After clinching a share of the title, they have a chance to clinch the whole thing
The Minnesota State men’s hockey team has already clinched a share of the WCHA title, but they will have a chance to take the whole thing when they travel to Fairbanks to take on the University of Alaska Fairbanks this weekend.
Holding a 12-point lead over both Bowling Green and Lake Superior State in the WCHA standings, the Mavericks only need to grab a tie or better in their last four games to clinch the full championship.
According to Massey Ratings, MSU only has a 0.06 percent chance of losing their final four games. With the odds of clinching the way they are, these last four games will still be important in terms of seeding for the NCAA tournament.
As of now the Mavericks are a borderline No. 1 seed. They are currently fourth in the latest USCHO rankings, and they could leapfrog third-place Minnesota-Duluth depending on this weekend’s results.
This team has consistently shown shades of last year’s team than was ranked first in goals per game. They are currently fourth in the same category for this season, averaging nearly 3.7 goals scored compared to 1.9 goals allowed.
Along with this offense has been the play of freshman goalie Dryden McKay. Since he returned as a starter, he has been one of the best goalies in the country. He is currently sixth in goals allowed per game and has been saving more than 92 percent of shots that come his way.
An interesting statistic that this team has feasted on is time in the penalty box. The Mavericks have spent 80 minutes less in the box than their opponents, which has led to a plus-15 difference in power play goals.
Another catalyst for the Mavs’ success on the power play is their efficiency. They are currently sixth in power play efficiency, scoring on 26 percent of their opportunities.
The Mavericks will play UAF at 7:07 pm, Friday and Saturday. You can listen to the game on KTOE AM 1420.
Feature photo by Kjerstin Hall | MSU Reporter.