The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 6, 2013

Minnesota State men's hockey outlook

Head coach: Mike Hastings

Assistant coaches: Darren Blue, Todd Knott

Captains: Johnny McInnis (C), Josh Nelson (A), Brett Stern (A)

2012-13 record: 24-14-3 (16-11-1, tied for 4th in WCHA)

Top returning players: F-Matt Leitner (17 goals-30 assists—40 points), F-Jean-Paul LaFontaine (9-26—35), D-Zach Palmquist (7-18—25), G-Stephon Williams (21-12-2, .924, 2.00), F-Chase Grant (7-12—19), D-Josh Nelson (5-9—14), F-Dylan Margonari (10-9—19), F-Teddy Blueger (6-13—19), F-Brett Knowles (5-9—14), F-Bryce Gervais (8-5—13)

Key losses: F-Eriah Hayes, D-Tyler Elbrecht, F-Zach Lehrke

Newcomers to watch: F-Zach Stepan, F-Michael Huntebrinker, F-Jordan Nelson, D-Sean Flanagan, D-Carter Foguth, D-Casey Nelson

Notes: Blue and Knott agreed to two-year contract extensions in the offseason. ... Oft-injured F J.P. Burkemper left the team last week in hopes of turning pro; he played in just three games last season and 20 over the last two seasons. ... The Mavericks have 13 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies. ... D Mat Knoll returns after missing last year with a medical issue. ... D Blake Thompson, a transfer from Minnesota, won’t be eligible to play until the first semester ends. ... This is MSU’s 17th season as a Division I program. ... The Mavericks’ regular-season home opener is set for Oct. 18-19 against UConn. ... For more on the Minnesota State men’s hockey team check out The Free Press’ PucKato blog at mankatofreepresshockey.blogspot.com or on Twitter @puckato.

Shane Frederick

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