MSU hockey is coming off of an impressive series against Boston University, but they will be put to the test as they face the University of North Dakota in the season’s first road test of the season.
The Mavericks are 2-0 on the year, thanks to a sweep of Boston last weekend. Thanks to the wins against the then-#8 team in the country, MSU has leaped from 11th to 7th in the latest USCHO rankings.
Also, a pair of Maverick players earned WCHA Player of the Week honors due to their performances against Boston.
Sophomore defenseman Riese Zmolek was named Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman goalie Dryden McKay was named Rookie of the Week.
North Dakota currently holds a record of 0-1-1. They started their season last weekend against unranked Bemidji State. They first played at Bemidji, suffering a 2-1 loss.
In their second game, which took place at UND, they fought to a 1-1 tie. Due to their struggles last week, UND was dropped from 13th to 16th in the rankings.
UND is coached by Brad Berry, who is currently in his fourth season as head coach. North Dakota won the NCAA title in his first season back in 2016, but haven’t won a tournament game since.
However, things haven’t been any better for the Mavericks. In five appearances in the tournament, MSU has never been able to make it out of the first round.
Minnesota State has one of the best offenses in the nation, and so far everyone has gotten in on the fun.
In the two games vs Boston, seven different players combined on the nine goals scored, with junior forward Parker Tuomie leading the team in points at four.
As for defense, goalie Dryden McKay has done fairly well saving 49 of 55 shot attempts. It will be interesting to see how good the freshman McKay can get this season as the Mavericks eye their fourth WCHA title.
Grand Forks has traditionally been a tough environment for the Mavericks to play in. MSU is 6-23-3 all time on the road against UND, but things look differently this year.
MSU’s offense, just like last season, has started the year red-hot, and could force UND to make shots to stay in the game. That means that North Dakota would have to keep up with last season’s highest-scoring offense.
MSU and UND will play in Grand Forks on October 19th and 20th. The Friday game begins at 7:37, and the Saturday game begins at 7:07. You can listen to the games on KTOE 1420.