Mavericks look to snag WCHA title vs. Bowling Green

The plays their final game of the tournament Saturday at the Verizon Center

Brady Olson
Staff Writer

After breezing through the first two rounds of the WCHA tournament, the Maverick men’s hockey team will face its biggest challenge of the year this weekend when Bowling Green comes to town for the WCHA Championship on Saturday at the Verizon Center.

Both teams took only four games to make the championship game. 

MSU’s route involved sweeps over Alabama-Huntsville and Lake Superior State, while Bowling Green had to take down Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan. These two teams also met in a series earlier this season, with Bowling Green sweeping the Mavericks in Ohio. 

Bowling Green is the only team this year to have beaten the Mavs twice. Adding intrigue to this game is the fact that the Mavericks and Falcons are 4-4 in their last eight meetings in the Verizon Center, with each series being split.

Another big aspect of this game will be the NCAA tournament. Whoever wins will be one of six automatic qualifiers into the tournament, while the other will have to hope they get in as one of 10 at-large bids. 

 Minnesota State is firmly a lock to make the tournament this season, but the result of Saturday’s game could determine whether they are a 1 or 2-seed. Bowling Green is currently the No. 13 team in the country, but an embarrassing loss could force them out of the tournament.

Minnesota State, currently the 2nd-ranked team in the country, is looking for their first tournament title since 2015. 

However, once the Mavericks get out of the WCHA, they have a tendency to go cold. In their five NCAA tournament appearances, MSU has not been able to advance to the second round. 

Hopefully, with arguably their best team since the 2014-15 season, the Mavericks can buck that trend and make a run in the NCAA tournament.

The WCHA Championship game will take place on Saturday at the Verizon Center. The puck-dropping is scheduled at 7:07 p.m. The game can be watched on Charter 191 & 826, and also can be listened to via radio on KTOE. The next game for the Mavericks after Saturday will be the NCAA Regional Semifinal on March 28. The Mavericks’ opponent and region will be announced on Sunday.

Header photo by AA | MSU Reporter.

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