Sunday, March 11, 2018

Huskies 2, Mavericks 1, OT

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. This is new: For the second year in a row, Minnesota State has been eliminated from the WCHA playoffs in three games by Michigan Tech. What's different, though, is that the Mavericks' season isn't over. They will play in the NCAA tournament in less than two weeks at a regional yet to be determined (please, let it be Sioux Falls, please). So after getting past the sting of Sunday's overtime loss and the last home game for a pretty darn good group of seniors, MSU will start preparing for the national tournament.

2. Shut down: One of those seniors, Zeb Knutson, scored the Mavericks' lone goal, but the team's big guns were shut down on Sunday and throughout the weekend. First-Team All-WCHA forwards C.J. Suess and Marc Michaelis were kept off the scoreboard all weekend. Credit a strong defense by Michigan Tech, especially in goal where Packy Munson, who started Saturday and Sunday because Friday's starter, Devin Kero, was injured, was outstanding. Munson stopped eight shots by freshman Reggie Lutz and five by senior Brad McClure, including a highlight-reel glove save on McClure in OT.

3. Where were the people? The announced attendance for Sunday's game was 1,962. The students are returning from break this weekend, but was there an effort to get them down to the arena for such a big game? Just really surprising to see so many empty seats for such a big game. Having said that, there were teams in a very intense game that the crowd was as loud as any game this season. So perhaps those were the 1,600 or so (plus a couple hundred crazy Tech fans) diehard hockey fans in Mankato.

Read my game story here.

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