Saturday, October 17, 2015

Huskies 3, Mavericks 0

Freddy's three thoughts of the game:

1. "Unchartered waters": Those were coach Mike Hastings' words and they were literally true for the Mavericks, who had never been shut out in three consecutive games before. Since scoring early in the third period of their season opener, they've been blanked. More than nine periods of hockey totaling 195 minutes, 23 seconds. Trying to win games isn't easy when you're wondering if you're going to get a goal. "It's usually not," captain Carter Foguth said. "Usually you're going out and just playing a game and letting whatever happens happens. But going three games and getting shut out, I'd definitely be lying if I said it wasn't in the back of my mind. It's definitely a point of emphasis."

2. Hard-luck goalie: Cole Huggins is 0-4 with a .889 save percentage and a 2.80 goals-against average. Those aren't stellar numbers, but the guy has not played with a lead yet this year. He gave up two on Saturday (the third was an empty-netter), including one in which he seemed to deflect a rebound to a good spot only to have it hit a teammate and carom back into the net behind him. On the second goal, he made a tough save but was unable to freeze the puck and it tricked in behind him. He'd like that back, to be sure, but right now the Mavericks are asking him to be perfect. Even if he was, I'd probably be watching an NCHC shootout right now instead of writing this.

3. It ain't getting any easier: It's been a tough schedule to start, taking on a Frozen Four team in Omaha to start the season at home and then going on the road to face another national-tournament contender. Starting 0-4 is surprising but not completely out of the question. Now, the Mavericks head into conference play. If you think the schedule is any easier, think again. They play at Bemidji State and then host Alaska, the two teams that gave them the most fits last year. Each beat the Mavericks twice last season. "From a coaching standpoint, we've got to provide answers," Hastings said, "and then we've got to have our players be willing to buy into that and go forward with that."

Read my Free Press game story here. Read Mick Hatten's story in the St. Cloud Times here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 2, RIT 2 (OT) ... Ferris State 3, Michigan Tech 2 ... Lake Superior State 4, Northern Michigan 0 ... North Dakota 5, Bemidji State 2 ... Alaska Anchorage 6, American International 2 ... Rensselaer at Alaska (late)

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