To kick off the hockey season, I sat down with MSU coach Mike Hastings last week for a cup of coffee at Tandem Bagels, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Verizon Wireless Center and MSU's new hockey center there, to talk about his first three seasons with the Mavericks, the state of the program and the upcoming season.
Our chat has been transcribed into a Q&A format (and edited for length and clarity), and there's some good stuff in there. It's a long read, too, so grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy.
As for Alberta, it looks like it might be a somewhat tougher test than previous exhibitions, which is a good thing for a team that's going right into a meat grinder of a schedule in just five days. Alberta lost at St. Cloud State 6-2 on Saturday night, although it outshot the Huskies 34-25.
WCHA teams that kicked off the season Friday and Saturday in exhibition action included:
• Alaska Anchorage, which fell 1-0 to Mount Royal on Friday.
• Bowling Green, which defeated Toronto 4-3 on Saturday.
• Northern Michigan, which defeated the U.S. Under-18 Team 4-0 on Saturday.
Other teams in action tonight include:
• Bemidji State, which hosts Manitoba
• Ferris State, which hosts the U.S. Under-18s
• Alaska, which hosts Mount Royal
• Ferris State, which hosts Lethbridge
Be sure to check back on the blog later for more coverage of the Mavericks' preseason game.