The Mavericks lose their third home opener in four years, travel to Boston next
The Minnesota State Mavericks men’s hockey team faced off against the St. Cloud State Huskies over homecoming weekend, taking a tough loss in the first game of the season by a 4-0 score.
“We did some good things but right now it’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said head coach Mike Hastings. “We just got done playing a very good hockey team and we’re going to go play another one soon, so we have to get ready in a hurry.”
While the Mavericks had 42 shots on goal, the SCSU defense held up and was able to turn good defense into great offense, scoring in the first period and adding a goal in the second, followed by two more in the third. The Huskies also had versatility in their offense, with each goal being netted by a different player and never needing to rely on one source for the scoring.
“From the bench, the one thing I regret other than losing the hockey game is not giving a crowd of 5,000 plus who took their time and spent their money, something to cheer about,” said Hastings on the opening game let down. “I think if we get them involved in the game it could, potentially be a little bit different.”
Mavericks goaltender Jason Pawloski recorded 22 saves against the Huskies 26 shots, having a rough game against an offense that stayed efficient. The particularly damning period was in the third, when the Huskies had two goals on five shots. In the other net, Jeff Smith had 46 saves on the night. He was particularly impressive in the third period, stopping 16 shots to keep the Mavericks from any chance of a comeback.
“I don’t want to single out anybody and I want to be fair about it, I don’t want to get completely lost in that we lost the hockey game. That’s the end of it.” said Hastings.
“We’ve got be better than we were tonight, to get shutout at home, we have to make sure that isn’t duplicated.”
After being ranked first in a preseason poll, the home loss by a wide margin is stunning. However, this is not the team that will be lost for months on a home opener stumble. The team is returning stars like Daniel Brickley, Marc Michaelis and C.J. Suess (formerly Franklin) to the squad and will look to rebound quickly.
The Mavericks head out to the road to play the Boston University Terriers on the road in Boston on Oct. 13th and 14th. The Terriers will be another team to test the defense of the Mavericks, putting up 12 goals in three games thus far this season. The team is 2-0-1 heading into the home stand. Minnesota State will learn a lot about their team this weekend, coming off a bad loss and having to find wins on the road will show what kind of team the Mavericks are already forming into. The Huskies head home to face Alaska Fairbanks for a two-game stint over the weekend, looking to add to their early success.