Friday, October 30, 2015
Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Breakout performance: Junior defenseman Sean Flanagan showed a ton of promise as a freshman, making the WCHA's All-Rookie team after a six-goal, nine-assist season. It seemed like he took a bit of a step back last year, perhaps a sophomore slump. But he's off to a fine start this year and broke out in a big way on Friday with two goals and two assists in the win. You can read more about him (and his grandpa) in my gamer (link below), but he was impressive all over the ice. "That was huge for us tonight," he said. "We finally got back to playing Maverick hockey, possessing the puck, getting the defensemen involved. I think we executed really well on both of those things."
2. Quick start: The Mavericks fell behind by at least a goal in each of their first six games this season, but they finally got their first early lead against the Nanooks. Casey Nelson got things going, getting a nice feed from Zach Stepan (who, by the way, has really come on strong over the last few games), and two other defensemen — Flanagan and Jon Jutzi —added goals over a span of 4:15. From there, they looked the Mavericks of last season, other than a little hiccup early in the second period when Alaska scored twice. They outshot the Nanooks 45-15 and allowed just one shot to get to goalie Jason Pawloski in the third period.
3. Replay rules: I was probably a little tough on the scoreboard operators early in the game, tweeting out my hope to see replays of early goals on the brand-spankin' new video screens. I'm sure they'll work out the kinks as the season goes on. However, one replay that everyone in the building saw was the dirty hit that Alaska's Tyler Morley put on Jimmy Mullin late in the game. With MSU on the power play due to Josh Atkinson's five-minute major/game misconduct for hitting Bryce Gervais in the head, Morley, the WCHA's Preseason Player of the Year, left his feet and put his shoulder into Mullin's head. The play was nowhere near the puck, which also might be why it was unpenalized. Coach Mike Hastings and the MSU bench were livid, and then the hit was shown on the board for all to see. It was ugly. Mullin had to be assisted off the rink. He was on his feet but doubled over. I would expect Morley to be suspended for Saturday's game.
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 5, Ferris State 4 (OT) ... Bemidji State 0, Northern Michigan 0 (OT) ... Alabama Huntsville 5, Lake Superior State 4 (OT)
Posted by Shane Frederick at 10:55 PM