Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...
1. Old demons: The Mavericks played straight up with No. 15 Denver most of the game but a few things came back to haunt them as they lost their third game in a row. 1) They continued to struggle on the power play, going 0 for 7, including failing to score with 72 seconds of 5x3. 2) MSU was pretty disciplined on the penalty front for the first two periods, but Cameron Cooper was called for interference and hooking seven minutes apart in the third period when the Mavericks need to stay out of the box. Denver scored on the second one for the game-winning goal. 3) That goal was a low slap shot from the left point. Unless it hit traffic or the otherwise brilliant Phil Cook (35 saves, some awesome) was screened, that can't go in. "It was a typical WCHA game where a couple of plays decide the hockey game," MSU coach Troy Jutting said. "Tonight, they made them and we didn't."
2. Purple Hayes: Eriah Hayes had as pretty a goal as you'll see to tie the game 2-2 with 38.8 seconds remaining in the second period. Hayes intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and made a beeline toward the Denver net. A right-handed shot, Hayes had to keep the puck on his backhand to protect it from a Pioneers defender who was backchecking hard. But he gave himself enough room to fire a backhander over goalie Sam Brittain's shoulder, just under the crossbar. Last season in Magness Arena, Hayes had another pretty goal. The building's been kind to him. He now leads the Mavericks with four goals. "Eriah, the last four, five games has played well for us," Jutting said. Justin Jokinen scored the Mavericks' first goal, his third of the year.
3. Great plays: One play you don't see too often in college hockey anymore is a fake shot. But Denver stud defenseman Matt Donovan pulled one off for the Pioneers' second goal of the game. Donovan set up a slap shot and started to fire. But when Cook went down to stop the shot, Donovan dished it across the slot to streaking right winger Luke Salazar who had an easy tap-in goal behind Cook. Another great play by the Pioneers came in the final minute when Cook was off the ice for an extra attacker. Denver iced the puck, but with the new hybrid icing rule in effect, DU captain Kyle Ostrow beat the last MSU defensemen to the faceoff dots and the game continued on.
See the game's box score here.