With the last regular season series of the year this weekend, Hobey Baker award candidate Daniel Brickley and the Maverick hockey team look to place themselves on top of the D-I hockey podium
The No. 5 Minnesota State Mavericks men’s hockey team is 25-7 this season while also on a nine-game winning streak as they head into the final week of the regular season.
One of the standouts on the stacked Mavericks roster has been junior defenseman Daniel Brickley, who has been a key leader on the team, on and off the ice.
“Being an upperclassman and winning, I think that just shows what type of coach we have and what type of good people we have on our team. We as a team strive to get better every single day whether that be in the weight room, on or off the hockey rink or in the classroom. We know what we need to do to be good and I think doing all the right things is translating to our gameplay on the ice,” said Brickley on what makes the Mavericks a consistently good team from top to bottom.
I then asked Brickley about if he thinks this team is a top contender in this league.
“Yes, I believe this year’s hockey team would be a top contender. Having Mike Hastings as a coach really helps because he gets the best out of every player yet he is very personal as well and he knows what it takes to win and those are the types of characteristics in a coach you want, or at least I want and us as a team like.”
But the mentality of the team and coaching on the team is only the first step towards the teams’ success this season. The team needs to have the desire to succeed as a group from the beginning and continue to rely on that drive throughout the season. Brickley has seen that in his team since day one.
“Our mentality of the game I would say is pretty much the same as the beginning of the season. We know what we are all working towards and we all are grabbing a piece of the rope and trying to achieve that goal together,” said Brickley. “Needless to say, we are all on the same page.”
Not only does the Maverick hockey team have a mentality and constant drive for success, but so does Brickley, on a personal level. Last season he had a career-high in goals (8) and assists (23) to give him his best point mark at 31. Now, he is backing up a career season by posting 30 points this season (9 goals and 21 assists) and has two games left to top last season’s success.
“My personal statistics being 9 goals and 21 assists are great and all but I would rather see my team win than me getting personal goals. It’s a team game and that’s one of the reasons why I play the game,” said Brickley, staying humble and team-oriented about the impressive stats. “It does feel good to know that last year wasn’t a fluke having a point per game and I am glad on a selfless note that I could back that up and help my team out in any way possible this year. Hopefully, we can end our regular season out strong and go into playoffs strong and healthy.”
As Brickley reaches the cusp of what could be another career season, he was also reflective of the past MSU teams. Their campaign of sustained success was something that made him better.
“I think the biggest difference for me over the years of being at MSU Mankato is not that much every year we have a great group of guys,” said Brickley on the solid teams year in and year out. “We are all working together to accomplish one common goal and that is to chance the McNaughton cup and Broadmoor cup and then go on to compete at the NCAA tournament.”
As the teams heads into their final regular season battle with Bemidji State this weekend, the team’s goal is to carry their momentum from the regular season, into the playoffs. The team’s goal of being the top hockey team in the league looks to be more and more clear as the season progresses. With all the leadership and talent on this team, look for them to finish off the year in style.