Friday, February 24, 2017

Beavers 2, Mavericks 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Third it is: Minnesota State needed to win Friday's game to still have a shot at a second-place finish and a second seed for the WCHA playoffs. Earlier in the evening, Michigan Tech defeated Northern Michigan 3-2 to move six points ahead of the Mavericks. So the top three spots are set: Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State. The Mavericks and Beavers played a playoff-style game. "Not a lot of easy ice," BSU coach Tom Serratore said. Said MSU coach Mike Hastings: “That mirrors at playoff game in our league. It just wasn’t quite enough. A week from now, not quite enough ends your year.”

2. Goalie battle: Cole Huggins got the nod in goal for the Mavericks and made 23 saves. The first goal came off an MSU turnover during an extended shift by the Beavers that wore out the Mavericks' defenders. The second was on power play in the third period, a snipe by Gerry Fitzgerald. At the other end of the ice, Michael Bitzer stopped 26 shots. He made a couple of brilliant saves, including one on Marc Michaelis short-handed with about two minutes to play. Michaelis scored the Mavericks' lone goal, a power-play goal on which he tapped in his own rebound off the post. That was Michaelis'  team-leading 35th point of the season.

3. Beating Bemidji: Minnesota State is 0-3-1 in its last four games against Bemidji State. They have three goals in those games. The Mavericks will try to snap that streak on Saturday night. There's a chance, of course, they could return here in three weeks for the Broadmoor Trophy championship game. They sure hope so. "This is a time and, moving forward, you need to go out and earn everything," Hastings said. "Nobody’s going to give you anything. Tonight was the same way. We had some opportunities; we weren’t terrible tonight. Close game, and hat’s off to them for making a play on the power play. We had a power play in the third and didn’t."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 7, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Michigan Tech 3, Northern Michigan 2 ... Ferris State 6, Lake Superior State 4 ... Alaska at Alaska Anchorage (late)

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