Minnesota State’s men’s hockey team travels to Ferris State this weekend to take on the Bulldogs in a set of CCHA conference games.
The Mavericks head into this weekend riding a six-game winning streak since the beginning of the new year, and sport a 16-9-1 overall record including going 11-6-1 in the CCHA.
The Mavericks and Bulldogs last met in Mankato Dec. 2-3, where the Bulldogs swept the Mavericks in two close thrillers. The good news is the Mavericks own a 12-7-1 all-time record on the road against the Bulldogs and are currently 4-0 in their last four road games this season.
“As more games have gone on, we’ve been able to learn when bad shifts or bad bounces happen,” said junior defenseman Tony Malinowski. “We’re learning each game and we’re getting better. Going on the road and especially coming off Christmas is huge for us and helps with our confidence.”
The Mavericks, who struggled to piece together a full 60 minutes during the season, have been finding ways to win the past six games with the help of several key players. Sophomore goaltender Keenan Rancier has been a crucial part of the Mavericks’ recent success.
The Victoria, B.C.-native picked up his first collegiate shutout two weekends ago in the Mavericks’ 5-0 win over Arizona State. Rancier continued his strong performance last weekend allowing only three goals in his two starts against Lake Superior.
“It starts in practice and it starts in the weight room, and he’s taken big steps on that,” said Malinowski on Rancier’s recent performances.
“For him, confidence is key and he’s been lights out for us. Seeing him get better is great to see and I’m just super happy for him.”
Rancier will need to continue his strong play as he faces the deep lineup of Ferris State. Eight of the Bulldog’s top scorers this season have registered at least 10 points so far this season.
Leading the Bulldogs in points this season is junior forward Stepan Pokorny, who scored the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs against the Mavericks Dec. 3.
Between the pipes, sophomore goaltender Noah Giesbrecht has been lights out for the Bulldogs this season. The native of White Rock, B.C. leads the CCHA in save percentage at .927%.
Good news for the Mavericks is they own the CCHA leader in goals and goals per game in junior forward David Silye. Although, for his standards so far this season, Silye has been relatively quiet in the past six games, only tallying four goals during that time span.
This weekend’s series will showcase the CCHA’s best offensive and defensive players as they prepare to battle it out in front of a raucous Ferris State crowd. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday and 6:07 p.m. Saturday.
Header Photo: MSU Men’s Hockey team travels to Ferris State this weekend for their next two-game series. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Karson Buelow at email@example.com