Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mavericks 3, Beavers 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Jutzi steps up: It's the subject of my gamer (see below), but the efforts of Jon Jutzi and the Mavericks' defensemen cannot be ignored. Junior defenseman and team captain Carter Foguth went down five minutes into the first period after getting a late unpenalized hit to the head. After going to the locker room, he returned to the bench area for the remainder of the first period but did not re-enter the game. He was not on the bench in the second and third periods. Without the minutes-eating leader, it was up to the rest of the D to step up their games, and they did, protecting goalie Cole Huggins and, with 10:23 left in the game, getting the game-winning goal, as Jutzi did on the power play. "Everybody really pulled the rope for 5 (Foguth) after we lost him early," Jutzi said. Not sure the status of Foguth for next week.

2. Huggins returns: Cole Huggins was back in goal on Saturday after sitting out Friday and watching freshman Jason Pawloski get his first career win. Mike Hastings said the decision to go with Huggins again was made on Saturday morning, and the coach hoped the Mavericks could get him some more goal support than they did in the first four games of the year when the junior goalie had to endure a three-game scoreless streak. Huggins stopped 27 of 29 shots (13 of 14 in the second period alone), giving up just two power-play goals (one was a 5 on 3). "Chuggy did his job, only giving up two and giving us a chance to get a third-period win," Hastings said. It was Huggins' first win since Jan. 9 of last season at home against Lake Superior State.

3. Good conference start: The Mavericks are 2-0-0 to start the WCHA season and did that in a tough place to play, the Sanford Center, a building in which they split their three previous series. Their last sweep in Bemidji came in 2009-10 in the old John Glas Fieldhouse. The defending WCHA champions and pick to win the league again this year grinded out a couple of victories against a pesky Bemidji State team that had already beaten Minnesota Duluth and tied North Dakota on its home ice. Remember: Last year's MSU team lost two games to the Beavers. Bemidji State doesn't play the prettiest brand of hockey, but they usually stick to their gameplan and make things tough for opponents. Credit the Mavericks for getting past their scoreless and losing streaks to get the sweep.

Deep thought: Thoughts go out former MSU coach Don Brose, who was injured in a hit-and-run accident in downtown Mankato on Friday. Brose, 75, was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, according to city officials.

Read my game story, which also includes the big night for Zach Stepan, here. Read the Bemidji Pioneer story by Jack Hittinger here.

Around the WCHA: Alaska Anchorage 3, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Michigan Tech 3, Northern Michigan 1 ... Ferris State 2, Wisconsin 1

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