The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

March 27, 2014

MSU, Lowell have shared national stage before

Teams met in Division II playoffs more than 30 years ago

(Continued)

The Mavericks defeated Bowling Green 4-0 and Ferris State 4-1 in the Final Five last weekend in Grand Rapids, Mich. The River Hawks knocked off Notre Dame 4-0 and New Hampshire 4-0 in the Hockey East tournament in Boston.

With one goal allowed between the two teams last weekend, an 8-7 overtime game doesn’t seem likely this time around.

Both programs have undergone transformations in recent years to become conference and national contenders, just as they were more than 30 years ago.

UMass-Lowell, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation in the preseason polls, hired alumnus Norm Bazin in 2011. In three years, he has led the River Hawks to 77 victories, a Hockey East regular-season championship, two conference playoff titles and three NCAA tournaments, including last year’s Frozen Four).

Bazin’s first two victories took place in Mankato, a series sweep over the Mavericks in October of 2011.

Minnesota State hired Hastings in 2012, and in two years he’s led the Mavericks to 50 victories, a WCHA playoff title and two NCAA tournament appearances.

“I’m just really excited,” Brose said. “Everybody who comes in leaves the program a little better than what they were given,” Brose said. “It keeps getting better and better.”

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