Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nanooks 3, Mavericks 1

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

1. Thread bare: The Mavericks were thin up front on Saturday night, playing without Brett Knowles, Teddy Blueger and C.J. Franklin, who were knocked out of Friday's game with injuries, as well as without Dylan Margonari and Zeb Knutson, who were back in Mankato with their own ailments. That's a collection of some of the team's tougher players. Not only was their bench shortened (defensemen Blake Thompson and Jaden Schmeisser were listed as the fourth line on chart), but the game ended up being a special-teams fest, too. MSU killed all eight (!) Alaska power plays but was just 1 for 7 on its own while also giving up a short-handed goal.

2. Top-line guys: Tyler Morley scored two Nanooks goals, including the empty-netter, and had three of his team's four in the series. He's up near the top of the WCHA scoring charts, along with Matt Leitner and Bryce Gervais of MSU and Michigan Tech's top guys. But the Mavericks' best scorers were kept off the board all weekend long. They needed those guys to play like the best players in the conference, to be the difference makers they can be. Another stud for Alaska is defenseman Colton Parayko, maybe the best in the WCHA.

3. Rest up: The results of the weekend kept the Mavericks No. 1 in the Pairwise as well as in first place in the WCHA. However, they now lead Michigan Tech by just one point in the league standings, which sets up quite the showdown in two weeks in Mankato. The good news for MSU is that the upcoming bye week couldn't come at a better time with the team's injury situation. The Mavericks have played seven consecutive weekends with eight games on the road. They went 10-2-2 in that entire stretch, 4-2-2 away from home.

Read more here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 10, Alaska Anchorage 0 ... Bemidji State 5, Northern Michigan 1 ... Ferris State 3, Bowling Green 2 (OT) ... Alabama Huntsville 3, Lake Superior State 1

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