The Mavericks men’s hockey team extended their winning streak last weekend to four games after they swept the No. 7 ranked St. Cloud State Huskies at home in a tantalizing two-game series.
In the first game against the Huskies, Minnesota State got off to a relatively slow start, only being able to muster up 6 shots by the end of the period. They were able to manage a goal fairly early in the first by second line center Michael Hunterbrinker.
The first game against the Huskies was unlike the first two games of the season, where Minnesota State and Michigan Tech both put themselves in early power play and penalty kill trouble and resulted in early goals. The Mavericks and St. Cloud State battled it out. Head coach Mike Hastings had his thoughts on the change of pace between this series.
“That game was complete and [a] different 60 minutes than what it was the last two games that we’ve played. Not a lot of special teams, mostly 5-on-5 play and we had a couple guys make some plays,” Hastings said. “I thought Marc Michaelis was good tonight, [C.J.] Franklin, [Brad] McClure and I thought Huggy [Cole Huggins] was good again when he needed to be.”
Then with just one minute and 46 seconds off of the clock in the second period on the power play, Franklin scored on a quick one-timer goal in front of the net to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead early in the second. The power play has been effective so far this season, and has allowed the Mavericks to get off to the 4-0 tear they have started on. After the game, Hastings gave his opinion on the power play goal.
“I thought it was a big power play goal to score, and like I said when I got done talking to the guys, we’re going to have to be better because they are going to be,” Hastings said.
The Mavericks have scored on six occasions in 21 chances on the power play giving them a .286 conversion percentage and holding their opponents to only 1 goal in 18 power play attempts, a .056 success rate. The team’s play has been huge for the Mavericks in their first two games, and it is in large part due to Minnesota State’s first line.
“It seems like there’s some balance. They’re getting some chemistry; if you can do that it’s a great luxury to have, sometimes you can’t do that and hopefully we can keep those guys going in a good direction because they’re working well together,” Hastings said.
The Mavericks finished the game with four goals to St Cloud State’s one on Friday’s game one victory. In the second game of the series, there were goals flying on the scoreboard early. Junior defender Clint Lewis lit the lamp up twice early in the first period, giving the mavericks an early two-goal lead. After that, the St. Cloud State Huskies scored three unanswered goals, completely swinging momentum of the game by the end of the first period.
Then in the second period, the Mavericks took over with the help of freshman winger Parker Tuomie, who scored two goals in the second to help seal the victory for the Minnesota State Mavericks. The final score of the game was 6-4 as the Mavericks walked out of the Verizon Wireless Center with their fourth win and second sweep of the season.
The 4-0 Mavericks will be on the road next to take on the 1-3 University of Alaska, Fairbanks Nanooks. The two-game series will be held at Patty Ice Arena on Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22. Puck drops at 7:07 p.m. for each night.