Saturday, February 14, 2015

Mavericks 1, Nanooks 1 (OT)

Freddy's three thoughts from afar ...

1. Safe at home: The Mavericks needed Stephon Williams to be good in his hometown on Friday night. The junior goaltender stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Mavericks' own offense sputtered (just 18 shots). Williams did not play in Fairbanks when the Mavericks were there last season and last played a meaningful game there when he was a high school junior. He stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third period and turned away a couple of breakaways. The only goal he gave up was a power-play redirect by Tyler Morley. In fact, four of the last five goals he's allowed have been power-play goals.

2. Roster thins out: Brett Knowles was checked from behind in the first period in what looked like a scary moment for the Mavs. While the Alaska broadcast via didn't show a replay nor Knowles lying on the ice, he was down for awhile before exiting the rink. Coach Mike Hastings even went out to check on the junior forward. Knowles did not return to the game. Also, it appeared C.J. Franklin did not play the second half of the game. Wasn't feeling well, according to the radio broadcast, and Zeb Knutson (sick) and Dylan Margonari (upper body injury) were left back in Mankato. Chase Grant appeared to skate back to the bench slowly in overtime after getting hit illegally (Alaska's second major), but he returned to the game.

3. All things considered: Not a bad point on the road, against a good team (you have to believe me on that point, folks ... Morley and Colton Parayko could play for anybody), when taken out of your game. However, it's a good point if you get one or two on Saturday night. The Mavericks have to be a little grittier on the road against a physical team, which Alaska appeared to be. They also have to be smarter. Zach Palmquist, a senior and captain who should know better, got a retaliation roughing penalty with 5:27 left in the third, just after his team killed off another late penalty. Can't do that.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 5, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... Bemidji State 1, Northern Michigan 0 ... Bowling Green 4, Ferris State 1 ... Alabama Huntsville 1, Lake Superior State 1 (OT)

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