Freddy's three thoughts of the game:
1. Blank space: The Mavericks' nonconference struggles continued despite their 5-1 WCHA record in between out-of-league games. They were 0-4 with three shutouts against Omaha and St. Cloud State and, on Friday, were blanked again, this time by Minnesota. Minnesota State didn't outplay the Gophers for a whole game like it did against Omaha back in Week 1, but it did carry play for nearly the entire first period. Minnesota goalie Eric Schierhorn was very good, but the Mavericks simply missed the net on two of their best chances in the period. They outshot the Gophers 13-5 yet went into the first intermission down 1-0 on a late short-handed goal by Justin Kloos.
2. Need a Hug? While Cole Huggins didn't get any goal support — and, for the ninth time in 11 games, the Mavericks trailed 1-0 — it wasn't a night he's going to look back at too fondly. He allowed four goals on 25 shots and probably would have liked a couple of those back. The game's second goal came at the end of an extended shift in the defensive zone by Teddy Blueger's line and the third set of D, but Huggins' didn't seem to see the shot. On the third goal, he made a tough save on the initial shot but kicked out a fat rebound that was slammed into a wide-open goal after Huggins' momentum carried him several feet away from his crease.
3. Welcome back: Mavericks senior forward Dylan Margonari made his return to the rink after missing the first five weekends with a stress fracture. There's little doubt he'll be a boost to Minnesota State's lineup, having scored 14 goals last season and 32 for his career, but there definitely was some rust on Friday. He finished the game with three shots on goal and was minus-2. With Margonari in the lineup, Michael Huntebrinker was moved from center to wing. I'll be curious to see the line combinations for Saturday night's rematch at Mariucci Arena.
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 2, Bowling Green 0 ... Arizona State 3, Lake Superior State 0 ... Alaska 4, Bemidji State 3 ... Ferris State at Alaska Anchorage (late)