Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mavericks 2, Falcons 2

Freddy's belated three thoughts from afar ...

1. Road points: The Mavericks now have four consecutive road ties after a couple of stalemates at Northern Michigan and two more this past weekend at Bowling Green. In both instances, MSU feels like it left a point or two behind. This past weekend, that was the case on Friday when the Falcons scored with 6.7 seconds remaining in regulation. Saturday was a different story, however, as it was MSU that came from behind to tie the game in the third period, albeit not quite in as dramatic of a fashion. Zeb Knutson's game-tying goal came a 7:34, and goalie Jason Pawloski was top-notch in the third period and overtime. So they came away with two hard-fought points and left Ohio with a two-point lead atop the WCHA standings.

2. Who's available? The Mavericks' defensive corps continues to be depleted. Carter Fourth and Casey Nelson were unavailable on Saturday after getting hurt on Friday. Sean Flanagan and Clint Lewis were back in Mankato, and Jon Jutzi, who received a ton of praise from coach Mike Hastings for his play for most of the Bowling Green series, was injured midway through the third period on Saturday and did not return. That mean a lot of minute for a lot of inexperienced defensemen. But freshmen Daniel Brickley and Alec Vanko and sophomore Jaden Schmeisser were solid in those expanded roles, Hastings said. Forwards Ryan Schwalbe and Jordan Nelson also lined up on D.

3. Improving players: Teddy Blueger had three assists in the series to continue his hot streak, but a couple of other players are starting to emerge as well. Junior forward Michael Huntebrinker had goal  on Friday an two assists on Saturday. He is now tied for third on the teaming scoring with 10 points. Knutson, a sophomore forward, scored a goal in each game. Knutson had three points in nine games last season. He has six points, including four goals, playing in 16 of 18 games this season. Huntebrinker and Knutson definitely seem to be establishing themselves as reliable forwards for the Mavericks.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 2, Bemidji State 1 ... Alaska Anchorage 3, Michigan Tech 2 ... Northern Michigan 1, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Lake Superior State 2, Alaska 0

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