Friday, March 9, 2018

Mavericks 2, Huskies 1

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Playoff atmosphere: The official attendance was 2,672 on Friday, which isn't a huge crowd. Again, it doesn't help when the students are on spring break. However, with a nice contingent of Tech fans in Mankato, including the school's pep band, which had a cool battle of the bands with the Maverick Machine during pregame, the game felt like a playoff game. That continued to be the case during the close, 2-1 game in which both goaltenders played well and neither team gave up a lot.

2. Third line comes through (again): The game was scoreless until 1:34 remained in the second period. That's when Mavericks freshman center Jared Spooner scored his fourth goal and 19th point of the season. Spooner fired on goal as he skated into the offensive zone while his linemates, including Nick Rivera, who assisted on the goal, went off for a change. Spooner and Rivera each had four points in last weekend's playoff series against Alaska.

3. Almost penalty-free: There were just two penalties called in the game, although it certainly seemed like some whistles were being swallowed late. The Mavericks killed off their penalty and scored on their power play, with Jake Jaremko finishing off a nice play with Parker Tuomie at 1:22 of the second period for a 2-0 lead. "I don't think we've played in game up until this point where there were only two penalties," coach Mike Hastings said. "To be able to make that count and find a way to extend a lead is really important."

Read my game story here.

In Friday's other WCHA semifinal game, Northern Michigan defeated Bowling Green 6-1 to take a 1-0 lead in that series.

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