The Spirit of the Mavericks Trophy will be heading back to Nebraska until further notice.
In a low-scoring night at Mayo Clinic Health System Events Center, the University of Nebraska-Omaha came away with a 1-0 win in the first and only exhibition match of the year for Minnesota State.
MSU outshot UNO 38-13 on the night, but was unable to get it past UNO’s goaltender, which ended up being the difference in the game. The MSU defense held strong for 57 minutes, but the game-winning goal by UNO’s Matt Miller snuck past Andrew Miller, MSU’s goaltender, with 2:40 remaining in the game. Miller and Alex Tracy split time at goalie in the loss, with Tracy playing 40 minutes and Miller playing 20.
Fortunately for MSU, this loss will not affect their end-of-season record, and head coach Luke Strand was optimistic about the team’s future.
“I thought the energy was good and we played with some resilience to get to second pucks,” Strand said in a press release posted to the Maverick Athletics website. “Now the next layer is going to be, can we win the races that are going to put us in position to grab a better scoring chance? Can we get to the net when we need to instead of being a little bit hesitant in that area?”
Despite their lack of goals, the Mavs were able to find some chemistry behind their new players and coaches.
“I was encouraged by the feeling we had on the bench,” Strand said. “I was impressed that our guys were happy for one another and the passion that they shared for one another’s successes. Even though they are competing for lineup positions, they still found a way to be good teammates. That’s a good building block for sure.”
With a little more practice, the Mavs should be ready to take on the St. Cloud State Huskies in their first true game and series of the year next weekend.
“I think we can learn to be a little more sturdy and sure handed in certain situations but I wasn’t disappointed with our compete level at all,” said team captain Sam Morton. “Some of the decision-making can be cleaned up but we can do that. We did a good job getting pucks to the net. Now we just have to do a better job of getting bodies to the net, finding those rebound opportunities.”
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