsin 1 (OT, UW wins meaningless shootout) ... St. Cloud State 6, Bemidji State 3 ... Northern Michigan at Alaska (late)

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