The No. 11 Mavericks will host the No. 8 Terriers to open the 2018-19 season. It will be BU’s first trip to Mankato. The teams played last season at Boston, with Minnesota State sweeping the series 6-3 and 3-0. It was the start that springboarded MSU to a 29-win season. The Terriers won 22 games last year, 14 after Christmas. Both teams were in the NCAA tournament last spring. Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings is beginning his seventh season at Mankato, where he’s compiled a record of 151-72-19. No other men’s program has as many wins over the last six years as the Mavericks.
Five things to know about the weekend:
1. Pair up: Forward lines are comprised of groups of three, but Hastings likes to make sure there are some dynamic duos in each of those lines. “When you’re putting lines together, at least from my end, I like to work in pairs,” Hastings said after Saturday’s 7-3 exhibition win over Mount Royal. “There’s obviously some chemistry with” Marc Michaelis and Parker Tuomie (77 combined points last year), Jake Jaremko and Reggie Lutz (66), Jared Spooner and Nick Rivera (37).
2. The replacements: Position-wise, the Mavericks don’t have many holes to fill in their lineup, but the ones they do have run deep. Replacing graduated forwards C.J. Suess, Zeb Knutson and Brad McClure and early departed defenseman Daniel Brickley means replacing production, Hastings said, “in all areas.” The graduation of Knutson and McClure left MSU a little thin at right wing. Junior Charlie Gerard, sophomore Walker Duehr and freshman Julian Napravnik are getting early looks there.
3. Holy moly, who’s the goalie? “To me, that’s the first one,” Hastings said when talking about holes to fill. Gone is Connor LaCouvee, who was outstanding in his lone season at Minnesota State. Freshman Dryden McKay got the start and shut out Mount Royal in his one period in Saturday’s exhibition game. But competition is wide open, Hastings said, with graduate-transfer Mathias Israelsson and rookie Jacob Berger also in the mix.
4. Meet the new boss: After five seasons, coach David Quinn left the Terriers to become the coach of the New York Rangers. Boston University replaced him by promoting associate head coach Albie O’Connell. O’Connell is a BU alumnus and was team captain in 1998-99. Quinn’s departure to the NHL also led to the promotion of Hastings to head coach of this year’s U.S. Junior National Team for the World Championships in December.
5. Scouting the Terriers: Boston University also played an exhibition game on Saturday, winning 7-1 over Acadia. The Terriers lost two of their top four scorers from last season early to the NHL, the Wild’s Jordan Greenway and the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk. However, leading scorer Bobo Carpenter is back from a 20-goal, 35-point season, as are forward Shane Bowers, defenseman Dante Fabbio and goalie Jake Oettinger of Lakeville, all among BU’s 12 NHL draft picks.
Around the rinks
Minnesota State women: The Mavericks (2-0-0) will open WCHA play with a series against No. 5 Ohio State (3-0-1) at Columbus, Ohio. Games are 5:07 p.m. today and 12:07 p.m. Saturday. Minnesota State was off last weekend after its season-opening sweep of RPI. The Buckeyes are coming off a split with No. 8 Colgate. Five different players have goals for MSU, and freshman goalie Abigail Levy (.977) has allowed just one. Buckeyes sophomore Emma Maltais (1-6—7) was the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year last season, and Tatum Skaggs (4-0—4) had 23 goals as a freshman.