Friday, December 11, 2015

Mavericks 2, Chargers 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Nothing easy: Minnesota State extended its unbeaten streak to eight games, but nothing has come easy over that stretch, and that included Friday night, where it didn't give up much to an improved and hard-working Alabama Huntsville team but found itself trailing for a big chunk of the game. Mavericks fans have been spoiled with some of the great playmaking they've seen in recent years, but there have been fewer of those with finish thus far season. Still, the two goals MSU scored in the third period were two very pretty plays. "We'll take it any way we can get it," said sophomore forward C.J. Franklin, the set-up man on both goals. "Even if it's 2-1. Even if we're down 1-0 in the third. It shows you what kind of guys we have in the locker room. We'll find a way to get it done."

2. Staying hot: Michael Huntebrinker, who scored MSU's first goal, improved his point-scoring streak to seven games and is now tied for second on the team with 11 points. Teddy Blueger, who scored the game-winner with 3:40 left in the game, has nine points in his last four games and is the leading scorer with 16 points, including five goals. Goalie Jason Pawloski only faced nine shots and upped his record to 6-0-4. Minnesota State is unbeaten in its last 17 games against Alabama Huntsville, a streak that goes back to the 2001-02 season. Huntsville has not won in its last nine games, a tough-luck stretch that includes a tie and five one-goal losses.

3. Power outage: Minnesota State was 0 for 6 on the power play, getting six shots on goal with the man advantage. Some credit has to go to Huntsville's disciplined penalty kill and shot-blocking ability (the Chargers blocked 23 shots for the game), as well as to Carmine Guerrero's goaltending. But their 0-for-4 performance in the first period into the early third could have been costly. Meanwhile, MSU's penalty kill was rock-solid, stopping five power plays, including 71 seconds of 5-on-3 time, and allowing one shot on goal. Over the last 14 minutes of the second period, the Mavericks took four penalties, including the two that overlapped for the 5-on-3.

Deep thought: One more game for the Mavericks to get through before they get that much-needed break. This is their 10th consecutive weekend of play since the start of the year. They played Friday's game without captain and defenseman Carter Foguth (upper body) for the second game in a row, and freshman forward Ryan Schwalbe continued to fill in on D. Zach Stepan, Sean Flanagan and Clint Lewis also remained out with upper-body injuries.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 4, Northern Michigan 2 ... Michigan Tech 1, Lake Superior State 1 (OT) ... Bowling Green 4, Bemidji State 1 ... Alaska at Alaska Anchorage.

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