Monday, October 22, 2007

Houghton's in the rear-view mirror

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).

Check back later for more ...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

We will see next Monday Oct 29, if we will have the same excuses.

smellycat22 said...

8 WCHA teams ranked in the top 20 plus a 9th team with consideration and none of these teams are the Mavericks. Can the program get any lower?

Dave M. said...

Starting the WCHA season without any preseason games doesn't help in the rankings.

These are teams we should be taking 3 points from in a weekend if we want to battle for home ice but it looks like the Mavs schedule maker doesn't feel these early games mean anything.

J.J. said...

A very disappointing start for Mavericks. After how many years Jutting is finally cracking down on stupid penalties? About time. These boys need some boot camp from Troy now....Fans are very frustrated and its just two games into the season.

Nation said...

I totally agree with j.j the stupid penalties need to stop. Judding needs to sit players for dumb penalties. We need to go up to Alaska and take 3 points to give something for the fans to be excited about. This team is better than they showed on Saturday in Michigan.