Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Elbrecht likely to play against Gophers

Minnesota State junior defenseman and co-captain Tyler Elbrecht survived his first full-contact practice since early October on Monday, as well as the rest of the week, and it appears he'll be in the lineup Friday against fifth-ranked Minnesota.

The Gopher series was Elbrecht's target weekend since breaking his arm in the first game of the year against RPI, even if doctors, trainers and coaches were a little skeptical that it might happen.

Even Wednesday, coach Troy Jutting said he would have liked to have given Elbrecht another week of practice to get his legs ready for game action. But 1) the Mavericks need him in the lineup (see below) and 2) this is a pretty important WCHA weekend.

Elbrecht's return will be a huge boost for the Mavericks. For one thing, it will be the return of the team's emotional leader. But also all still is not rosy on the injury front as defenseman Brett Stern re-aggravated  his upper-body injury and likely is out until after Christmas, and defenseman Danny Heath remains out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.

As for other injuries, forward Adam Mueller practiced this week and appears set to play again after missing Saturday's game against Alaska Anchorage.

A few other items ...

Minnesota's hockey sports information guy Paul Rovnak asked me to contribute to a little Q&A about this weekend's series. You can read that here.

Later today or tomorrow you should check out Star Tribune beat writer Roman Augustoviz's blog where, once again, he has challenged me in a WCHA pick-'em contest. Currently, Roman has some notes on this weekend's series from Wednesday's media session at the U.

Monday, November 28, 2011

More from Karambelas

Follow this link to read my Monday notebook from this weekend's Minnesota State-Alaska Anchorage series. It features some of Saturday's postgame comments from goalie Evan Karambelas, who made his collegiate debut, entering the game in the middle of the second period with a 5-1 deficit.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mavericks 5, Seawolves 5 - OT

John Cross/The Free Press
Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game ...

1. Call it a comeback: There were some shades of that crazy come-from-behind win over Denver back in 2003-04 on Saturday night. The four unanswered goals, the power-play goals, the goalie change (and going to the rookie third-stringer, to boot, with Evan Karambelas getting his first collegiate action) and the sheer craziness of the game. But I wouldn't rank it above that 8-7 win. Really, Saturday's game should have been a victory, with MSU outshooting Anchorage (not a future national champion, like that DU team) 46-13 and pretty much dominating all phases of the game.

2. Cook's confidence: Not sure what to make of goalie Phil Cook after this one. Not only did he give up five goals on seven shots before being pulled 7 1/2 minutes into the second period, but if you go back to the second period of last Saturday's game in Duluth, he has given up nine goals on the last 11 shots he's faced. "I think probably a lack of confidence," MSU coach Troy Jutting said. "We've got to get him back to where he's capable of being. He's a very good goaltender who's kind of fighting the puck right now." Among the goals he allowed were two power play goals and a breakaway out of the penalty box.

3. Young guns: Senior defenseman Joe Schiller scored the game-tying goal at 10:24 of the third period. Just a blast on a deflected puck that ended up in open ice above the slot. And Eriah Hayes also had a goal — the power play goal that sparked the comeback. But the young Mavericks really stole the show. Jean-Paul LaFontaine scored twice and had several chances to complete a hat trick. Matt Leitner had a goal and two assists. Max Gaede showed great improvement as part of that all-rookie line. Sophomores Johnny McInnis and Zach Lehrke each had two assists.

Deep thought: Will the Mavericks ever get healthy? While Tyler Elbrecht tweeted this week that he's been cleared for contact and should practice in full starting Monday, Brett Stern left Saturday's game with an undisclosed injury, and Adam Mueller sat out the game after taking hard hit along the boards on Friday.

Quote of the night: "I thought we played pretty dang good defensively all night. We gave up 13 shots on goal to a WCHA hockey team. I don't know if you can do it much better than that." — Troy Jutting

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech 3, St. Lawrence 1 ... Minnesota 4, Michigan State 4 - OT ... North Dakota 4, Colorado College 3 ... Nebraska-Omaha 4, St. Cloud State 3 ... Miami 4, Denver 2 ... Wisconsin 5, Mercyhurst 2

Up next: The Mavericks (3-10-1, 2-7-1 in WCHA) will travel to Minneapolis next weekend to take on the Gophers.

Read Sunday morning's Free Press game story here.

MSU vs. UAA - Game 2 live blog

A few changes for the Mavericks tonight (lines can be found below the live blog). Phil Cook will start in goal. F-Adam Mueller, F-Mike Louwerse and D-Josh Nelson are out; F-Corey Leivermann, F-Charlie Thauwald and D-Mat Knoll are in.

22-McInnis     29-Zuck     23-Dorr
15-Burkemper     19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     8-Gaede
11-Leivermann     14-Jokinen     20-Thauwald

3-Cooper     26-Schiller
27-Stern     17-Mosey
7-Palmquist     10-Knoll


Scratches: Elbrecht, Grant, Heath, Louwerse, Mueller, Nelson

29-Allen     17-Kwas     7-Cameron
10-Spencer     30-Scheid     19-Mellor
23-Roy     21-Bailey     12-Bruijsten
16-Pettitt     26-Currier     18-Crowell

4-Docken     15-Gorham
8-Warner     5-Coldwell
13-Sproule     11-Leinweber


Friday, November 25, 2011

Seawolves 5, Mavericks 4

John Cross/The Free Press
Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game ...

1. Health didn't help: Defensemen Cameron Cooper and Brett Stern returned to the lineup on Friday, but it didn't help MSU's defensive-zone play. Coach Troy Jutting said "unforced" turnovers and miscommunication were huge issues in the loss, and indeed, the Seawolves scored some momentum-killing goals, including a blue-line steal and breakaway by Brett Cameron midway through the second period. We knew going into the season that defense was going to be a potential weakness with so many shifts to replace — and that was before everyone was injured.

2. To kill or not to kill: The Mavericks went to the box just three times and there were goals on each. Alaska Anchorage scored two power-play goals, and MSU had a short-handed goal. The Mavs' kill was good, holding the Seawolves to just three shots. Jordan Kwas' goal in the first period was one Austin Lee (19 saves) certainly would like to have had back and it tied the game with 1:40 left in the first period. Curtis Leinweber made a nice move around a D and beat Lee in tight to give UAA its first lead midway through the second period. In between, Zach Lehrke and Justin Jokinen put on a short-handed clinic, giving each other a scoring chance before they finally scored. Jokinen's pull move and shot hit Rob Gunderson (23 saves), and Lehrke was there to cash in on the rebound.

3. Good lines: It will be interesting to see if there will be any lineup changes on Saturday. Lehrke finished the game with two goals, and his linemates — Eriah Hayes (goal, assist) and J.P. Burkemper (two assists) — were very good all night. Jokinen had a solid game adding a goal. The freshman line of Matt Leitner, Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Max Gaede didn't score but made a lot of noise. Adam Mueller showed speed to get around a defenseman and put a great shot over Gunderson's shoulder in the closing moments of the first period, only to hit the crossbar.

Deep thought: This was the Mavericks' fourth loss in a row this season and the third home loss in a row to Alaska Anchorage.

Read The Free Press game story here.

Around the WCHA: St. Lawrence 3, Michigan Tech 2 ... Michigan State 4, Minnesota 3 ... Wisconsin 7, Mercyhurst 2 ... North Dakota 7, Colorado College 6 ... Denver 3, Princeton 0

MSU vs. Anchorage - live blog

Lines are posted below the live blog. In a bit of a surprise (to me, anyway), Cameron Cooper will play. Brett Stern is also in on D. Austin Lee will start in goal for the Mavs.

24-Mueller     29-Zuck     23-Dorr
15-Burkemper     19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     8-Gaede
22-McInnis     9-Louwerse     14-Jokinen

3-Cooper     26-Schiller
27-Stern     17-Mosey
7-Palmquist     2-Nelson


Scratches: Elbrecht (inj.), Grant (inj.), Heath (inj.), Knoll, Leivermann, Thauwald

12-Bruijsten     21-Bailey     16-Pettitt
10-Spencer     17-Kwas     7-Cameron
29-Allen     29-Scheid     19-Mellor
9-Pustin     23-Roy     26-Currier

4-Docken     1-Gorham
8-Warner     25-Karl
13-Sproule     11-Leinweber


Referees: Matt Ulwelling, Craig Welker. Linesmen: Chris Olson, Sterling Eagan

Friday Morning Skate

Happy Black Friday. No late-night or early-morning shopping for me. I'm still full of stuffing and gravy. But tonight the Mavericks take on the Seawolves at the Verizon Wireless Center and will attempt to break a three-game losing streak along the way.

Amid some of MSU's struggles, we're seeing some growth and maturity from a few players, notably junior forward Eli Zuck.

I'll post official lines later (I had Thanksgiving off so did not get to practice), but earlier this week coach Troy Jutting said Brett Stern should be available this weekend. That should be a boost for the defensive corps. Read more in the gameday preview.

Colorado College at North Dakota: North Dakota may be off to a slow start but the Tigers aren't looking past them. As for the Sioux, captain Mario Lamoureux believes they can turn things around even against a high-scoring team like CC.

St. Cloud State at Nebraska Omaha (Saturday-Sunday series): The Huskies' top Twitterer, Nic Dowd might be immortalized in bobblehead next season in a promotion by his junior team, the Wenatchee Wild (What? not Evan Mosey?!?!). For the red Mavericks, they are looking for a goalie to step up this season, and Dean Blais sounds a lot like Troy Jutting with his 90 percent rule.

Minnesota at Michigan State: The Gophers head east to take on a future Big 10 foe. Minnesota has had great success this season, especially when leading or tied in the second intermission. It helps when you have a player like Nick Bjugstad, who is tied atop the national scoring race.

Mercyhurst at Wisconsin: The Badgers host a nonconference series against the Lakers, and freshman Brendan Woods will see some time on the top line after getting shuffled around throughout the first quarter of the season.

Denver in Denver Cup with Princeton, Miami and Providence: Going into their annual tournament, the Pioneers are hurting, as it was repoted this week that defenseman John Ryder and goalie Adam Murray are out indefinitely with injury. Denver, like Wisconsin, has a freshman on the top line.

In another series involving a WCHA team, Michigan Tech is at St. Lawrence, a place MSU will be going in January.

Check out more coverage from USCHO.

Come back later for the live blog — hopefully one with a little more decorum than last week :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A look at the 'Oil Can'

Here are some pictures from last weekend's series between Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth at Duluth's new Amsoil Arena. What a beautiful building. But I couldn't help but think about what could be done in Mankato to improve the Verizon Wireless Center, which is nearly 17 years old (and looking like it). I've tackled some of that subject in Wednesday's column in The Free Press. More later ...
The Mavericks warming up at Amsoil Arena on Friday.
Everything about the arena is UMD, UMD UMD, starting with the seats.
A modest but effective video scoreboard hangs above center ice.
The student section uses portable seating that goes up to the  glass.
The Bulldog Shop is built into the arena concourse.
The outside of the club room gives outsiders a peek at the fireplace.
A view of the club area, which is open to the rink.
Above and to the left is the suite level.
Even the advertising signage is UMD-related. (Verizon wasn't alone.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

UMD 7, MSU 3

Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game ...

1. First-period scoring woes: The Mavericks didn't put 21 shots on goal in the first period like they did on Friday but certainly had chances to score. With wide-open nets to shoot at, a deflected shot went under Mike Louwerse's stick and Matt Leitner didn't get all of his shot and flipped one over the net during power plays. Later, Adam Mueller got a beautiful breakout pass from Michael Dorr for a short-handed chance, and Mueller clanked it off the post. After the first period the game was 0-0.

2. Second-period explosion: The Bulldogs scored four goals in a span of 1 minute, 36 seconds early in the period and had the Mavericks on their heels. Justin Crandall and J.T. Brown scored 17 seconds apart, and Caleb Herbert and Joe Basaraba had goals 24 seconds apart. Duluth also did it on just four shots, and, while there were odd-man rushes and a power-play goal in there, it was enough to get goalie Phil Cook pulled for Austin Lee. Cook was making his first start since Oct. 22 and had seven saves in the first period, none in the second.

3. Third-period penalties: Despite the quick 4-0 deficit, the Mavericks made it a two-goal game. Matt Leitner scored at the 5:19 mark of the second period, and Max Gaede netted a power-play goal just 43 seconds into the third, and it was 4-2. But MSU, which had already lost Joe Schiller to a checking-from-behind major/game misconduct in the second period, went to the box seven times in the third period. Duluth scored two power-play goals and an even-strength goal, and grabbed a 7-2 lead by the 8:11 mark. Along the way, Louwerse was also booted from the game for a contact-to-the head penalty. Coach Troy Jutting called all the penalties "stupid."

Deep thought: Not to keep harping on MSU's depth on defense, but once Schiller and Louwerse — forwards-turned-defensemen for the series — were out of the game, the Mavericks had just four D left. At one point, Evan Mosey was in the box, leaving just freshmen Zach Palmquist and Mat Knoll and sophomore Josh Nelson available to kill the penalty. "We did it to ourselves," Jutting said, "but we wore down."

Quote of the night: "We were in the same position we were last night. We weren't bent out of shape yet." — MSU freshman Max Gaede, about being down 4-1 after two periods.

Around the WCHA: North Dakota 5, Bemidji State 2 ... Minnesota 5, St. Cloud State 0 ... Denver 3, Nebraska Omaha 3 OT ... Colorado College 4, Wisconsin 1 ... Michigan Tech at Alaska Anchorage (late)

MSU at Minnesota Duluth - Game 2

Tonight's lines can be found below the Cover It Live box. Phil Cook will start in goal for the Mavericks for the first time since Oct. 22.

24-Mueller     29-Zuck     23-Dorr
15-Burkemper    19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     8-Gaede
22-McInnis     14-Jokinen     11-Leivermann

9-Louwerse     26-Schiller
7-Palmquist     17-Mosey
2-Nelson     10-Knoll


Extras on trip: Cooper (inj.), Thauwald

17-Seidel     12-Connolly     18-Basaraba
21-Herbert     11-Oleksuk     23-Brown
25-Crandall     15-Hendrickson     27-Grun
26-Krause     19-Tardy     14-Flaherty

28-Bergman     2-Lamb
6-Kishel     5-Casto
8-Olson     22-McManus


Friday, November 18, 2011

Duluth 5, Minnesota State 2

Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game:

1. Reiter not wrong: The game hinged on the first period in which the Mavericks did everything right except score. They outshot the defending national champions 21-9 but trailed 1-0 at intermission, thanks to Kenny Reiter, who is off to a great start to the season. Reiter appeared to have found some good puck at times, notably when it looked like he left his net open a couple of times, but he made some key saves, too.

2. Cupboard not bare: If you thought the defending champs would take a step back without the likes of Justin Fontaine, Mike Connolly and Justin Faulk around anymore, well, think again. Besides Reiter, Jack Connolly (one goal, one assist), Travis Oleksuk (one goal) and J.T. Brown (one goal, one assist) are still around and are racking up the points. Connolly has 19 points this season, and during his four-year career now has 17 points in nine games against MSU. Oleksuk scored his WCHA-leading 12th-goal of the season. Freshman forward Caleb Herbert is also emerging. He scored two of UMD's first three goals and assisted on a later goal.

3. Put in on the board: Eriah Hayes and Adam Mueller scored third-period goals for the Mavericks. Hayes' 4x3 power-play goal made it 3-1, but Connolly scored just 90 seconds later, sapping almost all momentum away from MSU. Mueller had a snipe over Reiter's glove with about 7 minutes left to make it 5-2. Defenseman Joe Schiller and forward Michael Dorr each assisted on both MSU goals.

Deep thought: A quick report on Duluth's new Amsoil Arena (I'll be writing more down the line) ... They did it right with this mini-X — open concourses, nice suites, huge club/VIP area. Even though it is a city arena (like the Verizon Wireless Center), everything is UMD, UMD, UMD — maroon and gold seats, Bulldog-themed ads by Verizon and others all over the building. The hockey team has its own private area with coaches offices, locker and training rooms and player areas. Not sure what the rent is, but it was done first class.

Quote of the night: "This league is ver good and we'res hort our two best guys back there. (Tyler Elbrecht and Cameron Cooper) are our two most-experienced (defensemen), they're two leaders and they're two veterans back there." — Troy Jutting on Cooper's game-day scratch due to injury.

Note: More on Cooper below in Friday's earlier post, but he will not play on Saturday.

Around the WCHA: St. Cloud State 4, Minnesota 3 ... Denver 7, Nebraska-Omaha 3 ... Colorado College 4, Wisconsin 2 ... Alaska Anchorage 3, Michigan Tech 1

MSU at Duluth - live blog

Greetings from snowy Duluth and the gorgeous new Amsoil Arena. Tonight's lines can be found below the Cover It Live box.

24-Mueller     29-Zuck     23-Dorr
15-Burkemper    19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     8-Gaede
22-McInnis     14-Jokinen     11-Leivermann

9-Louwerse     26-Schiller
7-Palmquist     17-Mosey
2-Nelson     10-Knoll


Extras on trip: Cooper (inj.), Thauwald

17-Seidel     12-Connolly     18-Basaraba
21-Herbert     11-Oleksuk     23-Brown
25-Crandall     15-Hendrickson     27-Grun
10-DeLisle     19-Tardy     14-Flaherty

28-Bergman     2-Lamb
6-Kishel     5-Casto
8-Olson     4-Johnson


Injury bug strikes back?

Just rolled into Duluth a bit ago (it's snowing!) and saw that Paul Allan posted the Mavericks' lineup on Twitter. Turns out, MSU is down another defenseman.

Senior D Cameron Cooper is not in the lineup. He sat out of Wednesday's practice with an undisclosed injury but said he'd be good to go this weekend. Apparently that's not the case tonight.

So the Mavericks will put Mike Louwerse on the blue line with Joe Schiller, a pairing of two senior forwards. Schiller has been playing D the last four games, and coach Troy Jutting said he's done a very good job there. He is +2 with two assists in that stretch. Louwerse was listed as a D the second game against UMass-Lowell but lasted less than a period before getting the gate for checking from behind. At the time, Jutting said Louwerse was chosen for that spot because he had the ability to break out the puck from the D zone.

The Mavericks' three other defensemen — Tyler Elbrecht, Brett Stern and Danny Heath — are back in Mankato nursing various ailments. It sounds like Stern is close to returning. Elbrecht should return sometime in December. Heath might be out for awhile.

Meanwhile, with Louwerse on defense, Corey Leivermann will play wing on the fourth line, with Justin Jokinen moving to center.

The Mavericks

Here are Minnesota State's lines tonight:

Adam Mueller - Eli Zuck - Michael Dorr
J.P. Burkemper - Zach Lehrke - Eriah Hayes
Jean-Paul LaFontaine - Matt Leitner - Max Gaede
Johnny McInnis - Justin Jokinen - Corey Leivermann

Mike Louwerse - Joe Schiller
Zach Palmquist - Evan Mosey
Josh Nelson - Mat Knoll

Austin Lee
Phil Cook

Be sure to come back later for tonight's live chat. We'll see how those D hold up against the champs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Morning Skate

I'll be trekking north to Duluth — where, egad, it's supposed to snow Saturday — for the big series between the Mavericks and the defending national champs.

For Minnesota State, the lineup is going to look similar to the way it did in the third period Saturday night when Max Gaede moved up to the rookie line with Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Matt Leitner. The lines of Mueller-Zuck-Dorr and Burkemper-Lehrke-Hayes will remain the same, with Justin Jokinen, who will be playing near his hometown of Carlton, going with Mike Louwerse and Johnny McInnis.

While MSU is healthier, every able body will go to Duluth, as Corey Leivermann and Charlie Thauwald are the extra skaters. Injury-wise, Tyler Elbrecht, Brett Stern and Danny Heath are still out.

Interestingly, the grouping of Michael Dorr and Adam Mueller together, has been a long time coming for some. Let's see if they and the other upper classmen keep producing as they have the last two weekends. You can also read the series preview here.

As for the Bulldogs, goaltender Kenny Reiter. Not only does he have three shutouts this season and a school-record shutout streak, but he tried to score a goal last week against Alaska Anchorage. Also, UMD has a couple of legacy players, including freshman Derik Johnson, son of former Bulldog Jim Johnson. Read the Duluth News-Tribune's preview here and follow Kevin Pates' blog here.

Going around the rest of the WCHA:

Minnesota at St. Cloud State: The top-ranked Gophers are enjoying a stellar start to the season, and goalie Kent Patterson is a big reason why. Adding some fuel to the rivalry, Minnesota also has a St. Cloud native on its roster in Nate Schmidt. For the Huskies, sophomore Cory Thorson is a happy guy after a solid weekend against MSU, and goalie Mike Lee had successful hip surgery this week, but chances are slim that he'll return this season. Meanwhile, ESPN1500's Jess Myers has a nice story about the friendship between the two coaches in the series.

Nebraska Omaha at Denver: The red Mavericks are back in the national rankings (No. 19) and playing well, and one reason is the great play of Terry Broadhurst, who is becoming one of the WCHA's top players. For the Pioneers, they have long believed that their rivalry with Omaha was a natural one and should be a good one in the NCHC in two years.

Wisconsin at Colorado College: The Badgers are coming off a series split against No. 1 Minnesota and just might have found a No. 1 goalie along the way in freshman Joel Rumpel. After losing several players early to the NHL, Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves is looking for more recruits who will stick around Madison longer. The Tigers, meanwhile, have some high-scoring forwards up front, but senior winger Tim Hall deserves kudos for his strong defensive play. The Gazette also has a cool story about CC coach Scott Owens and his help and support for goalie Joe Howe. Owens, a former CC goalie, has been there before.

Michigan Tech at Alaska Anchorage: Michigan Tech is coming off a bye week and will head north to Alaska where the Seawolves are hoping to do something about their lack of scoring — and winning. In their six-game losing streak, they have been outscored 23-4.

North Dakota at Bemidji State (Saturday-Sunday): The Sioux surprisingly sit behind the Mavericks in the WCHA standings, and that won't change tonight, as UND and Bemidji play Saturday and Sunday. For North Dakota, freshman defenseman-turned-forward Dan Senkbeil has made an impression, even if his teammates don't know his name. The Beavers, meanwhile, have Jake Areshenko, an alternate captain and the grandson of former BSU and UND basketball coach Dave Gunther.

Be sure to check back later for my live blog and any other news that may come up after my drive. You can also follow me on Twitter where I'm seeking that elusive 700th follower.

Thursday notebook

You can read my Thursday hockey notebook in The Free Press right here.

Among the highlights:

• Troy Jutting talks about Teddy Blueger and the 2012 recruiting class. The Latvian will be MSU's first European player and the first player associated with the program to play in the World Junior Championships.

• Tyler Elbrecht and Brett Stern get back on the ice. Just skating now, but Elbrecht is pretty excited about it.

• Gustavus Adolphus women's standout Mollie Carroll was named MIAC player of the week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blueger locked up

Fear not, Minnesota State fans, Shattuck-St. Mary's standout forward Teddy Blueger has signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Mavericks next year.

While there was some thought that he might not sign until the April signing period, he indeed signed during the November signing period. The Mavericks announced the signing six days after announcing six other recruits for next fall.

Blueger, a native of Riga, Latvia, had five goals and 15 assists in 15 games playing in the Upper Midwest Elite High School League this fall. Last year, the 5-11, 165 forward helped Shattuck win the national U18 title and finished the season with 24 goals and assisting on 42 others in 54 games. He will be playing for Latvia next month in the World Junior Championships.

With Blueger in the fold, the '12 freshman class has the makings of a darn-good group. Combine it with this year's freshmen — with Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Zach Palmquist, Matt Leitner and Max Gaede, among others — and the future looks pretty bright for MSU.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grant done for the year

While Minnesota State is excited about its improved health, not everything is rosy on the injury front. Mavericks coach Troy Jutting confirmed that sophomore forward Chase Grant will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip next month.

Since Grant played in just five games to start the season, he will apply for and should receive a medical hardship waiver, which means he will still have three years of eligibility remaining starting next season.

"Obviously, it's not good for our hockey team," Jutting said. "But the good thing is it happened early enough in the season where he can get a medial redshirt and not lose a year of eligibility."

Grant will have the surgery in his hometown of Oklahoma City after first-semester classes end in early Deember.

Grant was expected to be one of the Mavericks' top returning players this season. He had no points after being shut down. Last year he had eight goals and 12 assists in 33 games.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Huskies 3, Mavericks 2 (updated)

Pat Christman/The Free Press
Freddy's Three Thoughts of the Game

1. Show up on time: That's what St. Cloud State did, scoring two goals in the game's first 1:48. Cory Thorson and Ben Hanowski scored goals 29 second apart to give the Huskies a quick 2-0 lead. When the Mavericks responded with Eriah Hayes' power play goal at 6:55 (pictured), St. Cloud's David Eddy made it 3-1 at the 9:07 mark. Eddy's goal ended up standing as the game-winning goal.

2. Shots through the heart: MSU outshot St. Cloud 31-19, including a 12-3 advantage in the third period. But the Huskies scored three goals on their first four shots. The Huskies had three power plays but mustered just one shot during the man advantage. Goalie Rayn Faragher earned the third star of the game making 29 saves. The Mavericks' Austin Lee stopped 16 shots.

3. Shorty's fire burnin': The Mavericks scored their second short-handed goal of the weekend to make it 3-2 at 6:30 of the third period. Adam Mueller scored it, showing great speed and chemistry with his old high school linemate Michael Dorr. It was Mueller's second career shorty. Minnesota State's penalty kill shut out St. Cloud on eight power plays in the series.

Deep thought: J.P. Burkemper and Max Gaede made good showings in their return from injury. Burkemper's goal and assist on Friday earned him another spot in the lineup on Saturday. Gaede, who was injured just two shifts into the Mavericks' first game oft he season played Saturday and was moved up to the Leitner-LaFontaine line late in the game.

Quote of the night: "Whoever loses Friday is going to come out with some jump, and whoever wins on Friday is going to have to respond." – MSU senior forward Michael Dorr

Read The Free Press' game story here, the St. Cloud Times story here and the box score here.

Around the WCHA: Minnesota Duluth 3, Alaska Anchorage 1; Nebraska Omaha 5, Bemidji State 1; Minnesota 4, Wisconsin 1; Denver 5, Colorado College 4

MSU vs. St. Cloud State live blog

Lines are posted below the Cover It Live box. ... A couple of changes for MSU: Max Gaede is in (his first game since getting injured in the opener at RPI; Corey Leivermann is out. J.P. Burkemper will stay in the lineup after getting a goal and an assist in Friday's win.

24-Mueller     29-Zuck     23-Dorr
15-Burkemper     19-Lehrke     25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine     18-Leitner     14-Jokinen
22-McInnis     9-Louwerse     8-Gaede

3-Cooper     26-Schiller
7-Palmquist     17-Mosey
2-Nelson     10-Knoll


Scratches: Elbrecht, Grant, Heath, Leivermann, Stern, Thauwald

10-Hanowski     26-Dowd     22-Eddy
11-Festler     23-Reid     21-Bertsch
15-MacMillan     8-Thorson     12-Novak
27-Oliver     13-Christian     18-Milan

28-Prochno     14-Jensen
7-Gravel     40-Daly
3-Zabkowicz     2-Rabey


Referees: Ulwelling, Beaurline. Linesmen: Perrault, Dineen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mavericks 4, Huskies 2 (updated)

Freddy's 3 thoughts of the game ...

1. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper: Senior Cameron Cooper had a goal and an assist, not a bad night for a defensive defenseman who had just nine career points going into Friday's game. Cooper assisted on Eli Zuck's short-handed goal — also the game-winner — at 10:08 of the second period and scored a momentum-swinging goal at 3:55 of the third period to make it 4-2. Before that goal, St. Cloud State had killed a five-minute major to close out the second period and scored to make it 3-2 less than a minute into the third.

2. Veterans' day: Much has been made (mostly by me, I suppose) of MSU's freshmen and their scoring to start the season, and, indeed, Zach Palmquist tallied his third goal of the season in the second period, but the Mavericks' older guys carried the day. Besides Cooper and Zuck (pictured), a junior, sophomore Zach Lehrke assisted on two goals, and sophomore J.P. Burkemper, back from missing the last six games with injury, had a goal. Senior Joe Schiller and junior Eriah Hayes also had assists. Lehrke was voted No. 1 star of the game.

3. Austin power: Senior goalie Austin Lee continues to impress in goal. He stopped 34 shots, including 10 during St. Cloud State power plays (the Huskies were 0 for 5 on the power play). In his last three starts, Lee is 2-1-0 while allowing 2 goals per game and stopping 95.1 percent of opponents' shots. Lee seems to be playing with confidence and relaxed out there. Maybe it's just me, but he also seems to be moving better than years past. A lot of confidence with the glove, too, which was sometimes an adventure for him in the early years.

Deep thought: The Mavericks have to figure out their power play. They were 0 for 5 (really 0 for 4, one of the PPs was the game's final .9 seconds) with nine shots on goal. For the season they are 4 for 47. They've failed to score on three majors, including one Friday. They also had a healthy 5x3 to work with. Coach Troy Jutting would like to see the Mavs shoot the puck more — as would the dude sitting a few rows behind me tonight.

Read The Free Press' game story here. Read the St. Cloud times' story here.

Quote of the night: "No question, getting healthier has helped us. Sometimes people don't believe you, but with all those injuries it was tough. Not only in games but in practice." — Troy Jutting.

Around the WCHA: Wisconsin 3, Minnesota 1; Minnesota-Duluth 5, Alaska-Anchorage 0; Nebraska-Omaha 3, Bemidji State 3 OT

MSU vs. St. Cloud State live blog

Lines are posted below the Cover It Live blog.

24-Mueller   29-Zuck   23-Dorr
15-Burkemper   19-Lehrke   25-Hayes
12-LaFontaine   18-Leitner   14-Jokinen
22-McInnis   9-Louwerse   11-Leivermann

3-Cooper   26-Schiller
7-Palmquist   17-Mosey
2-Nelson   10-Knoll


Scratches: Thauwald, Gaede, Elbrecht (inj.), Grant (inj.), Heath (inj.), Stern (inj.)

11-Festler   23-Reid   21-Bertsch
10-Hanowski   26-Dowd   22-Eddy
15-MacMillan   8-Thorson   12-Novak
27-Oliver   13-Christian   17-Holka

28-Prochno   14-Jensen
7-Gravel   4-Johnson
3-Zabkowicz   40-Daly


Referees: Matt Ulwelling, C.J. Beaurline. Linesmen: Chris Perrault, Dan Dineeen

Friday morning skate

In honor of Veterans Day, the Mavericks
will be wearing this sticker on their helmets.
There will be real, live hockey in Mankato tonight! It's been awhile, more than a month. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the Mavericks play a game for the first time since that rather dreadful Lowell series. Talking to a few players, they would love nothing more than to give a better performance to the home fans, especially against rival St. Cloud State.

A couple of notes from today's Free Press gameday preview: The Mavs are getting healthier, and J.P. Burkemper and Max Gaede each likely will play a game this weekend. ... Austin Lee, who ranks second in the WCHA in save percentage, is the likely starter in goal. ... Michael Dorr scored his first goal last weekend and, by all accounts, had good chemistry on a line with his old high school teammate, Adam Mueller.

Meanwhile, this week's story is about the emergence of the Minnesota State freshmen — specifically Jean-Paul LaFontaine, Zach Palmquist and Matt Leitner — who rank 1-2-3 in scoring for the Mavericks.

As for St. Cloud State, the Huskies are led in goal scoring by junior forward Ben Hanowski, an outdoorsman who can shoot the puck, too. The team's top point man, Drew LeBlanc, is out after suffering a broken leg last weekend. St. Cloud Times beat writer Mick Hatten also has a column about friend-of-college-hockey Cathy St. Martin, who has hopes of singing the National Anthem in every WCHA rink before the conference breaks up in two years.

Going around the rest of the WCHA ...

Minnesota at Wisconsin: The WCHA's Big 10 schools meet with the Gophers ranked No. 1. Part of the reason for Minnie's success is freshman Kyle Rau, who already has eight goals and 15 points. As for the Badgers, they're mixing things up with their freshman goaltenders. Also, having Minnesota in Madison should be a boost to Wisco's dwindling attendance.

Alaska Anchorage at Minnesota Duluth: The Seawolves have stumbled at the start of the WCHA schedule, but it gets no easier with a trip to face the defending national champs. As for the Bulldogs, they're not afraid to make some mid-game adjustments if things go south early. It worked last weekend at Denver.

Nebraska-Omaha at Bemidji State: The red Mavericks head to northern Minnesota to face the team that gave them fits all year long in both teams' first season in the WCHA. The Beavers went 5-0-1 against UNO last year. Like clockwork, of course, the folks in Bemidji say last year was last year and aren't concerned about what happened in '10-11.

Check out more on the WCHA on College Hockey News, USCHO and Inside College Hockey.

A couple of other items: Don't forget to check back on the blog tonight for a live chat during tonight's Mavericks-Huskies game and follow me on Twitter @puckato for any updates or ramblings during the day. Finally, the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey silent auction will begin at 5 p.m. tonight at the Verizon Wireless Center.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Injury report: Mavs getting healthy

During the Mavericks' week off between the Denver and Michigan Tech series, they had a practice in which 11 players were unavailable due to injury. Take away the three healthy goaltenders, and the team had just 13 skaters practicing.

What a difference a couple of weeks have made.

Going into this weekend's series against St. Cloud State, the Mavericks still aren't 100 percent, but they continue to get healthier. Coach Troy Jutting said on Wednesday that forwards J.P. Burkemper and Max Gaede have been cleared to play games. Both were injured during MSU's opening weekend at RPI. The two began skating last week, but will they have their hockey legs for this week? Jutting said he would like to give each of them one game against the Huskies.

At the very least, the Mavericks have some options at forward now.

Defensively, however, Minnesota State remains a bit short-handed still, so Joe Schiller will play there again this weekend. Two players and Jutting commented this week on Schiller's play on the blue line against Tech, giving him rave reviews. Jutting said Schiller might have been one of the team's best players all weekend.

Defensemen Tyler Elbrecht, Danny Heath and Brett Stern remain out. Forward Chase Grant is, too, and it sounds like he might be out for awhile. Jutting didn't have definitive return dates for any of those players.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Early signing period begins (updated)

The early signing period for 2012 recruits begins today (Wednesday), and Minnesota State announced Wednesday that it has inked six players. Here's a look at the incoming class, along with each player's current statistics (and updated heights/weights):

Dan Carlson, Sioux Falls (USHL) — The former U.S. National Team Development Program player is a 6-1, 201-pounder from Corcoran, Minn. He has a goal and two assists in seven games this year. In two years with the U.S. team, he had six goals and 12 assists in 55 games.

Brett Knowles, Salmon Arm (BCHL) —The 5-11, 181-pounder from Vanderhoff, British Columbia, is tied for second in scoring for the Silverbacks with five goals and 14 assists in 17 games. Last season he ahd 30 goals and 28 assists inf 57 games. Seems like the Mavericks have a nice 1-2 punch with ...

Bryce Gervais, Salmon Arm (BCHL) —The top goal-scorer for the Silverbacks, the 5-9, 175-pounder from Battlefords, Saskatchewan has 10 goals and nine assists in 17 games, equalling the point total of his teammate Knowles. A year ago he had 29 goals and 22 assists in 58 games.

Dylan Margonari, Youngstown (USHL) — The 6-0, 190-pound forward was last week's USHL offensive player of the week. Through nine games this season he has five goals.The Greensburg, Pa., native is in this third season with the Phantoms.

Jon Juntzi, Powell River (BCHL) —The 6-2, 190-pounder from Tavistock, Ontario, ranks third in scoring on his team with four goals and nine assists for 13 points. Last year he had six goals and 18 assists in 56 games

Stephon Williams, Sioux Falls (USHL) —The 6-2, 190-pound Fairbanks, Alaska, native has played in eight games this season and is 3-3-1 with a .921 save percentage (seventh in the league) and a 2.53 goals-against average (10th). Last season he played in 35 games with 20 wins, a .909 SV% and a 2.59 GAA.

The Mavericks will lose seven players to graduation after this season, including goalie Austin Lee, defenseman Cameron Cooper and forwards Mike Louwerse, Justin Jokinen, Michael Dorr, Adam Mueller and Joe Schiller.

Minnesota State has one more player committed, but it's possible he won't sign until the April signing period. That is:

Teddy Bluegar, Shattuck-St. Mary's — One recruiting website lists him as a possible 2013 recruit, but he's off to a fantastic start to this season and seems like a big-timer. A native of Riga, Latvia, who has been living in the U.S. since he was 15 (he's currently 17), he had eight goals and 18 assists for Shattuck's team playing in the Midwest High School Elite League this fall. Here is a story on him from last weekend's Bauer NIT in New Hope.

For more on the Mavericks' signed recruiting class, see the MSU press release here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

LaFontaine named player of the week

Minnesota State freshman forward Jean-Paul LaFontaine was named WCHA rookie player of the week on Tuesday for his performance in last weekend's series split at No. 16 Michigan Tech. LaFontaine scored two goals and assisted on the game-winner during Saturday's 6-3 MSU win.

LaFontaine leads the Mavericks in scoring with five goals and two assists.

Other WCHA players of the week were Colorado College senior forward Nick Dineen, who had six points in the Tigers' split at Nebraska-Omaha, and Minnesota Duluth goalie Kenny Reiter, who 59 saves in a win and tie at Denver.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mavericks 6, Huskies 3

The Mavericks finally found some goal scoring — and got a win.

Jean-Paul Lafontaine (pictured) scored two goals and had an assist, and Matt Leitner also had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 6-3 WCHA victory at No. 16 Michigan Tech.

This was a must-win for MSU, as it broke a six-game losing streak. The Mavericks also handed Tech its first loss at home this season (the Huskies started 6-0-1 in Houghton).

Mavericks rookie defenseman Mat Knoll also had a goal, as did senior forward Michael Dorr. Zach Palmquist finished the game with three assists. You can see the box score here.

Lafontaine looks like a real keeper. He leads MSU in scoring with five goals and two assists.

"He's playing really well," coach Troy Jutting said in a phone interview tonight. "He had two goals tonight and hit a post and hit a post last night. He's around the puck a lot."

Lafontaine has seven points this year. Leitner and Zach Palmquist each has five. Good freshman group.

Meanwhile, Austin Lee finished with 42 saves and had 82 for a weekend that included a 1-0 loss on Friday. He has a .931 save percentage and a 2.81 goals-against average currently.

Perhaps most importantly, the beat-up Mavericks got through the weekend without an injury.

"Part of it, too, is we played with the same team two nights in a row," Jutting said. "There's something to be said for that. We could get in a little rhythm."

Friday, November 4, 2011

Huskies 1, Mavericks 0

Minnesota State goaltender Austin Lee stopped 40 of 41 shots Friday night, but the one crazy goal he allowed ended up being the difference in a 1-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association loss to No. 16 Michigan Tech.

The Huskies’ Ryan Furne scored on a seemingly innocent dump-in from center ice during a first-period power play. But the puck took a funny bounce in front of Lee and slipped in under the goalie’s glove.

The loss was the sixth in a row for Minnesota State (1-6-0, 0-3-0 in WCHA).

Michigan Tech (6-2-1, 4-2-1), which is undefeated at its home MacInnis Student Ice Arena, outshot MSU 41-29. Senior goaltender Josh Robinson made 29 saves for the shutout victory.

It was the first time the Mavericks have been shut out this season. However, they are averaging just 1.29 goals per game.

The Mavericks were 0 for 6 on the power play and are now just 2 for 38 on the year. Michigan Tech was 1 for 3 with the man advantage.

The two teams will wrap up the series at 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

Your questions, my answers

Quite a few questions, mostly about the same subject. But let's get to them ...

From Sam: How much do you think playing in an inferior WCHA (in terms of big name schools and programs) is going to kill MSU recruiting? That's my biggest worry, outside of even more lackluster fan support. I follow Chris Heisenberg's recruiting page and have noticed the Mavs haven't received any verbal commitments in what seems like quite awhile. Could just be a coincidence.

Sam, there's no question that recruiting will get tougher — maybe even a little more cutthroat, too — in a couple of years. However, I think the jury's out on this. One reason is that the players MSU is getting now aren't necessarily being recruited by the North Dakotas, the Denvers and the Colorado Colleges or the top Big Ten schools. While I think MSU's sales pitch has to be a little different in the "new" WCHA, I think they're still going to go after the same type of player they're going after now. The coaches do a pretty good job identifying smart, good-skating, hard-nosed players who play with a lot of energy. The hope is that they also find a way to sneak in an under-the-radar blue-chipper. That may get harder, but it's not that easy in the team's current situation, either.

As far as verbals go, the Mavericks have a pretty full class (six/seven) committed for next year already, especially considering the size of this year's freshman class (seven). I see no reason to be concerned that they don't have a bunch of kids committed for '13 yet. Sometimes when teams stockpile for years down the road mistakes get made.

From Sam: Staying on the subject of recruiting, what are the chances a guy like Teddy Bluegar (2012 or '13 recruit) reconsiders his options with the new leagues forming right around the time he'll be starting his college career?

Sam (again), I don't know if players are going to change their minds. I suppose it would depend on their reason for choosing a school like MSU to continue their hockey careers. Do they like the coaches? The style of play? The school? The campus? The proximity to the Twin Cities and NHL scouts? The opportunity to play significant minutes right away (in the case of a potential star)? None of that changes. If they picked MSU just to be in the WCHA (in its current form) then maybe they'd have some reservations.

From Todd: Who does the scheduling for the WCHA? Don't they have to check with schools about potential conflicts at the school, such as basketball or wrestling? It seems strange that all but one conference game for both basketball and men's hockey takes place on the same night, making it impossible to go to both. So much for loyalty from the league that MSU has given to them.

Todd, I don't know exactly how this works, but I would guess the schedules aren't made in concert very often. It's too bad and not just for the fans. Even from a manpower standpoint, MSU's athletics can't like this situation (it's going to be tough for The Free Press, too!). But considering that MSU, St. Cloud, Bemidji and Duluth are all in the same leagues right now for both sports that they might have tried to  find some flexibility to switch around dates or even times for games. Even the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota move around games to accomodate the other sports (the Badgers share a building, while the Gophers have all of their facilities in the same general location). The Gophers already have played a Sunday game, I believe.

From Jeff Williams: I'm with Sam. I wonder about the quality of recruits. Also if we ever decide not to renew Jutts contract what kind of coaching prospects can we hope for?

Jutting has another year left on his contract after this one; let's not get ahead of ourselves. I could be very wrong, but I still think, once healthy, that this year's team has a chance to surprise some teams. I said that at the beginning of the year. But to answer your question, there are just 58 Division I men's hockey teams in the country. Almost all of them would be an attractive jobs to any coach.

From Hockey Girl: Why does it seem like the current administration doesn't care about hockey? With it being the only sport operating in the black, you would think they could put more resources to making sure it can compete with the 'big' schools and maybe tried harder to get into the future NCHC instead of settling for the 'new' WCHA. St. Cloud and Duluth, both DII schools, have had success in DI hockey. What are they doing differently than MSU and what can MSU learn from them?

I wouldn't say that the administration doesn't care about hockey, although I certainly understand the criticism. There does seem to be a different philosophy at MSU when it comes to hockey than there is at St. Cloud State and Duluth. Now, I don't know if hockey is the only sport at MSU that operates in the black. In fact, I can't imagine that basketball is in the red — fewer players, scholarships, their own facility, etc. I'm not even sure if hockey is making big money. The last time I checked it was close to being self-sustaining as well as pay for women's hockey scholarships. As for trying to get into the NCHC, MSU wasn't invited; they were on the outside looking in. In my opinion, the breakaway teams wanted a higher profile in order to be on par with the Big 10, and they weren't going to do that by inviting Mankato, Bemidji, Michigan Tech and Anchorage to their party. I am still firmly of the belief that St. Cloud would still be right with MSU had Notre Dame been in the new league from the beginning. I'm not so sure Duluth is invited without their brand-new building and their national title.

From BIGhkyfan: so, is Huntsville coming back? New donors came forward

BIG, I saw that story, too, but I'm wondering if it's too little, too late. Apparently donors say they can fund the program for three more years. But what happens after three years? Also, Huntsville is still without a conference, which is just a killer in college hockey. I hope they can find a way to make something work down there, but they have to get support from the school as well as in the rest of the college-hockey community. And, given all of the dealings in this past offseason, who’s going to come to  rush to UAH’s aid? It’s every program for itself right now, it seems.

From TMAVS18: On the topic of recruiting can we get updates or interviews with our current commits? Do you know any possible kids the Mavericks are looking at for 2013? Thanks.

TMAVS, I don’t have time to do that update in this post, but I’ll plan on doing an update on the recruits very soon. The early signing period begins next Wednesday (Nov. 9), so that would be a good time for an updatee, maybe interviews, too. Once the players’ letters of intent are in, coaches can talk about them, too, so there will be some fodder for some stories. One teaser: Forward recruit Dylan Margonari of Youngstown was named USHL offensive player of the week last week

Thanks for your questions everyone. We’ll do it again real soon.

Friday-morning skate

The Mavericks are back in action today after a much-needed weekend off to nurse their bumps, bruises and other ailments. They'll be healthier when they play No. 16 Michigan Tech tonight and Saturday but not completely.

Forwards Michael Dorr and Eriah Hayes will be back in the lineup, giving MSU a full lineup of forwards (but still no extras). But with only five healthy defensemen, senior center Joe Schiller is going back on the blue line, a position he's been in before.

While forwards Max Gaede and J.P. Burkemper practiced this week, neither has been cleared to play yet. Defenseman Danny Heath put on his skates on Wednesday and hopes to be ready soon. Meanwhile, Chase Grant, Tyler Elbrecht and Brett Stern have not returned to the rink.

With veterans Dorr and Hayes back, the Mavericks have some depth up front. Interestingly, their top-scoring line is made up of two freshmen and a sophomore — Jean-Paul Lafontaine (3-1—4), Matt Leitner (0-3—3) and Johnny McInnes (1-1—2). Rookie defenseman Zach Palmquist (2-0—0) is the only other player besides Lafontaine with multiple goals.

As for Michigan Tech, the Huskies are off to a surprising start and unbeaten at home. Two of their players earned WCHA player-of-the-week honors this week. They are also getting a great start from freshman and Iowa native defenseman Nick Cecere. Led by some veteran players, new coach Mel Pearson noted when he took the job over the summer that the cupboard wasn't bare in Houghton.

Time to go around the WCHA ...

North Dakota at Minnesota: With the Gophers back in the Top 5, much is being made out of this series, including the claim that it's the best rivalry in college hockey. It's been fueled by the fact the UND has several players from Gopher territory. Of course, with the changes coming to college hockey, it might not be the same in a couple of years. Meanwhile, Minnesota has the nation's top scorer in sophomore Erik Haula, and North Dakota is going to have to wait a year for the highly touted Colten St. Clair, who is not eligible to play this season.

Colorado College at Nebraska-Omaha: CC might be the nation's second-ranked team, but the Tigers aren't looking past the unranked red Mavericks, who are 3-1 in WCHA play. Meanwhile, Omaha is fired up to play one of the nation's — and the conference's — top teams.

Wisconsin at St. Cloud State: The Badgers are off to a rocky star with a young team, and in no place is that more apparent than in their penalty kill, which has allowed 11 goals already, including six last weekend. For the Huskies, freshman defenseman Andrew Prochno is off to a fast start. Could his secret be whiffle ball?

Minnesota Duluth at Denver: The Duluth News-Tribune has a good feature on Bulldogs goalie Kenny Reiter, who holds some UMD records at the position and is continuing a family tradition between the pipes. Meanwhile, it's been a long time since the Pioneers have been unstable in goal, but there's no sure thing there right now.

Bemidji State at Lake Superior State: The Beavers will take on a future WCHA team in the Lakers. But this year's Lake Superior team is one of the nation's real surprise teams at 7-1-0 (check out my column on the success of future WCHA teams here).

Check back later for blog updates, including tonight's MSU lines and the answers to the season's first You Want Answers?!?! post.

I'm not in Houghton but will try to post some game updates on Twitter tonight as I get them. If you're in need of a football fix or some live blogging of any kind, I'll be covering the Mankato West section championship football game. You can follow that live blog here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You want answers?!?!?

This is long overdue: It's time for your favorite PucKato segment: You. Want. Answers?!?!?

You know the drill: Ask a question in the comments section below, and I'll answer them. Questions can be but are not limited to Minnesota State hockey.

You have two days to ask questions, and I'll answer them on Friday afternoon sometime.

Unfortunately, I will not be traveling to Houghton, Mich., this weekend since, like the Mavs, the Freep is a little short-handed back in Mankato. I'll be covering a few other things but will try to keep a close eye on MSU's series against Michigan Tech.

So ... ask away!