Riding the momentum of their sweep at Ferris State last week, the Mavs will get back to work at home this weekend.
The Minnesota State men’s hockey team now has a 4-3-1 record and are now well into the regular season, which means most of their opponents will be in their conference, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The Mavs are off to a good start with a 2-0 conference record, but their next eight games are against conference opponents, and the way they play against them will have a serious effect on their playoff seeding.
The next conference challenger on the team’s radar are the Bemidji State Beavers. The Beavers are coming off of a series split against Michigan Tech and are 4-6 overall. Their series with the Huskies was looking like a sweep, as the Beavers were faced with a four-goal deficit. However, the Beavers scored three goals in the final five minutes of the second period to spark the largest comeback in the program’s Division I history.
Kyle Looft finished with three points in that game, and the fifth-year senior defenseman is having a career year. The reigning CCHA Defenseman of the Week has 12 points on the year, including five goals. He leads the CCHA in both categories while also being the fifth-highest scoring defenseman in all of Division I. The last time these two teams met, Looft had the game-winning power play goal in overtime.
There is a confident no. 1 guarding the net for the Beavers; Gavin Enright. Enright has started eight of nine games for the Beavers and holds a 3-4 record with a .876 save percentage.
Outside of Looft, Lleyton Roed provides a great offensive punch. Roed ranks fourth in the CCHA with seven goals scored, and his three game-winning goals leads the conference.
As it was mentioned earlier, the Beavers won the last game the two teams played against each other. The Mavs and Beavers split that series, but the Mavs have the slight edge in the all-time series. The Beavers are one of the Mavs’ oldest rivals, their playing history dates back all the way to 1981, where the Mavs won a 5-4 overtime game. The Mavs lead the all-time series 66-57-16.
Following their series sweep of FSU last weekend, the Mavs received two awards. The first was Evan Murr being awarded CCHA Rookie of the Week after his first career goal ended up being a game-winner. Murr is the first Mav to win the award this season.
Their second accomplishment was moving up to no. 20 in the USCHO Division I Ice Hockey Poll and no. 19 the USA Hockey/The Rink Live Rankings Poll. Additionally, Sam Morton brings a four-game point streak into the weekend. As he tries to extend his streak, the Mavs will try to extend theirs. Puck drop at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center is set for Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 6:07 p.m.
Header Photo: Alex Tracy currently ranks third in the CCHA in both goals against average (2.68) and save percentage (.914). (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
Write to Hayden Lee at @email@example.com