Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gophers 1, Mavericks 0

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Tough-luck loss: That was the case for goalie Jason Pawloski, who stopped a career-high 37 shots, only to fall 1-0 to the Gophers. He was nothing short of outstanding, and even made two good saves on a scramble in front of his net before giving up the game's lone goal, a power-play goal by Justin Kloos. The 38 shots were the most MSU has allowed this season. The previous high was 29 to Lake Superior State. The Mavericks' 23 shots on goal tied a season-low when they had that number on opening night against Michigan Tech. They had just 12 shots through two periods, three in the second.

2. Tale of two nights: Other than Pawloski's play, the things the Mavericks did well in Friday night's win over Minnesota didn't show up on Saturday. They didn't get bodies in front of goalie Eric Schierhorn. They didn't get on loose pucks and rebounds. They didn't control the puck up top in the offensive zone. It was a struggle getting any offense going. "I didn’t think we were as hard, and I thought they were harder," coach Mike Hastings said. "I thought they defended a lot better than last night, and our second and third efforts weren’t what they were last night. (We) didn’t get a lot of second and third opportunities. When we got pucks to the net and they were laying between the hash marks, a white jersey was getting there, not a purple one."

3. Break time: The Mavericks will get their first idle weekend of the season over Thanksgiving, and it probably comes at a good time. They have played seven straight weeks to start the season and have a record of 8-5-1. After the week off, they will play three series, including two on the road before the holiday break. The hope is they'll have defenseman Daniel Brickley from injury back sometime in that stretch. With some struggles by their defensemen to control the puck against the Gophers, they sure could have used him on Saturday.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 7, Lake Superior State 5 ... Bemidji State 5, Northern Michigan 2 ... Bowling Green 8, Alabama Huntsville 3 ... Michigan Tech at Alaska Anchorage (late)

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