A clean and fast sweep of the Michigan Tech Huskies last weekend has the Mavericks ready to take on the 7th ranked St. Cloud State huskies in their next head-to-head matchup.
The Mavericks came out of the gates firing on all cylinders to start the season. In just two games, the Mavericks were able to score seven goals and limit Michigan Tech to only one goal total. Minnesota State seemed to take advantage of almost every opportunity and head coach Michael Hastings was happy to see it out of his players.
“You got to take advantage of your opportunity and I thought we did that early and scored a couple power play goals,” Hastings said. “I thought we killed penalties well. We had a lot of guys sacrificing for the greater good. A lot of pucks didn’t get to the net today because guys were blocking them.”
The Mavericks will have to keep sacrificing the body and take advantage of odd-man situations if they want to continue their hot streak going against a highly ranked St. Cloud State Huskies team. Scoring goals and keeping the puck out of the net however has been a strong suit for the Mavericks through the first two games. As a team, they have a +6 plus or minus point ratio in two games, which can’t get a whole lot better but it’s in large part due to the man between the posts, senior Cole Huggins. After his shutout, Hastings had a few choice words to say about his goaltender.
“Steady,” Hastings said. “Not a lot of peaks and valleys with him, which I can tell you as a coach is nice to see from a goaltender. It’s great to have him get that, it’s an outstanding accomplishment,” Hastings noted about his goaltender earning the WCHA defensive player of the week award.
The Mavericks wont be able to just rely on just their goaltender to keep them in the game, as they will need to keep up their scoring ways if they want to take down a rival like the Huskies. So far this season, Minnesota State has had their way offensively through their first two games. If they can ride the momentum from the series against Michigan Tech, then it could be smooth sailing for the Mavericks.
Players like forward C.J. Franklin and Zeb Knutson will be looked on to lead the team against a highly touted St. Cloud State team that finished 31-9-1 in the 2015-16 season. A tough opponent like the Huskies can surely frazzle an opponent, but the Mavericks will simply have to stick to the game plan.
“We need to just keep our momentum and play our game,” Franklin said. “If we can do that then we should be able to beat St. Cloud this weekend.”
In the first two games, Knutson leads the team in goals with three. Leading the team in points is Daniel Brickley with six total on the season. Outscoring your opponents 7-1 like the Mavericks have can help but it’ll be up to more then just the offense this weekend if they want to come out with a couple of wins. The Mavericks play St. Cloud State in a double-header starting Friday October 14th. Puck drops at 7:07 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Center.