Good morning and happy Black Friday. Or as I like to call it, Another Hockey Day.
The Mavericks are back home after three straight games on the road and will host Alaska Anchorage in a WCHA series.
Minnesota State has only played five home games this season, going 2-3 with two shutout losses at the Verizon Wireless Center. "We want to get back on the right foot at home," senior forward Dylan Margonari said.
Margonari seems to be getting on the right foot, playing his best game last Saturday. It was also his fourth game back from an injury that kept him out of the first 10 games of the season.
It will be interesting to see MSU's lineup tonight, as it got some good news, health-wise, with senior forward Jimmy Mullin and freshman defensemen Jade Schmeisser and Alec Vanko getting cleared to play. Junior forward Zach Stepan was still being evaluated at last update after missing last Saturday's game with an upper-body injury. Junior defenseman Sean Flanagan, who suffered an upper-body injury late Saturday at Northern Michigan, remains out, as does sophomore defenseman Clint Lewis (upper body).
Read more about the series in The Free Press' College Hockey Gameday here.
Alaska Anchorage got off to a good start this season, going 5-1-1. However, the Seawolves are 1-3-1 since then, including last weekend's home loss and tie against Penn State.
The Mavericks women's team is also in action at the Verizon Wireless Center today, hosting No. 3 Minnesota as it tries to snap a 12-game losing streak.
Going around the WCHA ...
Bemidji State at Alabama Huntsville: The Beavers and Chargers wrap up their series, which began Wednesday night with a 4-1 BSU victory. Bemidji State scored three goals in the third period of that game to win its second conference game.
Northern Michigan at Bowling Green: Following their two ties against the Mavericks, the Wildcats go on the road to play a tough Falcons team that might be gaining some steam thanks to an improving power play. Bowling Green has won three straight.
Ferris State at Lake Superior State: The Bulldogs have won just once in their last five games and will head to the U.P. to face a Lakers team that has won just once its last nine games and has one win at home.
Michigan Tech at Alaska: The Huskies have been playing well, going 4-1-1 in its last six games and 6-2-1 in its last nine. The Nanooks, meanwhile, are back home where they have played just four times so far this season. They went 1-1-2 on their last road trip.
For more on the WCHA, including some comments on the controversial Big Ten age-restriction proposal, check out my and Jack Hittinger's USCHO column. Also, read our weekend predictions here.
And staying on the subject of the Big Ten, Dan Myers got some time with Minnesota coach Don Lucia and had a good back-and-forth on the proposal.