There was a time when Minnesota State was the spoiler. A bottom-half team in the WCHA for most of its first dozen or so years as a league member, the Mavericks were often competitive and sometimes even pulled off an impressive — sometimes shocking — victory over a superior opponent even in their leanest years.
Now that the Mavericks are at the top of the heap in the league, they're the ones with the target on their back, often getting a conference rival's best effort or a scheme aimed at slowing down a deeper team.
That happen this past weekend in Huntsville where an improving UAH team tied Minnesota State twice in a matchup between the first- and 10th-place teams in the WCHA.
The Mavericks are idle this weekend and then will close out the regular season with a series at Alaska Anchorage and another at home against Bemidji State before beginning the all-important conference playoffs.
How will they respond to a disappointing weekend? Stay tuned.
Meantime, my column in today's Freep takes a little stroll down memory lane from when MSU sent a better opponent home more than a little embarrassed.