Mavericks split weekend series with Wildcats

Effort the name of the game from this weekend, as MSU’s inconsistencies continue

The Minnesota State Mavericks men’s hockey team played the Northern Michigan Wildcats over the weekend, splitting the two-game series 1-1, putting the team at 6-3 on the season and is now the second time the team has lost on Saturday.

“It’s the responsibility of the guys to be in shape and ready for the game, and a lot of that is in between the ears, but I thought we had played really well in third periods until this point,” said Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings. “We just defended too hard to the puck and didn’t take care of the net.”

The Mavericks were dominant in the first game, winning 3-0 with Jason Pawloski grabbing a shutout in the net with 26 saves. Ian Scheid grabbed a first period goal to give the Mavs the early lead. Max Coatta had a goal in the third to grab the second goal, while Brad McClure sealed the game with a power play-goal at 3-0.

“I Thought we got off to a good start, I thought our first period was our best period, and once Michigan Tech got their feet under them they came after us but we did a good job holding them,” said Hastings of the victory in game one. “I thought we survived the second period and that got us into the third.”

The Mavericks were able to keep their penalties under control, a problem that plagued them against Michigan Tech, with only four in the game after seven in each of their games against Michigan Tech.

In game two, the Mavericks took another early lead with a C.J. Suess goal to go up 1-0. But then the Cougars came out with a power play goal to even the game at 1-1. The penalty became MSU’s biggest problem in yet another game. Another Northern Michigan power play-goal came in the second quarter, but the separating goal was the shorthanded goal that put the Wildcats up 3-1 in the second period.

“On one, we had two guys jump out on the puck and they have to be staggered,” said Hastings on the penalty kill problems in game two. “On another we had guys kind of standing around watching… if we don’t give running support to our goaltender and going into the final period we were two for five on penalties and they finally caught up to us.”

In the third period, the Wildcats added another goal to throw the final nail in the 4-1 coffin. Goaltender Pawloski had a far-from-solid night, with only 15 saves in a game that had him facing plenty of penalties for him to try and defend. The Wildcats goaltender Mathias Israelsson had 23 saves in his turnaround performance as the Mavericks tried to make an offensive push but were thwarted by the standout play of Israelsson.

On Nov. 10 and 11, the Mavericks will head to Bemidji to play the Bemidji State Beavers on the road. The Beavers are 4-2-2 this season, with a 3-1-1 record at home and will be a tough conference team to play on the road.

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