Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mavericks 3, Bulldogs 2

Freddy's three thoughts from afar:

1. On the rebound, Part I: Nice bounce-back win for the Mavericks to get the series split after losing 7-4 in Friday's opener. Zach Stepan got things going less than two minutes into the game, and even though the Bulldogs pushed back and took the lead, the Mavericks got it back and then clamped down to hold on to the 3-2 victory. Coach Mike Hastings said his team played well enough offensively to win on Friday but was "as loose defensively as we've been." Twas not the case on Saturday. Casey Nelson had MSU's other goal for a four-point weekend, and Zeb Knutson got the game-winner and had a two-point night.

2. On the rebound, Part II: The Mavericks not only needed to tighten things up defensively, they needed a goaltender to play better. Cole Huggins stopped 29 shots, including all 13 he faced in the third period, as well as a penalty shot in the first period — "Huge momentum swing," Hastings said of the penalty shot — to earn the victory. He and Jason Pawloski struggled on Friday, with Pawloski getting pulled after one period and Huggins allowing four goals on 21 shots after that. Assuming third-stringer Aaron Nelson was back in Mankato, one of those two was going to have to go again, and the veteran got the nod. "He found a way," Hastings said. "He played calm in the third period."

3. Secondary scoring: Hastings said he liked his team's balance on Saturday after moving C.J. Franklin back to the top line with Teddy Blueger and Bryce Gervais. Those three didn't register a point on Saturday (although they did have seven shots on goal combined). But the other three groups did get MSU on the board. Stepan scored from Jordan Nelson and Knutson. Casey Nelson, a defenseman, scored from fellow D-man Sean Flanagan and fourth-line center Ryan Schwalbe. And Knutson later scored from Michael Huntebrinker. All three goals came in even-strength situations (MSU finished 0 for 6 on the power play.)

Read more here.

Around the WCHA: Lake Superior State 1, Bowling Green 1 (OT) ... Michigan Tech 2, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Northern Michigan at Alaska (late).

No comments: