Saturday, December 6, 2014

Mavericks 5, Nanooks 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Hat tricks for everybody: For the fourth time this year — the fourth time in MSU's last five series — a Minnesota State player has recorded a hat trick. On Saturday, it was Dylan Margonari's turn to join the club (members also include Bryce Gervais, Teddy Blueger and Brett Knowles). Margonari had a "special" night, to use coach Mike Hastings' word. The junior center's speed and fearlessness was just what the Mavericks needed against a tough Alaska team that seemed to present some matchup problems for them at times. Margonari scored a power-play goal in the second period, got the game-winner 41 seconds into the third when the game was tied 2-2 and completed the trick in the final minute after an unselfish set-up from Teddy Blueger.

2. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: PucKato has given a lot of praise to Stephon Williams in recent weeks, but he struggled again on Saturday. After Alaska scored two second-period goals to erase MSU's 2-0 lead, Hastings finally made the switch and put Cole Huggins in for the third period. Williams allowed seven goals on 34 shots over five periods and an overtime against the Nanooks, including two goals on just eight that got to him on Saturday. I'm sure he would have liked a better result against his hometown team. Huggins faced only six shots to get his first win of the season and helped the Mavericks kill a major penalty in the process. Hastings said he has confidence in all three goaltenders, but he probably doesn't like having to tinker with the position at this point. Curious to see what happens going forward.

3. Casey at the point: The Mavericks got off to their 2-0 lead thanks to sophomore defenseman Casey Nelson's performance on the power play. He scored the game's first goal and assisted on Margonari's first goal. He now has 14 points, which ranks fifth on the team in scoring. Nine of the points have come on the power play. "The kid is growing up right in front of our eyes," Hastings said. As a freshman, Nelson, the brother of former MSU defenseman Josh Nelson (the two were teammates last year) had just five points in 19 games. "He plays a calm game," Hastings said. "The young man has spent time developing his trade, and I don't think he's afraid to play the game. He wants the puck at important times." Thanks, in part, to Nelson, the Mavericks' power play finished 3 for 5 on Saturday.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 5, Northern Michigan 0 ... North Dakota 3, Lake Superior State 1 ... Bemidji State 4, Alaska Anchorage 4 (OT)

1 comment:

Hockey25 said...

Shane, I agree that Williams did not have a good series, but it look like he was screened on that 2nd goal. However, I thought it was good to get Huggins some work. At times the D looks like they are missing Jutzi. Thoughts?