Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Morning Skate

The Mavericks are on the road again, for the third time in five weeks, this time in Big Rapids, Mich., to take on Ferris State in a WCHA series. This looked like it would be quite the rivalry when the two teams came together in the same conference, and the games certainly have been intense affairs. However, the Mavericks are 8-0-0 over the past two seasons against the Bulldogs, including five wins last season. Will they be able to keep that streak going this year?

The trip to Michigan is always special for Mavericks junior defenseman Carter Foguth, a Fenton, Mich., native. And the seven Division I programs in that state missed out on a good one by letting him escape to Minnesota State.

(Another fun fact about Carter Foguth. Damon Whitten, Lake Superior State's head coach, is his cousin.)

Ferris State, meanwhile, is coming off a road split at Michigan Tech (its second split against the Huskies in three weeks), getting coach Bob Daniels his 400th career victory along the way. All 400 wins have come at Ferris State, where he is now in his 24th season.

I'll be monitoring the MSU-FSU series from afar, as this is one of the trips I don't take during the season.

The Minnesota State women's team is idle this weekend, but if you need your fix, here is my Tuesday Free Press column about Miracle on Ice members John Harrington and Mark Johnson squaring off against each other for the first time last weekend in Mankato.

There are three other WCHA series going on this weekend, too:

Lake Superior State at Bowling Green: The Falcons started the season with six of their first seven games on the road and are glad to finally be home for a full weekend when they host the Lakers. Hard to argue with a 4-2-1 record given those travels. The Lakers, meanwhile are hoping to snap a three-game skid.

Michigan Tech at Alabama Huntsville: The Huskies have split their first three weekends, playing Ferris State twice and Northern Michigan. They'll try to better that this weekend in Huntsville against an improved Chargers team that's lost just once in its last five games.

Northern Michigan at Alaska: The Wildcats haven't left the UP since opening weekend when they went to Wisconsin. Now they're on a long trip to Fairbanks where they will play a Nanooks team that was just swept in Mankato. Alaska will have Tyler Morley back in the lineup following his one-game suspension for that unpenalized hit on MSU's Jimmy Mullin (Mullin, by the way is not on the trip to Ferris and did not practice this week).

Read more about the WCHA, including Alaska Anchorage's strong start to the season in my and Jack Hittinger's USCHO column. Our picks will be posted later.

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