1. Power outage: What is up with Minnesota State’s power play? Going 0 for 4 on Saturday meant the difference in a tie vs. a win. Two of their power plays were on Wildcats majors in the second period, with the penalties overlapping and giving MSU a fairly lengthy 5 on 3, and two of them were in overtime. You can read comments about the power play from Mike Hastings in my gamer (link below), but the Mavericks have now failed to score a power play goal in their last five games and are on an 0 for 22 slump going back six games. For the season they’re 8 for 64 (12.5 percent).
2. Killer instinct: At the same time, the difference between a tie and a loss was the Mavericks’ penalty kill. Northern Michigan was 1 for 8 despite having two major penalties of its own to work with. That includes Teddy Blueger’s not-so-wise contact-to-the-head major/game misconduct that came with under 8 minutes remaining in the third period. The Mavericks killed that off to keep it a 2-2 game. (The Wildcats helped the cause by taking a minor penalty in the middle of it.) “We did a good job answering the bell,” captain Carter Foguth said. “There were a lot of ups and downs, and we had to fight to stay in it.”
3. Freshmen figuring it out: Freshman defenseman Daniel Brickley scored his first career goal, tying the game at 1-1 early in the first period. He has had a solid start to his college career. Freshman forward Chandler Madry made his college debut and ended up with an assist on C.J. Franklin’s goal, which tied the game at 2-2 early in the third. Madry got in the lineup as Zach Stepan was out with an undisclosed injury. Finally, goalie Jason Pawloski started his third game in the row and both games of a series for the first time this season. He is unbeaten at 3-0-2 and looking more and more comfortable in the net. “It was good,” he said. “The guys in front of me really played hard. I just gotta get that one extra save.”
Deep thought: After watching two tie games that were partially the result of one team’s (successful) defensive style, it might be time to spice things up in the WCHA with some 3-on-3 overtime to break ties. Give each team a point after regulation and open things up in OT for an extra point like the NHL does. Let’s see some goals!
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 5, Michigan State 4 … Bowling Green 4, Alabama Huntsville 3 … Ferris State 3, Alaska 3 (OT) … Lake Superior State 1, Bemidji State 1 (OT) … Penn State at Alaska Anchorage (late)