Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Fears realized: Minnesota State's penalty kill has been very good over the last 2 1/2 months, but the Mavericks were worried about St. Cloud State's phenomenal power play, which came in clicking at better than 30 percent. MSU was right to be worried, as the Huskies scored three times on four power-play chances. The Huskies whipped the puck around the zone pretty good, waiting for just the right opportunity for a back-door play. Two of the goals came that way, with the finish going into a yawing net. The second of those was Jimmy Murray's game-winner with 3:19 left in the third, which broke a 4-4 tie. "I thought it was a good hockey game, but when you take penalty with five minutes left, you’re playing Russian roulette, and they’ve got more than one bullet in that gun," MSU coach Mike Hastings said.
2. Offensive spark: The Mavericks did continue the goal-scoring trend of the previous weekend at home against Lake Superior State. C.J. Franklin, Brad McClure and Zach Stepan (all of whom were on the same line) each had a goal and an assist. Dylan Margonari scored MSU's other goal. Casey Nelson had two assists. "We’ve been focusing on trying to become a better offensive hockey team," Hastings said. "I thought we made some plays today. (We) scored a power-play goal and created some offense coming through the neutral zone … We have to continue to become better offensively. I think we can clean up the details as far as special teams ,as far as killing penalities. I think we’re getting better. We just need to keep pushing that envelope."
3. Hanging in there: MSU captain Carter Foguth said the Mavericks could take some solace in the fact that they skated right with the third-ranked Huskies, especially after getting shut out by them twice in October. The Mavericks outshot the Huskies 33-22 and outscored them 3-2 in even-strength play. "All I can say is: That was a tough one," Foguth said. "There wasn't much to be said when we got to the (locker) room. For them being No. 3 in the country, I thought we stood with them, and there were times we took it to them." Still, it was St. Cloud State's seventh consecutive victory over Minnesota State. The last time the Mavericks beat the Huskies was Nov. 11, 2011.
Deep thought: Attendance for Saturday's games was 12,592. The crowd was pretty sparse for the first game, so the move from Friday-Saturday late afternoons/evenings to Saturday-Sunday afternoons doesn't look like it made a big difference.