Saturday, December 8, 2018

Mavericks 6, Seawolves 0

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. First place: With the smoke cleared from this weekend's games, Minnesota State finds itself in first place in the WCHA standings, one point ahead of Michigan Tech, which split with Northern Michigan over the weekend. The Mavericks are now 14-2-0 and 9-1-0 in league play after Saturday's dominating performance and series sweep over Alaska Anchorage. Friday's game probably should have been a similar result, but UAA's goaltender and some bad puck luck kept things close until the end. Speaking of that, not sure why the Seawolves coach Matt Curley not only didn't start Brody Claeys in goal Saturday but didn't even dress him.

2. Terrifying top line: Minnesota State's No. 1 line of Marc Michaelis, Parker Tuomie and Charlie Gerard was back to its old self with seven points in the game. Michaelis finished with two goals and an assist, and Tuomie and Gerard each had a goal and an assist. Of MSU's 58 shots on goal, that group accounted for 15 with Tuomie leading the way with six. Tuomie now has 22 points (nine goals) in 16 games, and Michaelis has 21 (10 goals). Gerard has 14 points (6 goals).

3. Going deep:  As good as the top-line players were, the Mavericks' secondary scoring came through all weekend. Josh French scored for the second night in a row and now has four goals (remember: he had just one total in his first two seasons), and Shane McMahan scored his first career goal. That comes a night after Alec Vanko, French and Walker Duehr scored (along with Jared Spooner), and in a weekend in which No. 2 center Jake Jaremko missed both games with an illness. "Other guys getting in on the scoring is helpful; it takes some of the weight off Michaelis' line," said Nick Rivera, who had two assists Saturday and three in the series.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 4, Ferris State 3 (OT) ... Michigan Tech 3, Northern Michigan 1 ... Alabama Huntsville 4, Bemidji State 1

Programming note: No postgame video tonight, as I'm a little under the weather all of a sudden, and you don't want to watch me sneeze for 15 minutes in a row. Sorry about that. 

Minnesota State vs. Alaska Anchorage, Game 2

The Mavericks will go for the series sweep tonight when they play the Seawolves at the Verizon Center. Here are tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
15-Napravnik, 11-Spooner, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 26-French, 17-Duehr
16-Lutz, 10-McMahan, 21-Vanko
22-Gerads

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
4-Carroll, 18-Scheid

29-McKay
32-Israelsson
31-Berger

Scratches: Aamodt, Bigelbach, Galambos, Jaremko, Schwalbe

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
5-Golver, 12-Rygaard, 27-Luedtke
15-Schachle, 20-Renwick, 19-Mason
10-Sofo, 16-Erb-Ekholm, 29-de Graaf
26-McPheters, 4-Renouf, 3-Lane

7-Nicholas, 24-Hayes
18-Hiekkavirta, 8-Pears
21-Trinkberger, 23-Sinclair

39-Stead
30-Carlson

***

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mavericks 4, Seawolves 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Rare goal: Read my gamer (linked below) for more on Alec Vanko, who scored what would stand as the game-winning goal tonight. It was his first goal in more than two years and it came in his third straight game after being a scratch for nearly two years. He's a guy who's stuck with things, even when he knew opportunities to play might be slim at best. Vanko remained in the lineup even as coach Mike Hastings mixed things up a bit more. Jake Jaremko (sick) was out, and Reggie Lutz and Shane McMahan were back in, and Dallas Gerads was the 13th forward/19th skater, a spot that Hastings previously used for an extra defenseman.

2. Tight game: Don't be fooled by the final score. It was a 2-1 game from 4:14 of the second period when the Seawolves scored until Josh French scored an empty-netter with 1:33 to play. Walker Duehr added a goal with 24 seconds remaining. "Give (the Seawolves) credit, they didn't give up," Vanko said. "The way they play, I give them a lot of credit, and they're going to be just as hungry tomorrow so we've got to be better with our game." UAA goaltender Brody Claeys, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, made some terrific saves to keep the game close. The Mavericks outshot the Seawolves 30-11.

3. Spoonful of points: Jared Spooner continues to impress. With a goal and an assist Friday, he now has 18 points, which is tied for second on the team with Marc Michaelis, who was held off the score sheet. Spooner also did an excellent job on the Mavericks' penalty kill in the third period with another good killer, Nick Rivera, in the box at the time. Credit Max Coatta for his play on the kill as well, as no shots got to Dryden McKay, and MSU was able to twice get the puck to the other end for some extended seconds as the penalty ticked down.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Northern Michigan 5, Michigan Tech 3 ... Bowling Green 3, Ferris State 3 (BG wins shootout) ... Bemidji State 4, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Lake Superior State at Alaska (late)

Live: Minnesota State vs. Alaska Anchorage

The No. 3 Mavericks are back home after two weeks again and will face the Seawolves, who are trying to break a 10-game winless streak. Follow along with all the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
15-Napravnik, 11-Spooner, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 26-French, 17-Duehr
16-Lutz, 10-McMahan, 21-Vanko
22-Gerads

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
4-Carroll, 18-Scheid

29-McKay
32-Israelsson
31-Berger

Scratches: Aamodt, Bigelbach, Galambos, Jaremko, Schwalbe

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
5-Golver, 12-Rygaard, 27-Luedtke
15-Schachle, 20-Renwick, 29-DeGraaf
26-McPheters, 16-Erb-Ekholm, 17-Xavier
2-N. Renouf, 4-J. Renouf, 19-Mason

7-Nicholas, 24-Hayes
18-Hiekkavirta, 8-Pears
21-Trinkberger, 23-Sinclair
22-Buono

1-Claeys
39-Stead

***

Friday Morning Skate

The No. 3 Mavericks are back home after two weeks on the road and will face Alaska Anchorage in a series at the Verizon Center. Minnesota State went 3-1-0 on its road swing and now will try to remain unbeaten at home.

The Mavericks' defense has been very good this season. One reason for that is the number of shots the team blocks. Despite what you often see from advanced hockey stats, MSU blocks a lot of shots while also outshooting opponents by quite a lot. Often teams that block many shots are also giving up many more opportunities.

"Blockings hots doesn't take as much skill as will," coach Mike Hastings said.

The Mavericks are third in the WCHA with 198 blocked shots. Leading the way is junior defenseman Edwin Hookenson, who is tops in the conference and third in the country with 42 blocked shots. He's also really turning into quite the reliable defenseman.

"The first year (at MSU) was tough, being in and out of the lineup," Hookenson said, "and the second year a little bit of the same. So now it’s really nice to be in the lineup every night and contributing and playing a lot more minutes than I have in the last couple of years."

For more on the series, check out the College Hockey Gameday feature.

As for Anchorage, the Seawolves are looking to break a 10-game winless streak. They gave North Dakota a scare in their last game, falling 4-3 after leading 3-1 after two periods. They were able to practice at Sullivan Arena this week, although other athletic facilities at UAA suffered damage in last week's earthquake.

Going around the WCHA, all 10 teams are in action against each other this weekend for the first time this season. Here are the other matchups:

Bowling Green at Ferris State: The Falcons want to keep things going when they go on the road to Big Rapids with a three-game winning streak. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are desperate to break a six-game losing streak.

Michigan Tech at/vs. Northern Michigan: Big home-and-home rivalry weekend in the U.P. between the No. 20 Huskies and the Wildcats, who haven't played a game in 10 days. Tech hasn't lost in WCHA play yet and holds a two-point lead over Minnesota State atop the league standings.

Alabama Huntsville at Bemidji State: The one-win Chargers are in northern Minnesota to take on their old CHA rivals, the Beavers, although that rivalry hasn't really carried over to the new WCHA.

Lake Superior State at Alaska: The Lakers will try to bounce back from getting swept by MSU in the Soo last weekend but are on the road to Fairbanks where the Nanooks, who are getting some good play lately from junior defenseman Tristen Thompson.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mavericks 3, Lakers 0

Freddy's three thoughts from afar:

1. First shutout: Dryden McKay made just 23 saves, but there were a lot of tough ones, especially as he helped the Mavericks kill off five Laker power plays to earn his first collegiate shutout. He made 11 saves in the second period when MSU was called for four penalties. Not an ideal situation, especially on the road, and the rookie helped get his team through it. McKay also got his season save percentage over the .900 threshold. He's now at .909 in seven games (six starts).

2. Road warriors: The road sweep was MSU's first of the season. The Mavericks are now 5-2-0 away from Mankato, and 3-1-0 over these last two weeks at Bemidji and Sault Ste. Marie, neither an easy place to play. The Mavericks will be back home this week to play Alaska Anchorage before going on the road to Bowling Green. Unlike last Saturday, they had a good start to the second game, scoring in the first period (Charlie Gerard's power play goal) and getting timely saves from McKay, including a short-handed breakaway stop in the final seconds of the frame.

3. 20 for Tuomie: Junior forward Parker Tuomie had a goal and an assist and now leads the Mavericks with 20 points (8-12) in 14 games. His center, Marc Michaelis, had an assist after scoring a goal on Friday and has 18 points (9-9). Gerard, the right wing on that line, led MSU with six shots on goal in the game. "Those guys were good at both ends of the rink," coach Mike Hastings said. Gerard now has 12 points (5-7); he had 10 total in his first two seasons.

Deep thought: Shout out to the MSU women's team, which upset No. 6 Ohio State 3-0 on Saturday at the Verizon Center. Freshman goaltender Abigail Levy stopped 41 shots for her third straight shutout and fourth of the season. With the win, the Mavericks improved their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1). They have won four games in a row for the first time since November, 2010. Anna Wilgren, Megan Hinze and Brittyn Fleming scored goals, all in the third period. The two teams will play again Sunday afternoon.

Read my writeup here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 7, Bemidji State 2 ... Bowling Green 6, Alabama Huntsville 2 ... Ferris State at Alaska (late)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Mavericks 4, Lakers 2

Freddy's three thoughts from afar ...

1. Breakout performance: Sophomore forward Walker Duehr, who's played sparingly in a season-plus, made his shot count on Friday, scoring two first-period goals to help the Mavericks build a 3-0 lead and avoid back-to-back losses. The goals were the first two of the season for the Sioux Falls native and the third and fourth of his career. Connor Mackey and Marc Michaelis had the other goals for the the Mavericks. Dryden McKay, starting for the first time since Oct. 20 (although he did play most of last Saturday's game in relief) stopped 16 shots.

2. Lineup shuffle: Duehr was in the lineup for the first time in five games, as coach Mike Hastings made some lineup changes. Alec Vanko got in for the first time in two seasons, too, while Reggie Lutz took a break after his slow start to the year. While the Mavericks' red-hot top line stayed the same, the second group included Jake Jaremko with Nick Rivera Max Coatta, the third line consisted of Jared Spooner with Julian Napravnik (the lefty moved from right wing to left) and Duehr, and the fourth line was made of Josh French (back in the middle) with Dallas Gerads and Vanko.

3. Play 60: You can read some of Hastings' comments in the story linked below, but he did point out that his team still needs to play a full game. The Mavericks started strong with the 3-0 first period, and things evened out in the second period. In the third, though, they took two penalties and gave up a power-play goal that turned a 4-1 game into a 4-2 one late. The win did guarantee at least a split in the series, but the Mavericks should expect a push on Saturday as Lake Superior State has not been swept this season.

Read my writeup here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 3, Bemidji State 3 (MTU wins in 3x3 OT) ... Alaska 4, Ferris State 3, OT

Friday Morning Skate

The No. 4 Mavericks are on the road for the second straight week and face a tough challenge in No. 20 Lake Superior State. Minnesota State, coming off a split at Bemidji State, will try avoiding two losses in a row tonight, as, perhaps, their last game illustrated a few areas they need to clean up in order to keep improving as a team.

For more on the series, check out the College Hockey Gameday feature.

No big MSU men's feature this week, but I did write about the MSU women's team's Ms. Versatility, Tristen Truax, who has played (or at least dressed at) all three positions in her short college career. The Mavericks will host Ohio State Saturday and Sunday at the Verizon Center.

Going around the WCHA ...

Bemidji State at Michigan Tech: The Beavers will try to do what they did last week against the Mavs and hand the Huskies their first league loss of the year. Tech is coming off an emotional weekend at home against Alaska.

Ferris State at Alaska: The Bulldogs were off last weekend after getting swept in Mankato and look to break a four-game losing streak, while the Nanooks must be glad to be back at home for just the third times this season.

Bowling Green at Alabama Huntsville: The Falcons and Chargers will meet for a Saturday-Sunday series, each getting an extra day off even after being idle last weekend.

Northern Michigan is off but played Notre Dame on Tuesday, falling 2-1 in overtime on the road. Alaska Anchorage is also idle, although, Jack Hittinger featured the Seawolves this week on USCHO.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Beavers 4, Mavericks 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Tough start: As well as Mathias Israelsson played on Friday night, the two goals he gave up were, perhaps, a bit concerning. Still, having backstopped a seven-game winning streak, he started again Saturday. It wasn't his night, though, as he allowed two goals on five shots over the first 5:50. Both looked rather savable (easy for me to say), and coach Mike Hastings opted to give him the quick hook, putting in Dryden McKay for the first time since Oct. 20. McKay played well as the Mavericks tried to come back from the early deficit, but ended up as the losing goalie despite allowing one goal on 31 shots.

2. Big hole: You never want to get behind against the Beavers. Bemidji State simply makes it tough for opponents when it has a lead to protect, which it got just 53 seconds into the game. And a two-goal deficit sure can feel like five. Minnesota State was outshot 37-21, and its two goals came on the power play with Edwin Hookenson and Charlie Gerard scoring. “They pressure us as hard, if not harder, than any team we play,” Hookenson said. “They don’t give us any time. Their forecheck makes it hard on us.”

3. Streak(s) stopped: The Mavericks' winning streak was snapped at seven, so they are now 10-2-0 (5-1-0 in WCHA). The Beavers also broke a streak, as they came into the game having lost four in a row. Julian Napravnik, who had a great scoring chance stopped by goalie Zach Driscoll with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining, had his eight-game point streak stopped as well.“Adversity is something you need to deal with,” Hastings said. “We haven’t dealt with a lot of it. I didn’t think we went away. I didn’t think there was a quit or a give-up. We kept getting close. But I think Bemidji got the result they deserved tonight and so did we.”

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Northern Michigan 2, Lake Superior State 1 ... Michigan Tech 7, Alaska 2 ... North Dakota 4, Alaska Anchorage 3

Live: Minnesota State at Bemidji State

The No. 3 Mavericks look to win their eighth straight game and sweep the weekend series, while the Beavers hope to snap a four-game losing streak. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 10-McMahan, 26-French

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
13-Galambos

32-Israelsson
29-McKay

Scratches: Berger, Bigelbach, Carroll, Duehr, Schwalbe, Vanko

BEMIDJI STATE
19-Brady, 12-Sillinger, 11-Combs
9-Somoza, 17-Armour, 26-Cardelli
6-Dickman, 28-Brown-Maloski, 16-Miller
13-Soucier, 27-Kirkup, 25-Adams

20-Eichstadt, 2-Billett
29-Baudry, 18-B. Johnson
15-Jubenvill, 8-Gula
5-Janco

33-Driscoll
35-Johnson
30-Burgart

*** 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Mavericks 3, Beavers 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Tough road: Friday's game was a great way to start a stretch of games in which the Mavericks will play six of their next eight WCHA games on the road. Playing the Beavers at Bemidji is never easy, and that was the case on Friday. Mathias Israelsson's 11 saves in the first period and eight during the penalty kill allowed his team to build a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first period and then break a 2-2 tie late on Marc Michaelis' power play goal with 4:15 remaining. "We talked about the week. Coming here, it’s hard," coach Mike Hastings said. "Glad we got away with the first one."

2. French dressing: Ask Hastings about Josh French, and he won't worry about the lack of goals. The junior forward kills penalties, defends and is good in the faceoff circle. On Friday, French scored his second goal of his career. It came in Game 82 for him. You can read a little more from French in my gamer (linked below), but here's more from Hastings: "Really important goal. And he’s been playing well. … He can impact our team even though he’s not scoring a lot, killing penalties, tonight scoring a big goal. Thats what you need from your upperclassmen."

3. Confusing finish: Max Coatta could have two empty-net goals added to his total this season, but apparently they're hard to score. He was slashed going to the goal against Alaska, and although a penalty was called, the goal was not awarded (probably should have been). On Friday, he scored in the empty net for a 4-2 lead, but the officials went to review the goal and determined MSU had too many players on the ice. They also added time on the clock. Very strange. Not sure if it was an automatic review or if Bemidji State challenged the call. Either way, the least the officials could do is have the rink announcer let us know what the heck is happening. It made for a wild, albeit confusing, finish.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Lake Superior State 4, Northern Michigan 2 ... Michigan Tech 2, Alaska 1 ... North Dakota 5, Alaska Anchorage 2

Live: Minnesota State at Bemidji State

No. 3 Minnesota State is on the road for a WCHA series for the first time this season and will take on in-state rival Bemidji State at the Sanford Center. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines.

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 10-McMahan, 26-French

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
13-Galambos

32-Israelsson
29-McKay

Scratches: Berger, Bigelbach, Carroll, Duehr, Schwalbe, Vanko

BEMIDJI STATE
6-Dickman, 21-Harris, 11-Combs
19-Brady, 12-Sillinger, 16-Miller
9-Somoza, 17-Armour, 26-Cardelli
13-Soucier, 28-Brown-Maloski, 14-Ierullo

20-Eichstadt, 2-Billett
29-Baudry, 18-B. Johnson
15-Jubenvill, 22-Vold
5-Janco

35-Johnson
33-Driscoll
30-Burgart

***


Black Friday Morning Skate

Getting ready to hit the road to Bemidji for this weekends intra-state rivalry series between the No. 3 Mavericks and the Beavers.

If Mathias Israelsson starts in goal tonight for MSU (which seems likely but is not guaranteed), it will be his seventh consecutive start, a first for for the graduate transfer from Northern Michigan, who has finally found a home at Minnesota State.

This is the first weekend of a tough stretch for the Mavericks, who must go on the road for three of the next four conference series.

For more on the series, read the Freep's College Hockey Gameday.

The Bemidji Pioneer also takes a look at the series.

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

Northern Michigan at Lake Superior State: These are two teams starting off opposite of what was predicted at the beginning of the season. The Wildcats hope they got thing headed back in the right direction after sweeping Alaska Anchorage this weekend, while the No. 20 Lakers are ranked for the first time in two years. NMU also plays at Notre Dame on Tuesday.

Alaska at Michigan Tech: After playing eight consecutive games on the road (and going 5-3-0), the Huskies are back home to face the Nanooks. Alaska played six in a row on the road before going home to Fairbanks last week. Now, it's traveling again to Houghton.

Alaska Anchorage at North Dakota: Speaking of long road trips, the Seawolves, who have just one win, are in the midst of a 10-game road swing. This weekend's set against the Fighting Hawks could be a rather low-scoring affair, based on what the two teams have done so far.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Mavs stand pat at No. 3

Minnesota State remained No. 3 in the latest USCHO poll this week. Some might have thought the Mavericks would rise a spot, but it's hard to drop previous No. 1 Minnesota Duluth down too far after its split at Denver. St. Cloud State is still No. 1.

As for other WCHA teams, Bowling Green fell two spots to No. 12 after its home split against Lake Superior State, while the Lakers, thanks to that outcome, are now in the top 20 at No. 20. Bemidji State and Michigan Tech are receiving votes.

Update: the Mavericks also stayed third in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings.

USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./November 19, 2018

   Team             (First Place)    Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 St. Cloud State           (38)   11- 1-0   985     2
 2 Minnesota Duluth          ( 7)    9- 2-1   920     1
 3 Minnesota State           ( 3)    9- 1-0   918     3
 4 Massachusetts             ( 2)   10- 1-0   860     4
 5 Ohio State                        8- 3-1   763     6
 6 Penn State                        9- 2-0   695     5
 7 Denver                            6- 3-1   693     7
 8 Notre Dame                        7- 4-1   655     8
 9 Providence                        7- 3-1   639     9
10 Quinnipiac                        9- 2-0   486    14
11 Union                             7- 3-1   474    12
12 Bowling Green                     8- 3-2   469    10
13 Northeastern                      7- 3-1   447    13
14 Michigan                          6- 5-0   293    16
15 Cornell                           5- 3-0   251    17
16 Arizona State                    10- 4-0   230    18
17 North Dakota                      5- 5-1   206    11
18 Princeton                         3- 3-1   169    15
19 Miami                             9- 5-0   128    20
20 Lake Superior                     6- 3-1    78    NR

Others receiving votes: Clarkson 32, Western Michigan 27,
Bemidji State 25, Minnesota 24, RIT 17, UMass Lowell 9,
Boston University 3, Michigan Tech 2, Dartmouth 1,
Mercyhurst 1.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mavericks 5, Bulldogs 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. No. 1 line of the night: On a night when the top group of Michaelis-Tuomie-Gerard was kept off the board, the group of Spooner-Rivera-Napravnik came through with one of their best performances. Spooner, as you can read about in my gamer (link below) was exceptional, especially on one particular goal. The trio accounted for three goals and three assists for the game and five goals and five assists for the weekend. "I just think we're starting to build chemistry," Spooner said. "Rivera has been hard, and Julian has been a playmaker. It's just a very good combination. We complement each other well."

2. Israelsson needed: Didn't touch on this too much in the gamer, but coach Mike Hastings brought up the play of Mathias Israelsson, who had one of his busiest nights as a Maverick. He stopped 24 shots, nine in the second period for his and the team's sixth win in a row. "I thought he stood real tall, did a great job, controlled rebounds and made a couple that he shouldn’t have and allowed us to build on a lead," Hastings said. Tonight was the first night in MSU's win streak that it's given up more than one goal, but Ferris State was better than on Friday and had a few possessions where it had the Mavericks chasing in their own end until "Izzy" calmed things down.

3. Grind it out: It seemed like there weren't going to be any penalties called in the game, which was odd considering that it was a pretty tight-checking, physical game. The first penalty was finally called at 7:29 of the third period, and Max Coatta scored on the ensuing power play for a 4-2 lead. "Josh French was a  little bit of an unsung hero," Hastings said. "He drives wide and creates the power play opportunity (drawing a penalty). And then that group went in and executed." The Mavericks were called for two penalties, both in the final 5:22, and killed them both off to preserve the win.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Clarkson 3, Michigan Tech 1 ... Northern Michigan 2, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... St. Cloud State 7, Bemidji State 4 ... Bowling Green 5, Lake Superior State 2 ... Alabama Huntsville at Alaska (late)

Live: Minnesota State vs. Ferris State

Follow along with all the action between the No. 3 Mavericks and visiting Bulldogs on the live blog below tonight's lines.

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 10-McMahan, 26-French

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
13-Galambos

32-Israelsson
29-McKay
31-Berger

Scratches: Bigelbach, Carroll, Duehr, Schwalbe, Vanko

FERRIS STATE
21-Macken, 15-Transit, 17-Moise
10-Norris, 18-Wendt, 20-MacDougall
28-Hetz, 22-Tackett, 8-Melton
19-Andren, 12-Recktenwald, 6-Fernsler

25-Zech, 23-Kallen
26-Rutkowski, 4-Yoder
5-Smith, 3-Clarke
27-Tierney

30-Salmenkangas
31-Barber

***


Friday, November 16, 2018

Mavericks 7, Bulldogs 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Great start: Sometimes it takes a little time to shake off the rust after a bye week. That wasn't the case on Friday for the Mavericks. They scored three first-period goals, outshooting Ferris State 14-5 in the process. The first of two goals by Marc Michaelis just 40 seconds into the second period put the home team up 4-0, and the game was never in doubt after that. "As the (first) period went on we kept getting better," coach Mike Hastings said. "We started to get into a little bit of a rhythm where we were playing four lines and we were playing six-seven defensemen. And when we can do that, (when) you get everybody to play, it really gets your bench in a good mindset."

2. Scoring barrage: Michaelis (2 goals, 1 assist) and Parker Tuomie (1 goal, 2 assists) each had three-point games, as did sophomore defenseman Connor Mackey with three assists. Thirteen different players had at least one point — good feelings all around. Jared Spooner, with a goal and assist, also had a multi-point game. Tuomie now has 16 points (6-10) in nine games, and Michaelis has 14 (7-7). No one has been able to slow them down yet this season.

3. Getting involved: The Mavericks' defensemen had six points, becoming more involved in the offensive game. "For us to get better over this stretch we have, we need to get better support from our back end offensively ... creating more shots from the blue line." First off, there was Mackey, who now has nine points. And then there was Jack McNeely, another sophomore, who finished off a 2-on-1 with Max Coatta with a pretty backhander for his first career goal. "It’s great," Hastings said. "I wish I could share with people out there how our bench reacted to it. It’s very uplifting. Jack works hard every day."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Clarkson 3, Michigan Tech 1 ... Lake Superior State 5, Bowling Green 0 ... Northern Michigan 3, Alaska Anchorage 0 ... St. Cloud State 2, Bemidji State 0 ... Alabama Huntsville 3, Alaska 1

Live: Minnesota State vs. Ferris State

The No. 3 Mavericks and Bulldogs will square off at 7:07 p.m. today at the Verizon Center. Follow along with all the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 10-McMahan, 26-French

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
4-Carroll

32-Israelsson
29-McKay
31-Berger

Scratches: Bigelbach, Duehr Galambos, Schwalbe, Vanko

FERRIS STATE
21-Macken, 22-Tackett, 17-Moise
10-Norris, 18-Wendt, 6-Fernsler
19-Andren, 15-Transit, 20-MacDougall
28-Hetz, 12-Recktenwald, 8-Melton

25-Zech, 23-Kallen
26-Rutkowski, 4-Yoder
3-Clarke, 7-Killins
27-Tierney

30-Salmenkangas
31-Barber

***

Friday Morning Skate

After a week off, the No. 3 Mavericks are back in action this weekend with a WCHA home series against Ferris State. It's the first of five straight conference series for Minnesota State.

At 7-1-0, the Mavericks have been really good. One of the reasons for that has been their ability to plug in the holes in their lineup left by the departure of some high-scoring forwards. Case in point is right wing on the No. 1 line where speedster Charlie Gerard has already made a big mark.

For more on the Mavericks and Bulldogs, read the Freep's College Hockey Gameday feature. Also College Hockey News takes a look at MSU's defensive corps.

Ferris State, meanwhile, is being led by a pair of defensemen, including one of the WCHA's top rookies.

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

• Lake Superior State at Bowling Green: This is a big series between the much-improved Lakers and the No. 10 Falcons, who are trying to get their power play clicking like it was in the first weeks of the season.

• Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan: The host Wildcats are hoping to get back on track after getting swept at home by Cornell. Not many people thought they'd be 3-7-0 right now. The Seawolves, meanwhile are looking for their first win since Oct. 7.

• Alabama Huntsville at Alaska: The Nanooks got their first win of the season last Saturday at Lake State. The Chargers are still looking for theirs after starting off 0-10. This series marks the return of Lance West to Fairbanks. The UAH assistant coach was Alaska's interim head coach last year.

• There are a couple of good nonconfernece series last Bemidji State goes to St. Cloud State for an in-state showdown, and Michigan Tech, which is coming off a sweep of Ferris State goes to Clarkson.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mavericks ink seven recruits

Minnesota State will have a pretty highly anticipated group of freshmen coming in next season, seven players who coaches and fans have been excited about for awhile.

“They have been verbally committed for awhile,” coach Mike Hastings said of the group. “I’m excited about what the future is going to be here.”

On Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA's early signing period, seven players inked National Letters of Intent to join Minnesota State in 2019.

The group includes forwards Ryan Sandelin and Nathan Smith. Sandelin, a Hermantown native, is the son of Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin. Smith, a Tampa, Florida, native was drafted in the third round by the Winnipeg Jets last summer.

"Horns Up! Super excited to say I have signed my NLI to officially become a Maverick," Sandelin tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

Hastings said the entire class, which includes two other forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender, will have a chance to compete as soon as they get to Mankato. And the competition should be fierce, as this season’s team, ranked No. 3 in the country and off to a 7-1-0 start, has just three seniors, only one of whom plays regularly.

“Any time you have competition in all three groups, you’re going to get better every week,” Hastings said. “This group brings that.”

Here’s a look at the class:

• Sandelin plays for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. The 6-foot, 191-pound right wing is tied for his team’s lead with 14 goals and has 22 points in 23 games so far this season. He has already passed last season’s point total of 21 in 55 games with the Vees. In three seasons at Hermantown High School, he had 139 points, including 57 goals.

• Smith leads the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders with 14 points in 14 games. The 6-foot, 184-pound center is in his second season in the United States Hockey League. He had 47 points in 51 games a season ago.

• Another Florida native, Lucas Sowder of the Wenatchee Wild, is a 5-11, 165-pound left wing who ranks in the top 20 in BCHL scoring with eight goals and 25 points in 23 games. He’s in his third season in Wenatchee and had 22 goals and 60 points in 48 games a season ago.

• Cade Borchardt, a Burnsville native, is a 5-10, 187-pound right wing for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. He has nine points in 13 games this season, which is tied for second on his team. Last year with the Madison Capitols, he had 42 points, including 14 goals, in 59 games. He racked up 88 points in three seasons at Burnsville High School.

• Colby Bukes is a 5-11, 184-pound defenseman for the Muskegon Lumberjacks and has 12 points in 14 games, which ranks third among USHL defensemen. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Bukes had 28 points in 59 games last season with Muskegon.

• Tony Malinowski is a 6-3, 195-pound defenseman for the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. He has four points and is plus-9 through 12 games this season. Last year, the Clarkson, Michigan, native had eight points and was minus-1 in 40 games with the Bucs.

• Jaxson Stauber is the lone goalie on the list. A Plymouth native and graduate of Holy Family Catholic in Victoria, the 6-3, 171-pounder is in his second season with the Sioux Falls Stampede. Through seven games he is 3-3 with a .883 save percentage and a 3.01 goals-against average. He played in 22 games last season, winning eight and had numbers of .900 and 3.09.

Read more here or check out MSU's press release here. You can read about the MSU women's recruits here.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mavericks remain No. 3

Minnesota State, which was idle over the weekend, remained No. 3 in the newest USCHO poll, which came out on Monday morning. The Mavericks also moved up one spot to No. 3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings. Here is the USCHO poll:

USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./November 12, 2018

   Team             (First Place)    Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota Duluth          (41)    8- 1-1   989     1
 2 St. Cloud State           ( 7)    9- 1-0   953     2
 3 Minnesota State           ( 2)    7- 1-0   899     3
 4 Massachusetts                     8- 1-0   807     9
 5 Penn State                        8- 1-0   728     8
 6 Ohio State                        6- 3-1   719     7
 7 Denver                            5- 2-1   656     5
 8 Notre Dame                        5- 4-1   638     6
 9 Providence                        5- 3-1   637     4
10 Bowling Green                     7- 2-2   560    10
11 North Dakota                      5- 3-1   451    11
12 Union                             7- 3-1   399    12
13 Northeastern                      6- 3-1   362    15
14 Quinnipiac                        7- 2-0   328    13
15 Princeton                         3- 1-1   312    18
16 Michigan                          5- 4-0   270    14
17 Cornell                           4- 2-0   263    17
18 Arizona State                     9- 3-0   168    NR
19 Minnesota                         2- 4-1   114    16
20 Miami                             8- 4-0   104    19

Others receiving votes: Bemidji State 60, Wisconsin 38, Lake
Superior 16, Air Force 9, Boston University 7, Michigan Tech
7, Boston College 5, Michigan State 1.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

What happened in the WCHA?

Although the Mavericks were idle over the weekend, it's worth looking at the scores around the WCHA over the weekend to see where everything stands going into this week, when MSU returns to action with a conference series against Ferris State (4-6-0, 2-2-0).

Starting with next weekend's opponent, the Bulldogs hosted Michigan Tech were swept 5-4 and 4-3. On Friday, Tech scored last in a back-and-forth game in which FSU twice erased a two-goal deficit. On Saturday, the Bulldogs had a 3-1 lead in the third period, but the Huskies (5-3-0, 4-0-0) scored three times in a span of 5:05, the last goal coming with 5:14 remaining. The Huskies' Jake Lucchini had a five-point weekend (2-3).

Alaska won its first game for coach Eric Largen on Saturday night, as the Nanooks scored four unanswered goals (three in the third period) and defeated Lake Superior State 4-3 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. On Friday, the teams tied 3-3 after the Lakers (5-2-1, 2-1-1) scored three unanswered, although Alaska (1-7-2, 1-2-1) getting the extra WCHA point in 3-on-3 play.

No. 10 Bowling Green got five points at Alaska Anchorage after a 0-0 tie on Friday in which the Falcons scored in 3-on-3 OT and a 3-0 victory on Saturday. Eric Dop and Ryan Bednard each had a shutout for BGSU (7-2-2, 2-1-1). The Seawolves fell to 1-5-1 (0-4-1).

In nonconference play, Bemidji State split a home series against Merrimack, winning 8-3 on Friday and falling 1-0 on Saturday despite outshooting the Warriors 38-17. The Beavers (5-2-1) had a 27-24 shot advantage on Friday.

Meanwhile, in Marquette, Mich., Northern Michigan was swept by No. 17 Cornell by scores of 3-1 and 3-1 to fall to 3-7-0. Although the Wildcats are not off the start most had expected, the good news is that Troy Loggins might be out of his early slump, scoring twice on Saturday.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Off week

Minnesota State is idle this weekend but did get quite a bit of attention as junior forward Charlie Gerard received some weekly awards, and the team itself got featured nationally.

As for the rest of the WCHA this week ...

There are three conference series with Michigan Tech going to Ferris State, No. 10 Bowling Green going to Alaska Anchorage and Alaska going to Lake Superior State.

In nonconference play, Bemidji State will host Merrimack, and Northern Michigan will host No. 17 Cornell.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Mavericks now No. 3

Following their sweep over Minnesota over the weekend, the 7-1-0 Mavericks moved up to No. 3 in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll.

The top three teams in the country are from Minnesota with Minnesota Duluth (6-1-1) first, St. Cloud State (7-1-0) second and MSU third. Minnesota dropped from 10th to 16th. The Gophers are 1-3-1.

As for other WCHA teams, Bowling Green (6-2-1) slipped one spot to 10th after splitting at home against Northern Michigan. Bemidji State and Lake Superior State are receiving votes.

Minnesota State remained fourth in the USA Today/USA Hockey rankings.

USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./November 05, 2018

   Team             (First Place)    Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Minnesota Duluth          (44)    6- 1-1   991     1
 2 St. Cloud State           ( 4)    7- 1-0   937     2
 3 Minnesota State           ( 2)    7- 1-0   876     4
 4 Providence                        5- 1-1   861     3
 5 Denver                            5- 0-1   742     8
 6 Notre Dame                        4- 3-1   721     5
 7 Ohio State                        4- 3-1   654     7
 8 Penn State                        6- 1-0   652     6
 9 Massachusetts                     6- 1-0   615    11
10 Bowling Green                     6- 2-1   543     9
11 North Dakota                      4- 2-1   485    14
12 Union                             6- 2-1   392    17
13 Quinnipiac                        6- 1-0   333    15
14 Michigan                          4- 3-0   313    12
15 Northeastern                      4- 3-1   257    13
16 Minnesota                         1- 3-1   238    10
17 Cornell                           2- 2-0   223    18
18 Princeton                         1- 1-1   163    19
19 Miami                             7- 3-0   102    20
20 Wisconsin                         4- 4-0    86    16

Others receiving votes: Arizona State 85, Bemidji State 65,
Lake Superior 37, Michigan State 35, Colorado College 31,
Clarkson 24, Boston University 17, UMass Lowell 9, Harvard
4, Air Force 3, Connecticut 3, Dartmouth 2, Boston College
1.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Mavericks 2, Gophers 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Special team: Minnesota State scored a power-play goal and a short-handed goal 80 seconds apart in the second period, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead and turning a quiet crowd of 5,131 into a spirited one. Parker Tuomie scored the first goal, staying red-hot. He has five goals and 13 points in eight games, while Jake Jaremko scored the second, his first of the year and one everyone's hoping will get him going after a slow start. Jaremko got a bit of good fortune on the goal, as you can read about him my gamer linked below, but he'll take it — and so will the Mavericks.

2. Defense wins: The Mavericks had chances to extend their lead, getting five straight power plays in the second and third periods, but they were unable to do so. Still, they keep finding ways to close out games, thanks to strong defensive play. "There are two guys who I think just epitomize a calmness, but yet (are) aggressive, and that’s Riese Zmolek and Edwin Hookenson," coach Mike Hastings said. "What they’re doing right now as a pair for us, I wish I could clone them, because they're minute eaters, they’re hard to play against, they’re starting to play with a little more offense to their game, and they’re 200-foot players. I didn't think there was any panic."

3. Getting through the gauntlet: MSU still has two nonconference games remaining in December, but who would have predicted it was going to finish this stretch 5-1-0, playing Boston University, North Dakota and Minnesota? Add to that the sweep over Alaska last weekend, and the Mavericks are 7-1-0 through their first eight games. "Because our league schedule is so meaty as far as the number of games, playing 28 games, you don't have a lot of opportunity to play outside your conference," Hastings said. "For us, they're very important games. You never know when you start it early how it's going to go."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Northern Michigan 2, Bowling Green 0 ... Ferris State 4, Michigan State 1 ... Michigan 5, Lake Superior State 3 ... Bemidji State 3, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... Michigan Tech 4, Alabama Huntsville 1



Live: Minnesota State vs. Minnesota

The Mavericks are back at the Verizon Center where they hope to pull off a sweep of the Gophers after Friday's 5-1 victory in Minneapolis. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 26-French, 17-Duehr

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
4-Carroll

32-Israelsson
29-McKay
31-Berger

Scratches: Bigelbach, Galambos, McMahan, Schwalbe, Vanko

MINNESOTA
58-Ranta, 9-Walker, 22-Sheehy
23-Norman, 15-Pitlick, 7-McManus
27-McLaughlin, 26-Romanko, 12-Marooney
10-Gates, 17-Novak, 16-Ramsey

28-Rossini, 18-Phillips
20-Zuhlsdorf, 2-Sadek
4-Brinkman, 29-Nanne

40-Robson
37-Schierhorn

***


Friday, November 2, 2018

Mavericks 5, Gophers 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. New star emerging: Marc Michaelis had a big night with two goals and two assists, but as the season enters its second month and the Mavericks' identity becomes clearer, some new stars are coming into their own. Junior forward Charlie Gerard had a goal and two assists and is fitting right in on the top line with Michaelis and Parker Tuomie. "He's worked hard for a long time," Michaelis said of Gerard, whose eight points this year are already a career high." As a line, the Mavericks' top group of forwards finished with eight points.

2. Fantastic freshman: Another player starting to emerge is rookie forward Julian Napravnik, who made a great play to start at 2-on-1 and make the assist on Nick Rivera for a goal just 32 seconds into the second periods for a 3-1 lead. The assist gives Napravnik five points in his last four games. "Really, really nice play," coach Mike Hastings said. "To me that play by a young player is pretty special. The thing I like about him is he’ll hold onto pucks. He doesn’t throw them around; he just plays with poise and he skates so well. I think he’s gaining confidence because he definitely has confidence with the puck. He sees the ice. There are guys who like playing with him."

3. Israelsson tested: Hastings said he made the decision to start Mathias Israelsson in goal on Friday morning. It sure looked like the right call. Israelsson made 24 saves for his third straight win. A week ago at home against Alaska he wasn't tested much, facing just six shots on Friday and 14 on Saturday. Against the Gophers he came up huge on the penalty kill, making five impressive saves in all. He stopped 13 saves in all in the second period when Minnesota made a good push while allowing just four shots (one was a goal, though).

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Michigan State 5, Ferris State 3 ... Bowling Green 3, Northern Michigan 1 ... Lake Superior State 5, Michigan 2 ... Michigan Tech 2, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage (late)

Live: Minnesota State at Minnesota

It's the Mavericks and the Gophers at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Should be a fun one between two top-10 teams. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines.

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
22-Gerads, 26-French, 17-Duehr

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
4-Carroll, 18-Scheid
7-Aamodt

32-Israelsson
29-McKay

Scratches: Berger, Bigelbach, Galambos, McMahan, Schwalbe, Vanko

MINNESOTA
10-Gates, 17-Novak, 27-McLaughlin
58-Ranta, 15-Pitlick, 22-Sheehy
14-Wait, 9-Walker, 7-McManus
21-Burke, 26-Romanko, 16-Ramsey

20-Zuhlsdorf, 29-Nanne
4-Brinkman, 3-Stucker
18-Phillips, 2-Sadek
5-Denman

40-Robson
37-Schierhorn
1-Kautz

***

Friday Morning Skate

The Free Press did another special section today, this one concentrating on this weekend's Mavericks-Gophers series. The top-10 matchup (MSU is No. 4, the U is No. 10) will take place tonight in Minneapolis and Saturday in Mankato.

Pick up a copy of the paper today if you can, but if you can't wait, here are some of the stories you'll find:

• It's interesting, it seems the rise of the other four D1 programs in the State of Hockey have made a generation of players fans of all the teams. Even Minnesota State's Riese Zmolek, whose dad, Doug, played for the Gophers, said he was simply a WCHA fan growing up. Still, this is a significant weekend for a lot of players who watched a lot of Minnesota games on TV over the years.

• After not playing last year, it's good to see Minnesota State and Minnesota back on each other's schedule. But the year off was a good reason to go back and look at the history of the series and some  good, bad and wacky moments that took place over two decades.

• One of those moments, a certain "epic" playoff series in 2008, is still fresh in a lot of fans' minds. Who could ever forget three games and five overtimes. Even fans of MSU, which lost the series, think it might have been the best weekend of hockey ever played in Mankato.

• As always, the College Hockey Gameday feature takes a closer look at this weekend's games.

As for the Gophers, new coach Bob Motzko believes he has a good problem in goal with two solid ones to choose from. Also from the Star Tribune is a series preview. In the Pioneer Press, there's a story on Minnesota trying to cut down on penalties, an issue Motzko didn't have too often at St. Cloud State.

Going around the WCHA ...

Northern Michigan at Bowling Green: This is a big matchup between two league contenders. The Wildcats are coming off a tough home split against Bemidji State in which it thought it scored a late-game-winner on Saturday only to have it waved off after review (apparently the WCHA sent a letter saying the refs got it wrong). Then the Beavers won it in the game's final second. The Falcons, meanwhile, are ranked No. 9 after a stellar 5-1-1 nonconference run.

Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage: The Beavers go from the Eastern Time Zone to Alaska Time in back-to-back weekends to take on the Seawolves. It's the end of a five-game road swing for Bemidji State. The Seawolves are back home after a pair of losses at Ferris State. Those games came 19 days after their previous game, so finally getting into a real groove might be good for Anchorage.

Michigan Tech at Alabama Huntsville: The Huskies are in the midst of an eight game road swing that started with a split last weekend at Wisconsin. They are opening WCHA play against a Chargers team that has yet to win in eight games so far.

Michigan at Lake Superior State: It should be a fun weekend in Sault Ste. Marie as the Lakers are undefeated (4-0-0) and the Wolverines are making the trek there for the first time since the 2012-13 season when they were both members of the CCHA. It's nothing new for Michigan coach Mel Pearson, though, as he's in his second year there after coaching at Michigan Tech.

Ferris State at/vs. Michigan State: The third series of this weekend's unofficial WCHA-Big Ten crossover is a home-and-home series between the Bulldogs and the Spartans. Ferris State is coming off a sweep of Anchorage to start league play.


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Mavericks 3, Nanooks 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game

1. More power: Minnesota State got two more power-play goals on Saturday after scoring four on Friday to finish off the sweep of the Nanooks. Ian Scheid scored the goals, both in 5-on-3 situations. You can read more about Scheid in my gamer (linked below). The Mavericks finally scored an even-strength goal, their first of the weekend, late in the game, getting some insurance from Jared Spooner.  Parker Tuomie assisted on both of Scheid's goals and finished the weekend with five assists. He has 11 points in six games.

2. More work for Mathias: Mathias Israelsson got the start in goal for the second night in a row and had a little more work than his six-save shutout on Friday. He stopped 13 shots, including a tough save after a Scheid turnover midway through the second period and a breakaway early in the third, both keeping the score 2-1. He did allow a goal on the Nanooks' first shot of the game. It will be interesting to see what Mike Hastings does next week against Minnesota. The Mavericks now know they have options in net.

3. Could have been 4? The Mavericks were going for an empty-net goal in the final moments of the game when Max Coatta took a pretty heavy slash. The penalty was called, but a power play was awarded. Sure looked like the case where a goal should have been automatically awarded instead. Certainly, it made no difference in the outcome of the game, but you want to reward players for their work, especially in a sport where scoring is difficult. The penalty was the 20th called in the game.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 3, Alaska Anchorage 2 ... Bemidji State 2, Northern Michigan 1 ... Bowling Green 2, Ohio State 2 (OT) ... Wisconsin 6, Michigan Tech 2 ... Lake Superior State 2, Alabama Huntsville 1

Live: Minnesota State vs. Alaska, Game 2

The Mavericks will go for the series sweep against the Nanooks when they play at 7:07 p.m. at the Verizon Center. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
6-Tuomie, 20-Michaelis, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
10-McMahan, 26-French, 17-Duehr

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid
4-Carroll

32-Israelsson
29-McKay
31-Berger

Scratches: Bigelbach, Galambos, Gerads, Schwalbe, Vanko


ALASKA
11-Jandric, 15-Van Tetering, 28-Hope
14-Blaszczak, 23-Leer, 36-Marino
26-Cline, 27-Leiter, 22-Staley
12-Hite, 20-Newton, 9-Young

29-Jandric, 5-Koberstein
25-Virtanen, 24-LaDouce
2-Weiss, 32-Thompson
8-Muzzillo

33-Martinsson
1-DellaMaggiore

***


Friday, October 26, 2018

Mavericks 4, Nanooks 0

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Power players: Minnesota State's first two power plays weren't very pretty on Friday, but the rest of them were things of beauty. The Mavericks scored four times with the man advantage in eight opportunities. Alaska took eight penalties, but, in reality, MSU drew the eight infractions once they started using their puck-possession skills to dictate pace of play from the second period on. The Nanooks clearly wanted to play physical and limit the Mavericks' offense, but they didn't have an answer when it cost them a man in the box.

2. Introducing Mr. Napravnik: Julian Napravnik scored two goals and now has three in his last two games. The freshman from Germany finished off two nice plays, and his fellow countryman, Parker Tuomie continued his hot start with three assists in the game (he now has nine points in five games).
"I think (Napravnik's confidence is) pretty high," coach Mike Hastings said. "It should be. He’s put a lot of work in. He’s come in and he's one of those guys that lets his actions speak. He doesn’t say a tremendous amount. ... He's done the work that we've asked him to do. He's a talented hockey player."

3. Fourth star of the game: It's not often that a goaltender gets a shutout and isn't one of the three stars of the game (they were 1. Napravnik, 2. Charlie Gerard, 3. Tuomie), but Mathias Israelsson had to stop only six shots to get the first clean sheet of his college career. The graduate transfer from Northern Michigan didn't have to make a save until 12 minutes remained in the third period. It was his first action of the season after Dryden McKay started the first four games. "He’s got a maturity about him because he’s been around," Hastings said. "He’s been in the league, he’s played in the league, he’s played against us. He’s as prepared of an athlete as we have. Mentally and physically, he goes about his business. I’m happy for him to get his first shutout."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 8, Ohio State 2 ... Michigan Tech 6, Wisconsin 2 ... Ferris State 4, Alaska Anchorage 0 ... Northern Michigan 3, Bemidji State 0 ... Lake Superior State 4, Alabama Huntsville 3

Live: Minnesota State vs. Alaska

The Mavericks and the Nanooks will open WCHA play at 7:07 p.m. tonight. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
20-Michaelis, 6-Tuomie, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 15-Napravnik
10-McMahan, 26-French, 17-Duehr

2-Mackey, 18-Scheid
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 4-Carroll

3-McNeely

32-Israelsson
29-McKay
31-Berger

Scratches: Bigelbach, Galambos, Gerads, Schwalbe, Vanko


ALASKA
23-Leer, 27-Leiter, 22-Staley
11-Jandric, 15-Van Tetering, 28-Hope
26-Cline, 20-Newton, 9-Young
12-Hite, 17-Doyle, 36-Marino

29-Jandric, 5-Koberstein
25-Virtanen, 24-LaDouce
2-Weiss, 32-Thompson

13-Gresh

33-Martinsson
1-DellaMaggiore


***



Friday Morning Skate

Minnesota State is back home this weekend and will open WCHA play against Alaska, "a monster weekend," coach Mike Hastings said, reminding that league play is just as important, as taking on big-name schools like BU and North Dakota to start the season.

One player who has started out hot for MSU has been Parker Tuomie, the junior forward from Germany. He has six points, including four goals, in four games and has been called the most-competitive player on the team.

I had good chats with Tuomie and Hastings for that story. Here are a couple of outtakes that had to be cut from the story:

• Tuomie on improving his conditioning and skating: "A big thing this summer, I got in a lot better shape and was able build a lot more muscle. Last year, having a guy like Tim Jackman on our staff and working with us, he was able to show me a lot of pointers on how to improve my skating. ... And coach Hastings, he has a big emphasis on skating, so we make sure throughout the season we always try to develop our skating and I think you can see that in our team."

• Tuomie on his fast start this season, compared to slower starts stat-wise in his first two seasons: "The first two seasons I could have had a stronger start. The puck didn’t always bounce my way in the first couple games the past two years, and this year I was fortunate enough that it did. It’s helped me, and it’s helped the team a lot."

• Hastings on other areas where Tuomie's matured: "He’s done a phenomenal job with our freshman class. When you talk to that freshman class about who’s had an impact on you in your short time here, it’s Parker Tuomie. ... He’s got more balance in his life right now. He’s done a real good job. He’s not a one-trick pony; it's not just hockey. He’s buckled down academically. He’s doing a lot of things the right way our guys can follow as far as team-building. I’m real excited about his future."

• Hastings on Tuomie challenging himself: "In my opinion, consistently. Right wing, left wing, he can play either. If I asked him to play in the middle he’d play there. He’s starting to take command out on the rink, too, at times: 'We’ve got to do this; we’ve got to do that.' He’s doing a lot of the we things, which I think is a maturity also."

As for the Nanooks, they are winless but have also played a tough schedule with St. Cloud State and Denver on their docket. Playing the Mavericks to start the conference slate doesn't make things any easier, new coach Eric Largen said.

Saturday night is Hockey Night in Mankato, with pregame festivities in the Civic Center Plaza from 4:30-7.

There are three other WCHA series this weekend as well:

• Alaska Anchorage at Ferris State: The Seawolves opened the season with a split against Colorado College and then didn't play the next two weekends. After 19 days, they're finally back in action against the 1-3 Bulldogs.

• Bemidji State at Northern Michigan: The Beavers were off last weekend after a win and tie against North Dakota and open league play against one of the WCHA favorites. The Wildcats, meanwhile, are 1-3, starting a bit slower than expected, but they hope home ice cures what ails them.

• Lake Superior State at Alabama Huntsville: The 2-0 Lakers hit the road and hope to keep things rolling against the winless Chargers (0-6), who have been outscored 23-3 so far.

In nonconferene play:

• Bowling Green plays Ohio State home and home: Bowling Green is 4-1, including a nice win over Western Michigan on Tuesday. The Falcons are ranked No. 15 but now face their toughest test with games against No. 4 (and previous No. 1) Ohio State, their in-state and old CCHA rival.

• Michigan Tech at Wisconsin: The Huskies are 0-2 after starting the season with two losses to Minnesota Duluth. After a week off, they're in Madison to take on the No. 14 Badgers. It's the start of an eight-game road swing for Tech.

The Minnesota State women play at Bemidji State, and the Gustavus Adolphus men's and women's teams officially start the Division III season this weekend.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Mavericks still 7th, Coatta honored

Minnesota State remained No. 7 in the USCHO rankings and rose to that spot (from No. 8) in the USA Today poll following its series split at North Dakota. Notre Dame is now No. 1 in both polls, although five teams are receiving first-place votes. Bowling Green is now No. 15 in the USCHO poll.

USCHO.com Division I Men's Poll
Minneapolis, Minn./October 22, 2018

   Team             (First Place)    Record   Pts  Last Week
 1 Notre Dame                (28)    3- 0-1   960     2
 2 St. Cloud State           (14)    4- 0-0   918     4
 3 Minnesota Duluth          ( 5)    4- 1-1   902     3
 4 Ohio State                ( 1)    3- 1-0   862     1
 5 Minnesota                 ( 2)    1- 0-1   756     6
 6 Providence                        3- 1-1   752     5
 7 Minnesota State                   3- 1-0   687     7
 8 Cornell                           0- 0-0   626     8
 9 Denver                            3- 0-1   597     9
10 Penn State                        4- 0-0   586    10
11 Union                             4- 0-1   437    20
12 Michigan                          1- 2-0   341    11
13 Princeton                         0- 0-0   325    14
14 Wisconsin                         3- 1-0   324    15
15 Bowling Green                     3- 1-0   226    17
16 Massachusetts                     3- 1-0   213    NR
17 North Dakota                      1- 2-1   210    16
18 Northeastern                      2- 2-0   198    12
19 Western Michigan                  3- 2-0   162    19
20 Quinnipiac                        3- 0-0   112    NR

Others receiving votes: Boston University 75, Colorado
College 75, Clarkson 65, Bemidji State 20, Boston College
18, Harvard 14, Miami 14, Maine 9, RIT 9, UMass Lowell 3,
Colgate 2, Arizona State 1, Brown 1.

Meanwhile, Minnesota State senior forward Max Coatta was named WCHA Forward of the Week after his four-goal, five-point weekend against the Fighting Hawks. That included his hat trick on Friday. It was the first time Coatta has won a WCHA weekly award.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fighting Hawks 4, Mavericks 3

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. First loss: The Mavericks are 3-1 after the first four games of the season, sweeping Boston University and splitting at North Dakota. That's probably a record most would be happy with after seeing those blue bloods on the schedule. "I’m proud of our group," coach Mike Hastings said. "We came into a pretty tough place and won a game and had an opportunity to do the same on Saturday." The Mavericks definitely could be 4-0 or 3-0-1. A rookie mistake by freshman goalie Dryden McKay with the puck behind the net led to the Fighting Hawks' game-winning goal.

2. Another Coatta: Max Coatta had a goal and an assist for a five-point weekend. He made a nice pass through traffic to set up freshman forward Julian Napravnik's first collegiate goal and later scored his third power-play goal of the weekend, which tied the game at 2-all after North Dakota jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Coatta now has six points, which is tied for the team lead with Marc Michaelis and Parker Tuomie, who was held off the score sheet for the first time this season.

3. Another buzzer beater: For the second Saturday in a row, the Mavericks beat the clock for a goal as the second period wound down. This time it was Marc Michaelis, who scored a short-handed breakaway with 0.4 seconds remaining to tie the game at 3-all. It was Michaelis' third goal of the season but the first that wasn't an empty-netter. The Mavericks weren't able to grab momentum from the goal and grab the lead in the third period, instead, giving up a goal, Cole Smith's second of the game.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Mercyhurst 3, Ferris State 1 ... St. Cloud State 5, Northern Michigan 0 ... Arizona State 5, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Alaska 3, Denver 3 (OT)

Live: Minnesota State vs. North Dakota

The Mavericks will go for the series sweep against the Fighting Hawks, starting at 7:07 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Follow along with the action below tonight's lines:

MINNESOTA STATE
20-Michaelis, 6-Tuomie, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 10-McMahan
22-Gerads, 26-French, 15-Napravnik

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid

4-Carroll

29-McKay
32-Israelsson

Scratches: Bigelbach, Duehr, Galambos, Schwalbe, Vanko

NORTH DAKOTA
29-Kawaguchi, 8-Jones, 18-Adams
25-Janatuinen, 22-Gardner, 9-Bowen
7-Yon, 14-Weatherby, 16-Mismash
27-Hoff, 19-Senden, 26-Smith

28-Shaw, 6-Poolman,
3-Kiersted, 24-Bernard-Docker
17-Tychonick, 2 Bast

21-Keane

31-Scheel
1-Thome
25-Anderson

***


Friday, October 19, 2018

Mavericks 7, Fighting Hawks 4

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Another wild game: The Mavericks are 3-0, and all three victories were an adventure with the back-and-forth games last weekend in Mankato against Boston University and tonight's wild win in Grand Forks against North Dakota. Against the Fighting Hawks, Minnesota State was outshot 38-21 and gave up two power-play goals, but made more than enough plays, including two power-play goals of their own, to get another big nonconference victory. A four-goal second period all but put the game away, giving the Mavericks a 6-4 lead heading into the third (although they were up 6-3 before giving up a late one).

2. Making plays: Senior forward Max Coatta got the unlikely hat trick (read more about him in the link below), which included his first two career power-play goals, looking very much like a player who should have had more than 16 goals in his first three seasons. It was his second career hat trick. He also had one last November in an 8-6 victory at Bemidji State. Parker Tuomie continued his stellar pace to start the season, adding two goals (he now has four goals and six points in three games).

3. Streak buster: The victory was Minnesota State's first in Grand Forks since March 10, 2006, an overtime victory in Game 1 of a WCHA playoff series (Rob Rankin scored the game-winner). The Mavericks then went 0-11-1 in 12 games after that. Of course, Friday's game was also MSU's first at The Ralph since the final regular-season games of the 2011-12 season (Troy Jutting's last season as coach). North Dakota will look to break its own streak on Saturday, as it has started the season 0-2-1.

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Ferris State 5, Mercyhurst 2 ... St. Cloud State 4,  Northern Michigan 1 ... Arizona State 2, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Denver 4, Alaska 1

Live: Minnesota State at North Dakota

No. 7 Minnesota State and No. 16 North Dakota are renewing their old WCHA rivalry tonight at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The puck drops at 7:37 p.m. Follow along with the action on the live chat below tonight's lines.

MINNESOTA STATE
20-Michaelis, 6-Tuomie, 9-Gerard
16-Lutz, 5-Jaremko, 12-Coatta
23-Rivera, 11-Spooner, 10-McMahan
22-Gerads, 26-French, 17-Duehr

2-Mackey, 3-McNeely
25-Zmolek, 24-Hookenson
7-Aamodt, 18-Scheid

4-Carroll

29-McKay
32-Israelsson

Scratches: Bigelbach, Galambos, Napravnik, Schwalbe, Vanko

NORTH DAKOTA
29-Kawaguchi, 8-Jones, 16-Mismash
14-Weatherby, 22-Gardner, 18-Adams
25-Janatuinen, 27-Hoff, 9-Bowen
26-Smith, 19-Senden, 7-Yon

6-Poolman, 24-Bernard-Docker
28-Shaw, 2-Bast
3-Kiersted, 4-Peski

17-Tychonick

1-Thome
31-Scheel
25-Anderson

***

Friday Morning Skate

Minnesota State and North Dakota are meeting again at long last this weekend in Grand Forks. It will be their first games against each other since 2013 and their first at UND since 2012.

The series is part of a challenging nonconference schedule for the Mavericks, one that includes Boston University, Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth as well. But that's the kind of schedule MSU wants to have in order to progress as a program, coach Mike Hastings says.

The Mavericks also have put themselves in a position where they're no longer an underdog against these teams.

Read more about the series in the Freep's College Hockey Gameday.

As always, Brad Schlossman at the Grand Forks Herald has excellent coverage. Today, he takes a look at the Mavericks coaching staff, all of whom hail from that newspaper's coverage area: Section 8 country in northwest Minnesota. He also has a video preview of the weekend.

Earlier, Schloss did a a three-part series on the formation of the NCHC, the conference North Dakota left the WCHA for. Read Part I, Part II and Part III.

Going around the WCHA slate this weekend, MSU-UND won't be the only WCHA-NCHC matchup. There are three others ...

Northern Michigan goes to St. Cloud State for what should be another good, early season test for the Wildcats.

Alaska goes to Denver, a series in which the two coaching staffs have close ties.

On Tuesday, fast-starting Bowling Green will host Western Michigan to finish off a series that began with a BG win on Oct. 9 in Kalamazoo.

Other WCHA games this weekend include Ferris State hosts Mercyhurst, and Alabama Huntsville hosts Arizona State.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rankings rise and conference accolades

Photo by Jackson Forderer
Minnesota State moved up to No. 7 in the USCHO poll and No. 8 in the USA Today rankings following its sweep over Boston University over the weekend. The Mavericks had been ranked 11th, and the Terriers were No. 8. BU dropped to No. 13 and No. 15, respectively. North Dakota, MSU's next opponent, is 16th in the USCHO rankings after losing to and tying Bemidji State.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks got a couple of WCHA weekly awards after their two wins, with defenseman Riese Zmolek and goaltender Dryden McKay taking Defenseman of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Zmolek had a goal and two assists, blocked five shots and was plus-3 for the weekend. McKay stopped 49 of 55 shots and became the first freshman goalie to start and win in MSU's opening game since Ken Higert in 1984. You can read more about McKay's weekend here.

Finally, my Tuesday column can be found here. This week's topic: MSU's sweep was no upset, just a good early season test between two good teams.