The Minnesota State men’s hockey team enjoyed a bye week but now are back in action to begin their Central Collegiate Hockey Association conference schedule.
Their opponent this weekend will be Ferris State. The Bulldogs split a home series against St. Lawrence last weekend with a 2-1 overtime win Saturday. Antonio Venuto scored the game-winning goal to cap off a three-point weekend, while Stepan Pokorny also posted a three-point series.
Those two players now have points in four consecutive games and seem to have taken the reins of the Bulldog scoring attack. Pokorny has six goals on the year, including two power play goals and a game winner. Venuto has seven points this season, including six assists.
Including their victory over St. Lawrence, the Bulldogs are 3-0 in overtime games this season. Logan Stein is their goalie, and he earned his first win Saturday after stopping 22 of 23 shots. The Bulldogs are 3-4-1 this season with wins over Northern Michigan and Miami of Ohio in addition to St. Lawrence.
MSU and FSU met a total of five times last year, including a CCHA semifinal matchup on September 11. The two teams split the regular season series 2-2, but the Mavs got the last laugh when they defeated the Bulldogs 7-2 in the CCHA tournament to advance to the championship round. Historically, the Mavs hold a 35-11-2 advantage over the Bulldogs, dating back to 1992. The Mavericks have won seven of the previous 10 matchups, scoring at least five goals on six occasions.
Minnesota State has been nationally ranked as high as No. 20 in the USCHO Division I Ice Hockey Poll and No. 19 in the USA Hockey/The Rink Live Rankings Poll.
Sam Morton continues to hold the team lead in goals scored, with four. Luc Wilson, Adam Eisele and Brendan Olson are in a three-way tie for second with two. Evan Murr leads the team in assists with three, followed by five different Mavericks having two.
Alex Tracy has been the main goalkeeper for the Mavs through seven games. Tracy has started six games, stopped 131 shots with a .897 save percentage, but Keenan Rancier seems to be healing more and more each week. After the bye, Rancier will have had another week to clean up any lingering injuries and he should be back on the ice more soon. In Rancier’s one game played this season, he stopped 21 shots, but did not finish the game.
The Mavs will travel to Michigan for their inaugural conference games, with both Friday and Saturday’s games starting at 7:07 p.m. in Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Header Photo: Minnesota State leads the all-time series against the Bulldogs 35-11-2 in games dating back to 1992-93. The Mavericks have won seven of the previous ten matchups, scoring at least five goals on six occasions. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
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