Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Out of gas: Mavericks coach Mike Hastings on Friday worried that he overworked some of his team's top players as they rallied from a two-goal deficit, took a two-goal lead and then lost that before tying (and getting the shootout point against) Michigan Tech. On Saturday, MSU indeed looked to be out of gas. The Mavericks fell behind 2-0 in the second period and just couldn't get themselves back in the game. Michigan Tech did a good job defensively to keep goalie Angus Redmond clean, and he ended up with a 22-save shutout.
2. The importance of special teams: The Mavericks lost the special teams battle, allowing one power play goal (after failing to clear the zone three times and then only getting the puck to neutral, not deep enough for a change) while going 0 for 2 on their own chances. The second of those was negated partway through by an MSU penalty. Tech didn't score on its first power play, but did enough to turn the tables on MSU, which, before that point (about midway through the first period) was outshooting the Huskies 7-2. For the series, the Mavericks were 0 for 5 on the power play, and the Huskies were 3 for 7.
3. Fall to fourth: The Mavericks' loss, combined with Bowling Green's overtime win over Alaska, dropped them to fourth place in the WCHA standings, one point behind the Falcons. MSU does have two games in hand, however. Minnesota State now trails second-place Michigan Tech by nine points, a lot of ground to make up. The talk in the press box was that the winner of this weekend's series could very well end up hosting the other in the second round of the league playoffs. Is it too early to reserve another room in Houghton for early March? There are still five weeks left in the regular season.
Read my game story here.
Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 2, Alaska 1 (OT) ... Lake Superior State 4, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Northern Michigan 4, Alaska Anchorage 0 ... Bemidji State 5, Ferris State 1