Men’s hockey look for sweep to take the conference

The Maverick hockey team is set to face off against St.Thomas Friday and Saturday. A sweep by either team will take them to the top spot in the CCHA. 

Both teams are currently tied for first. St. Thomas is 12-11-1 while MSU is 13-9-4. Despite the different record, they both have 30 points, which leaves them tied for first place in the conference. 

The teams split a two-game series in December, with the Mavericks taking the first game 3-1 and the Tommies taking the second 2-1. 

The Mavs are currently on a roll and are dominating the conference. Start the new year they were in fifth-place in the CCHA standings. Since then they have climbed five spots, and a Maverick trio is emerging in pivotal roles. 

Alex Tracy was named CCHA Goaltender of the Month, Sam Morton was named Forward of the Month and Evan Murr Defenseman of the Month. 

In Tracy’s six games throughout January, he compiled a save percentage of .944, after only letting in six of 107 shots on goal. He also earned his second shutout of the season against Northern Michigan last week, after stopping 18 shots. 

Morton has kept up his scoring all year. In January he scored in seven of eight games, and leads the conference in goals (19), points (28), shots (109), shots per game (4.19), faceoff wins (253) and plus/minus (+13). He ranks sixth in all of Division I goals, and is on a five- game point streak going into this weekend versus the Tommies.

With these stats, he is currently getting national recognition and is nominated for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. It is an annual award given to the top men’s hockey player at the collegiate level. In 2022, Maverick goaltender Dryden Mckay won the award. 

“He is a multifaceted player. He impacts the score sheet with goals and is a tremendous leader,” said Strand.

Lastly, Murr won the honor for his skating skills. The freshman leads all defenseman on the team in points. He had two multi-point games in January. 

“Murr has really taken his game seriously,” Strand said. “He has turned opportunity into his favor and he is continuing to grow in the overall game. His ability to turn a defensive stop and turn it into offense is routine now. He is a terrific kid. His team impact goes way past his stat sheet.”

For the Tommies, Jake Sibell leads the CCHA in saves. He has a  1.77 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. In 644 minutes played this season, he has let in 29 goals. Lucas Wahlin leads the team with 10 goals and 13 assists. 

UST won three of four in January and haven’t seen the ice since Jan. 20. 

Friday’s game will take place at St. Thomas Ice Arena at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday’s game is back at home for the Mavs at 6:07 p.m. With just eight games remaining this season, these games may be critical as the Mavericks pursue their seventh straight MacNaughton Cup. 

Header Photo: Maverick goaltender Alex Tracy was named CCHA Goaltender of the month. Sam Morton and Evan Murr were named Forward of the Month and Defender of the Month respectively. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

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