Friday, March 6, 2015

Beavers 5, Mavericks 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game:

1. No Cup — again: Minnesota State will have to try yet again to clinch the MacNaughton Cup. The Mavericks' loss, combined with Michigan Tech's 5-1 demolishing of Northern Michigan, put the Mavericks one point in front of the Huskies going into the final night of the regular season. A Tech loss in Marquette could do the trick, but Minnesota State can also take care of business on its own with a tie or a win. Certainly, the Mavericks would like to rebound from a pretty rough game against a red-hot Beavers team (seven-game unbeaten streak). Bemidji State, meanwhile, got what it wanted, clinching fourth place and home ice for the WCHA playoffs.

2. Slow start: It was a disastrous start for the Mavericks, who were sloppy with the puck and panicky under the Beavers' pressure. As a result, they fell behind 3-0 in the first period. The first goal came off a clean faceoff win in the MSU zone with standout defenseman Matt Prapavessis blasting a shot through traffic (Chase Grant just missed blocking it). The second was short-handed breakaway with John Parker getting behind Jon Jutzi. And the third was a play off a Jutzi turnover deep in the MSU end with Markus Gerbrandt finishing. The Mavericks came back with a pair of Bryce Gervais goals in the second half but couldn't get closer to one.

3. Problems on the road? The Mavericks suddenly are winless in four straight games away from Mankato, including two against Bemidji State. The finals of the North Star College Cup was the other to the Beavers, who were the home team in that game. Is there a blueprint to beat the Mavericks, especially when they're a visitor? The Mavericks can be the home team for quite a while if they can get a point or two on Saturday and get the top seed for the WCHA playoffs. They'll be home in the first round of the playoffs, and, if they win, they'll be in the home whites at the Final Five. They're also still in top-seed position for the NCAA tournament, remaining second in the Pairwise Rankings on Friday, despite the loss.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 5, Northern Michigan 1 ... Ferris State 4, Lake Superior State 1 ... Bowling Green 7, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Alaska 1, Alaska Anchorage 0

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