Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Old King Cole: I wrote a lot of words about senior goalie Cole Huggins last week, but here are some more because you can't ignore the fact that he scored his 11th career shutout on Saturday, blanking Tech on 25 shots. He got a lot of help, with players possessing pucks, blocking shots — you know, the stuff teammates have done now for 3+ years to help him put compile those numbers — but it was an impressive feat against the team the Mavericks shared the conference title with a season ago and one that returned some pretty hefty goal scorers. Huggins, who made some bigger, more timely saves in Friday's 3-1 win, finished the weekend with 45 saves on 46 shots. Guess who's going to be WCHA Defensive Player of the Week?
2. Or will it be this guy? Sophomore defenseman Daniel Brickley had a three-point night (1 goal, 2 assists) and upped his weekend total to six points already to lead the Mavericks. He had 11 points in all last year, so yes, it sure looks he's on a Casey Nelson-like trajectory. He's controlling the power play up top and also logging a ton of ice time. "He managed his minutes real well," coach Mike Hasting said. "Last night, I thought he got a little fatigued because he did play a significant amount. But it was great to see him come back and do it back to back." MSU's entire defensive corps was solid on Saturday. Senior Sean Flanagan, junior Clint Lewis and freshman Ian Scheid showed that the Mavericks appear to have some depth on the blue line.
3. Top of the chart: The Mavericks top two forward lines were solid all weekend. C.J. Franklin had another goal and assist on Saturday for an almost-quiet four-point weekend. Fellow junior Zeb Knutson notched his third goal of the weekend to open the scoring on a pretty pass from Michael Huntebrinker. Looks like there's some very good chemistry between this two players. Freshman forward Marc Michaelis had three points, including his first college goal. "When you come to a new team, you have to give your best everyday to stay in the lineup, to stay with those guys," said Michaelis, who skated with Franklin and McClure on the No. 1 line and on the power play. "It's awesome to play with them, but you have to keep working."
Deep thought: Lots of penalties again, 21 minors in all (although six came on a couple of scrums late in the game). I'm sure both of these teams and others around the country experiencing similar officiating with new standards in play, will be spending the week working on keeping sticks on the ice and hands to themselves. The Mavericks finished 3 for 10 on the power play. Tech was 0 for 5.
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Bemidji State 4, Bowling Green 1 ... UConn 4, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Wisconsin 6, Northern Michigan 5 ... Alaska at Alaska Anchorage (NC), late