Mavericks to Take on the Lakers in Two Game Series

Daniel McElroy ® Sports Editor |
Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |

The Mavericks (5-1-1) men’s hockey team gets set to travel to Lake Superior State University (6-1-3) where they will face off against the Lakers in a two game series. 

The Number 5 ranked Mavericks last played two weeks ago in Marquette, Michigan where they took a two shutout sweep over Northern Michigan. Their series from last weekend against Michigan Tech was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Huskies program. 

MSU is 23-3-1 all-time against the Lakers going 9-1-0 in their last 10.

The Lakers have had a great start to their season, only dropping one game to Bemidji State University. In a season where only WCHA teams play each other, the Lakers won two of their six games against Adrian College, a Division III school, in the only non-conference series of the year for the Lakers. 

The Mavericks, also off to a great start in the year, lost their only game of the season to Michigan Tech, in a series that head coach Mike Hastings said “both teams could’ve won either game,” in a series that they split on the road.

One of the key players to watch in this series is freshman and two-time WCHA Rookie of the Week, Akito Hirose. Hirose has a stat line of 1-6-7 in 7 games on the year, proving that he deserves to belong here. 

In a press conference on Wednesday, Hastings praises his skill and ability. “He’s a freshman coming in, but he doesn’t play like a freshman. We’re ok with putting responsibility on his plate.”

Another standout player for the Mavericks is goaltender Dryden McKay. The reigning WCHA Goaltender of the Year has had a phenomenal year for himself, recording 4 shutouts in just 6 games, including not allowing a goal in the last 172:06 of play. 

McKay holds a conference leading 1.01 goals against average on the year, and a .953 save percentage, good enough for second in the league just behind Michigan Tech’s Blake Pietila who holds a .957 save percentage. 

A player to watch from the Lakers is junior forward Ashton Calder. Calder leads the team in goals and points with a 5-6-11 stat line in just 10 games. This line is also good enough to tie for fourth in the WCHA, behind three Bowling Green players.

Senior goaltender Mareks Mitens holds a 1.64 goals against average and a .941 save percentage, with a 3-1-3 record on the year. 

The Mavericks take the 10 hour road trip to Sault Ste. Marie for 6:07 PM puck drop on Friday and 4:07 PM puck drop on Saturday.

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