Maverick hockey travels to UMass as they take on the defending National Champions

The long wait is finally over.

Maverick hockey is back.

Minnesota State hockey is getting back on the ice this weekend when they travel to UMass to take on the defending National Champions. 

The Mavericks are coming off a trip to the program’s first NCAA Frozen Four, and despite wanting to continue their progress, it is time to move on.

“We’ve got to focus on what’s in front of us,” head coach Mike Hastings said in a press conference on Wednesday. “At this time of the year when you don’t have anything else to talk about except what has happened in the past, it’s sometimes hard for your student athletes to focus on what’s in your future.”

Hastings has no worries that his team will keep looking forward and focus on what this team can accomplish.

The Mavericks have a new group this year with ten new guys on the roster, including transfers Josh Groll from University of Michigan, Benton Maass from University of New Hampshire, and David Silye from Clarkson University.

“We need those guys to step in and play right away and be effective,” Hastings said. “The things I’ve appreciated from them, getting here and then what they’ve done going forward, is there really hasn’t been a bump in the road for them.”

The new group of players will be replacing seven seniors from last season, including captain Riese Zmolek, who is now signed with the Iowa Wild.

Taking over Riese’s role as captain is senior defenseman Wyatt Aamodt, who will look to lead in the form of his predecessors.

“Obviously a great honor, coming in my freshman year, Max Coatta was our captain and I learned a lot from him. I’ve never been around someone that’s worked as hard as he has the pride to wear the Maverick like he did,” Aamodt said about wearing the “C” for the first time.

Aamodt comes into the season with a 4-13-17 score line in his 82 games as a Maverick.

“It’s obviously hard to beat a team who’s coming off a championship when they’re hanging a banner in front of a sold out crowd, so it’s going to be a good first test for us but we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

UMass starts the season out as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, while the Mavericks sit at rank No. 5.

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