Freddy's three thoughts from afar ...
1. Princeton's for real: Minnesota State ran into one of the hottest teams in men’s college hockey on Friday night and couldn’t do much of anything to cool it off. The Tigers dominated the 19th-ranked Mavericks for their fifth consecutive victory and seventh win in eight games. They outshot the Mavericks 37-27 and hung more goals on MSU than any team has this season. Prior to their current run, the Tigers started the season 0-6-1. Minnesota State’s season has gone the opposite way. After starting the year with five consecutive wins and 6-1-0, the Mavericks have gone 4-6-2.
2. Where are the goals: Sean Flanagan at 12:29 of the third period prevented the Mavericks from getting shut out for the third time in six games and the second time in three games. Flanagan, whose goal made it 6-1, was one of four players with three shots on goal, which led the team. Princeton goalie Colton Phinney stopped 26 shots in goal for the win. Two years ago, he lost 5-0 to the Mavericks in Mankato. Minnesota State was 0 for 4 on the power play. Freshmen Marc Michaelis and Josh French assisted on Flanagan's goal.
3. Goalie questions: Usually at this time of the season, the Mavericks are pretty well set in goal. Right now, coach Mike Hastings hasn't found one who's carrying the ball. Cole Huggins started after a solid performance last week at Ferris State (one night after replacing Jason Pawloski in a loss) but lasted half the game. He left with 20 saves and a 4-0 deficit. Pawloski went the rest of the way and stopped 11 of 13 shots. Minnesota State's defense was hampered with senior captain Carter Foguth not in the lineup, likely to a lingering injury.
Read my game story with some comments from coach Mike Hastings here.