Freddy's three thoughts of the game:
1. Season's over: Did the Mavericks run out of gas after playing a fifth game in nine games? Or, as Ferris State coach Bob Daniels suggested, did they expend extra energy on their grueling chase of the MacNaughton Cup with Michigan Tech and Bowling Green? Or was just a great gameplan by the Bulldogs to keep the puck away from Minnesota State for three periods? Either way, Ferris State ended MSU's season by outshooting them 29-14 (a season-low total by the Mavericks) and by getting a penalty shot in the final minute of the second period (another unusual game-winning goal in Minnesota State's final game of the season). The Mavericks certainly have had their issues scoring goals this season, but possessing pucks and getting shots on were not a problem during the season as they were on Saturday night.
2. Year of the goalie: In an odd twist, the Final Five's MVP award went to Ferris State goalie Darren Smith, who shut out Michigan Tech on Friday and stopped 13 of 14 shots against MSU. Meanwhile, the Mavericks' Cole Huggins, who allowed three goals and made 50 saves in the tournament, was named to the All-Tournament Team. The best goaltending performance of the weekend might have been Jamie Phillips' in Tech's 1-0 loss to Ferris State on Friday. Only seven goals were scored in the three Final Five games. It's good to see quality goaltending, but WCHA teams next season hopefully will find ways to score more goals. Of Ferris State's defensive style of play Saturday, MSU coach Mike Hastings said, "They decided they weren’t going to allow us to forecheck. They were going to get it, rip it off the glass, get it out in the neutral zone. The difference with that and some other teams that have played style (is) they were really hard. They were strong. When they got pucks on the wall, they had support through the middle of the rink. They possessed it and to me we were in between a lot."
3. So long, seniors: It's been quite a run for Minnesota State's senior class of Bryce Gervais, Teddy Blueger, Dylan Margonari, Brett Knowles, Jon Jutzi and Jimmy Mullin. I've written plenty about their accomplishments over time, but here's one more comment from Hastings: "I’m going to miss this group of seniors for obvious reasons. They won 100 games in their four-year career since they’ve been here. That’s on ice. The things that you don’t get to see are off ice, in the classroom, how they did it over their four-year career. We’re going to miss them for a lot of different reasons." Yep, this team will have a very different look to it next season with that group moving on. The 2016-17 season is less than six months away!
Read my game story here.