Friday, March 2, 2018

Mavericks 8, Nanooks 2

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Points spread: "A lot of guys pitched in tonight." That's what MSU senior forward Brad McClure said after the game. (Read much more about him and his usual playoff antics in the link below.) Indeed, 13 players had at least a point for the Mavericks, including McClure with two goals, C.J. Suess with a goal and two assists and Parker Tuomie with a goal and an assist. Freshman Jared Spooner had a three-assist game, and Nick Rivera helped out on two goals. A four-goal outburst over a span of about 4 1/2 minutes in the second period, including goals by Max Coatta and Jake Jaremko 18 seconds apart, turned the game from 3-2 to 7-2.

2. Nice moment: Coatta's goal to make it 4-2 came 29 second after Alaska cut the game to 3-2 on a power-play goal by Tristan Thompson. Thompson's slapper from the left point appeared to beat goalie Connor LaCouvee to the far post, probably a puck the red-hot goalie would have liked to have back. After celebrating his goal and going down the bench, Coatta made a bee line to LaCouvee and said something, most likely words of encouragement. "I'm not sayin this in a boastful matter at all, but it doesn't surprise me about Max," coach Mike Hastings said. "Max, he puts his work in every single day. He cares about everybody on our team, and does that in actions and not just words. ... That proves he thinks well beyond himself, and that's why I think he's such a strong captain for us."

3. Can they finish? Minnesota State will try to close out the series on Saturday night. A loss would force a third game on Saturday. A year ago, the Mavericks swept the Nanooks in this round 3-0 and 4-1, but other than that, they have swept Alaska just once in seven regular-season series since the two became WCHA-mates. "I asked the guys, 'What do you think's going to happen tomorrow night?' They're going to be coming because they don't want their season to end," Hastings said. "And if you've followed history of our series this year, previous seasons, one team might get it one night and the next night the other team comes. And we expect them to come, and they will."

Read my game story here.

Around the WCHA: Northern Michigan 7, Alabama Huntsville 1 ... Bowling Green 2, Ferris State 1 (OT) ... Michigan Tech 5, Bemidji State 3

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