Friday, October 14, 2016

Mavericks 4, Huskies 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game

1. Streak snapped: Minnesota State is 3-0 for the first time since 2008, thanks to its first win over St. Cloud State since 2011. There have been good games between the two teams over that time, including their last meeting in St. Paul last January at the North Star College Cup, but it was still a seven-game losing streak for the Mavericks against one of their in-state rivals. On Friday, the Mavericks controlled play for half the game as they built a 3-0 lead on goals from Michael Huntebrinker, C.J. Franklin and Brad McClure. Cole Huggins was rock solid and, at times, outstanding, in goal for the third game in a row. The defense was tremendous, too, blocking 19 shots, eight in the final period.

2. All even: A week ago, the Mavericks and Michigan Tech barely got to play even strength, with 34 power plays being award in the series. With new standards for penalties in place, more calls were expected this weekend. That wasn't the case in Mankato, however, as MSU and St. Cloud State had three power plays between them. The Huskies were 0 for 2, and the Mavericks were 1-1, scoring just 12 seconds into their man advantage. Minnesota State didn't score a 5-on-5 goal against Tech, but they got three against St. Cloud State, one from Michael Huntebrinker, one from Brad McClure and a key insurance goal in the third period from Max Coatta. "We had a couple guys make some plays," coach Mike Hastings said.

3. Back on defense: Junior defenseman Clint Lewis had two assists in the game and was +3. He's the kind of veteran defenseman the Mavericks needed going into this year so they didn't have to rely so much on Carter Foguth and Daniel Brickley. Lewis played in just six games during his first year at MSU before suffering a "freak injury" to his elbow and missing the rest of the season. "It's awesome," he said. "It's never been more fun. Last year I was out most of the year, so it's been fun to play, and it's nice to do it for the guys, not just myself." Said Hastings: "I think he’s playing with poise, he’s a big body back there, he defends real well. I’m really happy for the young man because he’s a phenomenal kid. And to see him start to have some success is really important for him to see because of the work he put in."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 7, Alabama Huntsville 3 ... Bemidji State 2, Northern Michigan 0 ... Bowling Green 4, Western Michigan 4 (WMU wins in 3x3 OT) ... Lake Superior State 6, Michigan State 1 ... Omaha 3, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... Canisius at Alaska (late)

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