Going into this upcoming series against Bemidji State, Mavericks mens hockey will have no choice but to bring their A-game to the ice to take on this in-state rival.
It will be a battle of the goalies with sophomore Dryden McKay in the net for MSU and junior Zach Driscoll for the Beavers.
MSU is looking stronger than ever and will be defending their first-place record in the WCHA and No. 3-ranked in the nation.
The No. 1-scoring defense (avg. 1.42) and an offense with a scoring average of 3.69 is looking to cause some trouble for Driscoll, bringing their top scoring seniors to the ice, such as captain Marc Michaelis, who is currently ranked the No. 10 offensive player in the country with a .64 goal average. This past weekend he was able to cash in two assists and a goal against Bowling Green.
However, the Beavers are coming off of a five-point weekend against Michigan Tech, extending their winning-streak to six and steadily holding onto their second place in the WCHA.
Despite the six-game difference, BSU’s offense should definitely not be underestimated, as they currently hold a 3.21 goals per game average.
MSU has a major home advantage, as the Mavericks are currently 24-7-6 against Bemidji at home.
Known for their fast and quick scoring, MSU is the team to beat and the intimidation factor definitely plays a great role in this series.
According to BSU’s head coach Tom Serratore in the Bemidji Pioneer, “They’re a heck of a team and they’re tough. They’re tough to beat, especially in that building, so what a challenge for us.”
But that doesn’t mean that a split this upcoming weekend is impossible.
We have seen the Mavericks offense crumble in the second half of a series, with significantly lower and slower scoring such as what caused the loss at Northern Michigan or last week, forcing the game to go into overtime.
Should we be worried? Depends. MSU has proven to be a reliable and steady team with McKay as the Backbone.