The Minnesota State men’s hockey team prepares for their final home series this weekend against the Michigan Tech Huskies.
The No. 4 Mavericks remain first in the WCHA standings with an overall record of 16-3-1 and a WCHA conference record of 11-1-0. The Huskies currently sit tied at fourth place in the WCHA with the Northern Michigan Wildcats with a conference record of 7-5-0 and an overall record of 17-8-1.
At the beginning of the year, the Huskies spoiled the Mavericks pursuit of a perfect overall record almost immediately, taking one of the two games the teams have played this year. The Mavericks lost their first game to the Huskies this year by a score of 3-1 but were able to win game two of the series by a score of 2-0.
Minnesota State continues to be a great team all around this year as they await the WCHA playoffs coming up in the next few weeks.
Julian Napravnik and Cade Borchardt continue to lead the way for the Mavericks in points this year, as they both recently surpassed the 20 point mark on the season in their series against Ferris State just two weekends ago.
Napravnik was able to grow his points lead this past weekend against Bemidji State, as he tallied one goal and two assists bringing his point spread to eight goals and 15 assists on the year.
Closely behind him is Borchardt who currently sits at 20 points on the year with eight goals and 12 assists.
Reggie Lutz has also been great this year for the Mavericks, who continues to show his versatility as a playmaker and a scorer. Lutz has taken the lead in goals for Minnesota State with nine, and will look to become the Maverick’s first double-digit goal scorer against the Huskies this weekend.
Dryden McKay looks to become a vital piece for the Mavericks again this weekend versus the Huskies. McKay has been great in the past for the Mavericks against the Huskies posting a 6-1-1 record and .955 save percentage in eight games. He also holds the second highest all-time shutouts by an NCAA goaltender with 24, and looks to extend his number this weekend.
This will be the last season series of the 2020-21 regular season for Maverick’s seniors this year. Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings spoke well of his seniors in a press conference this Wednesday saying, “they have helped this program grow and reach new heights.”
Coach Hastings also noted, “at this time of year, games are going to be won by the little things’’ when speaking on the difficulty of the Mavericks conference this year. “Tech has been on a bit of a roll… we’re going to have to go out there and earn it.”
Michigan Tech posted a 9-3-0 record in February and held a 3 to 1 goals to goals against ratio in their past three games.
During the press conference on Wednesday we also got to hear from senior Walker Dueher on his experiences in the Maverick program. When asked about his slow start to the season with a recent incline in performance, he said, “points weren’t falling but when the points started to come, I was able to find more and more success.”
Dueher also stated, “it’s pretty special to be able to go through it with that group of guys,” when asked about his accomplishments with his fellow senior classmates.