Friday, November 18, 2016

Mavericks 4, Gophers 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Big crowd, big win: Last season, Minnesota State flopped in front of its biggest home crowds, getting shut out at home three times against Omaha, Minnesota and Bemidji State. On Friday, with 5,048 in the Verizon Center, the Mavericks put on a good show for their home fans. "That was in the back of our heads," said Brad McClure, who scored two goals. "Last year we didn't perform as well as we could in front of big crowds. It was a learning experience. But this was good for our team inside that locker room, too." Indeed, the Mavericks looked like the team that started out so strong at home in October with wins over Michigan Tech and St. Cloud State, scoring four times including two power-play goals.

2. Leaders lead: Coach Mike Hastings said his team needed a good effort from its older players, and the Mavericks got that. McClure, who was moved to Michael Huntebrinker's line, scored both of his goals in 5-on-5 play. Huntebrinker assisted on both. C.J. Franklin had a goal and an assist and could have had so much more, with eight shots on goal, including some high-quality chances. "I think it all starts with us playing hard and getting on their D right away," Franklin said. "We weren't panicking. We were possessing pucks, getting pucks behind their D and forechecking. That's always big.

3. Youngsters, too: Parker Tuomie had perhaps his best game of the season so far. The freshman forward, playing with McClure and Huntebrinker, had a goal and two assists. His power-play goal, which gave MSU a 3-1 lead, came after he was elbowed in the head at center ice. The penalty was just a 2-minute one, but Tuomie got the last laugh, blasting a shot through traffic from the high slot. Freshman defenseman Ian Scheid and two assists, and sophomore goaltender Jason Pawloski was outstanding with 25 saves, only allowing a point-blank power-play shot to get past him.

Read my game story here. Check out Pat Christman's photo gallery here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 3, Lake Superior State 0 ... Bemidji State 2, Northern Michigan 1 ... Bowling Green 4, Alabama Huntsville 1

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