A few afterthoughts about the Michigan Tech series ...
Jon Kalinski, who is the subject of my Tuesday column, had three short-handed breakaways against the Huskies. "Three in a weekend," Mavericks coach Troy Jutting said Monday. "Most players don't get three chances in their career." The problem was, of course, that he didn't finish and the Mavericks ended up with one goal for the weekend. Kalinski scored four shorties last season, tying the school's single-season record and putting him two shy of the career mark.
The Mavericks appeared to be a faster team than the Huskies but struggled to take advantage of it on small ice against a strong defensive team. This week's opponent, Alaska-Anchorage, plays on Olympic ice, which MSU traditionally has been more comfortable on.
Jutting is cracking down on penalties to start the season. He said that sophomore defenseman Nick Canzanello was a scratch Saturday because of a late slashing penalty Friday. On Monday, he said that other players may face similar punishments this weekend. It's a move that's long overdue. Minnesota State has been the WCHA leader in penalty minutes for five years running.
While the 7-1 score doesn't show it, Jutting insists that the Mavericks played better Saturday than they did in Friday's 2-0 loss. The difference? Goalie Mike Zacharias bailed out his teammates Friday, and, Saturday, Dan Tormey struggled early while Tech's Rob Nolan made 35 saves, including 13 in the first period.
This week's uscho.com rankings are out and eight WCHA teams are in the top 20, including No. 14 Michigan Tech, who was not ranked last week. St. Cloud State also got votes, which leaves the Mavericks as the only team not considered this week. Of the WCHA teams, North Dakota is No. 1, followed by Colorado College (4), Denver (6), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (11), Michigan Tech (14), Minnesota Duluth (17) and Alaska-Anchorage (20).
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