Freddy's three thoughts from afar ...
1. Tough night: After starting the season 5-0-0 for the first time since 1998, Minnesota State wasn't able to match that season's six-win start, falling to Alaska. Not a lot appeared to go right for the Mavericks. C.J. Franklin was lost early in the second period for a contact-to-the-head major/game misconduct penalty. Daniel Brickley left the game late in the third period with an apparent injury. The Mavericks also went 0 for 6 on the power play while allowing two power-play goals to the Nanooks. Trailing 3-2, Minnesota State outshot Alaska 11-5 the rest of the way but con't get the equalizer.
2. Goalie change: Coach Mike Hastings opted to start Jason Pawloski in goal despite Cole Huggins' hot start. The moving wasn't surprising here as it seemed to be a good time to give Huggins a break and see what the sophomore could do. Pawloski put up good numbers last season before getting hurt. Didn't turn out too well, however, as Pawloski allowed three goals on 13 shots before being pulled midway through the second period. Speaking of goalies, Alaska's Jesse Jenks had a solid game, making 25 saves, including 11 in the third period when the Mavericks were making a strong push.
3. Top players: The Mavericks got goals from defensemen Sean Flanagan and Ian Scheid. For Scheid, a freshman, it was his second goal of the weekend. Freshman forward Nicholas Rivera had an assist for a four-point weekend. Another positive for the Mavericks was the return of senior forward Zach Stepan to the lineup. Stepan was cleared to play last week but was a scratch on Friday. On Saturday, he played on a line with Josh French and Ryan Schwalbe and finished the game plus-1.