Maverick hockey heads to Grand Forks for a two game series against No.4 North Dakota for the first matchup between the two since 2019. This will be the first away series of the year for MSU.
“It could be a good escape,” said head coach Luke Strand in a press conference released by Maverick Athletics. “It could be better on the road if you don’t try and make the extra play for the fans.”
“North Dakota is a very talented team. A lot of depth up front, a lot of speed, they make a lot of plays and have all new decor and a new goaltender.”
Both teams are looking very different this year.
UND has 14 new players this season, seven of which are freshmen. The Mavs have an all new coaching staff plus 10 newcomers to the roster.
This season, the Fighting Hawks have been on a roll. They have a 3-1 record as they swept their first series against Army and tied their latest series against rival and No.1-ranked Minnesota Gophers.
“In all three zones they have a ton of stick skill and they make plays. They make them individually and they make them collectively. Their goaltender is off to a great start and they have great team balance and depth,” said Strand.
The No.19 Mavericks now hold a 2-2 record after getting swept by University of Massachusetts last weekend. They lost 6-3 Friday after giving up their tied score of 3-3 in the second period. The second game was closer, ending in a 1-0 loss.
“We need to take advantage of what we can control and be sharp with our efforts and discipline,” said Stand. “We want to keep getting after goals, we want to get after seconds, we need to raise our tenacity around the net. The goose egg is not a good look for us and we need to continue to tend to that.”
Sophomore forward Adam Eisele leads the Mavericks with four points. The Lake Elmo, Minnesota native posted a goal and an assist in Friday’s loss to Massachusetts. He is on MSU’s second line which is currently the most productive trio on the team.
In the net for the Mavs will be Alex Tracy. Tracy is in for Keenan Rancier, who is working his way back from injury. In the first week of play, Tracy earned himself his second career Central Collegiate Hockey Association Goaltender of the Week. He earned this by stopping 50 shots and only letting in three goals throughout two games which compiled for a .943 dave percentage.
“We are happy for Alex and his ability to stay attached to the game,” said Strand. “Good start to the season for him after a great summer.”
The games will take place Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 6:07 p.m.
Photo caption: After a loss to UMass last weekend, the Mavericks head to their first away game of the season in Grand Forks, N.D. to take on the University of North Dakota to take on the Fighting Hawks. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)
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