Freddy's three thoughts of the game:
1. Six periods of nothing: For the second time in a row, the Mavericks were shut out. You have to go all the way back to the end of the 2000-01 season to find the last time that happened. Minnesota State was blanked by Colorado College at home to close out the regular season and then went out to Colorado Springs where they were shut out in the first game of the WCHA playoffs. Minnesota State put 30 shots on net in Friday's game in St. Cloud, brining their two-game total shots without a goal to 70. Unlike last Saturday when MSU really controlled pace of play against Omaha, the matchup with St. Cloud State was more of a back-and-forth affair with the Huskies outshooting the Mavericks 33-30.
2. Turning points: With 17 seconds left in the first period and trailing 1-0, Minnesota State was awarded a penalty shot when Huskies forward Ryan Papa covered the puck in the crease. Brad McClure was sent out to take the shot, but he put it into the right-handed catcher of goalie Charlie Lindgren. "A big one was not scoring on the penalty shot and getting momentum," coach Mike Hastings said. The Mavericks came out strong in the second period, carrying play and creating chances. But midway through the frame they got caught chasing a bit, and Huskies freshman Jimmy Schuldt blasted a point shot through traffic and past Cole Huggins to make it 2-0. It clearly was a deflater for the Mavericks.
3. Making their debut: Two MSU freshmen made their season debuts on Friday. Steen Cooper played left wing on the fourth line, and Alec Vanko was on defense. Both seemed to play solid for rookies. Cooper, Ryan Schwalbe and senior/converted defenseman Blake Thompson made up the fourth line, and they made some noise. Cooper is a Duncan, British Columbia, native who played at Penticton of the BCHL last season. Vanko is from Oregon, Wis, and played in Madison of the USHL. Curious to see if the lines get shuffled for Saturday night's recap in order to boost the scoring opportunities.
Deep thought: The last time the Mavericks started the season 0-3 was in 2005-06 when they started the season 0-6.
Read my game story here. Read the St. Cloud Times gamer here.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 5, Ferris State 1 ... Northern Michigan 6, Lake Superior Stat 3 ... Bowling Green 4, Canisius 2 ... Alaska Anchorage 4, Rensselaer 3 ... Bemidji State 4, North Dakota 4 (OT) ... Alaska 7, American International 2