Coming off of a tough first loss of the season, the Minnesota State Mavericks are going to be looking to rebound against a Ferris State team still searching for their first win of the season.
The Mavericks had their season opening, five-game winning streak ended this past Saturday while they were on the road playing halfway around the country in Fairbanks, Alaska. MNSU took the first game of the road series on Friday by a score of 7-1, but wound up a little short on Saturday losing 4-2. There seemed to be a lack of defense in the Mavericks’ defensive zone throughout the game. Head coach Mike Hastings had some comments to share on the lack of defense seen in Saturday’s effort.
“I didn’t think we defended as well as we have over the first five games, in game six from the tops of the circles back to our post,” Hastings said. “We might have given up breakaway opportunities things like that, there haven’t been a lot of second and third opportunities that our goaltenders have had to stand in there and save and I thought we got a little loose.”
It’s not easy to sweep a road series in the WCHA, but like Hastings said: “I want to see how they react”.
Minnesota State is back home hosting conference foe Ferris State this weekend. There aren’t a whole lot of better teams to face when you’re trying to bounce back from a loss this year. The Ferris State Bulldogs are 0-6-1 on the season to start and the ninth ranked Mavericks cannot let complacency get the best of them.
Through six games, the Mavericks have outscored their opponents 17-6 and have been dominating their special team and odd man situations. Minnesota State has a .944 penalty kill percentage, only allowing one goal on 18 attempts. On the power play, the Mavericks are 6-21, converting .286 percent of their power play opportunities. Not only have the Mavericks gotten off to a good start, but they have gotten off to a fast start as well. Of the 17 goals in the six games played, nine of them (goals) have come in the first period, according to Minnesota State’s athletic site.
Leading the stampede for the Mavericks is junior captain C.J. Franklin and the first line along with sophomore defenseman Daniel Brinkley. In six games, Brinkley leads the team with 10 points, nine coming by way of assist. Freshman standout Marc Michaelis, line-mate Franklin and junior forward Zeb Knutson lead the team with three goals each.
It’s been a nearly perfect start for the Mavericks thus far, going 5-1 to begin the season, but the focus will be to see how they can bounce back from their first loss of the season. Minnesota State hosts the Ferris State Bulldogs at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato. Puck drops at 7:07 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29.