Men’s hockey host CCHA rival Bowling Green

One of the fiercest rivalries in the CCHA is set to face off this weekend, when the Minnesota State Mavericks host the Bowling Green Falcons.

The Mavericks are coming off a weekend where they split games with Ferris State on the road, dropping a close 2-1 match on Friday, and coming back with a solid 5-1 win on Saturday.

“I want to give our guys credit for Saturday,” head coach Mike Hastings said about coming off Friday’s loss, noting that the Mavericks started out the game leading in shots 13-0 in the first 11 minutes of play.

“I thought our guys did what we asked them to do. …I thought they were rewarded for it, and I thought they worked harder,” Hastings said.

The Mavericks next opponent will hardly come with ease either, taking on the currently tied for first place Bowling Green State.

BGSU is 5-1-2 on the year, with a 3-1-0 conference record. The Falcons are coming off a weekend sweep against St. Thomas in a 4-2 win, and a 3-0 win.

The 7-3-0 (3-1-0 CCHA) Mavericks have gotten the best of the Falcons in the last five matches, most recently taking 5-1 and 4-0 wins.

“Very seldomly have we gone into that building and swept, and very seldomly have they come into our building and we’ve swept,” Hastings said.

The last time the two teams met, the rivalry was met with a lot of bad blood in a match that totaled 98 penalty minutes.

To refresh your memory, with 30 seconds remaining in the latter half of the series last season, BGSU’s Will Cullen, now playing for Miami University, hit Jared Spooner from behind into the boards, sparking one of the biggest brawls in college hockey that season. That play alone resulted in 72 minutes of penalties, including three game misconducts and a disqualification.

To say the least, there’s some bad blood between the teams.

Sophomore forward David Silye hasn’t had a taste of the rivalry yet being a transfer from Clarkson, but is ready for the fight nonetheless.

“We had a tough stretch early on and I think we built a lot of character for the team. Now getting into conference play we’re super excited, and we’re super excited for this weekend against Bowling Green,” Silye said.

The Mavericks have played games against three teams in the top three in the USCHO Division I rankings, along with No. 12 Providence. 

With the toughest games out of the way and only improving since then, MSU won’t stop there. 

“They always make us better. …They expose your weaknesses,” Hastings excitedly said about the opportunity that will present itself this weekend.

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