The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 17, 2013

MSU hockey game day

The 18th-ranked Mavericks (0-2-0) will open their home schedule against the Huskies (0-0-0). The teams met in the championship game of the UConn Holiday Classic last December, with MSU winning 3-1. The also met in Mankato in 1998-99 with the Mavericks sweeping the series. Minnesota State will try to bounce back from a pair of losses at Providence, while this is the season-opener for Connecticut, which went 19-14-4 a year ago.

The 5-hole

Five things to know about the matchup:

1. More goals needed: The Mavericks scored just one goal on the opening weekend, as Providence swept 5-1 and 3-0. While it's a new season, going back to last year's WCHA and NCAA playoffs, Minnesota State has lost four games in a row, while scoring just three goals in those games. Sophomore forward Bryce Gervais scored the team's lone goal a week ago, getting an assist from sophomore defenseman Jon Jutzi. The goal gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Gervais had eight goals and five assists as a rookie. Jutzi had one goal and eight assists last year.

2. Start talkin': A point of emphasis in the Mavericks' practice this week was better communication, something, coach Mike Hastings said, teams deal with early in almost every season. "We need to continue to reinforce things," Hastings said. "Things go better when you're talking." That's especially true on the power play where MSU went scoreless in 16 chances a week ago. Junior forward Matt Leitner was the nation's top point producer on the power play last season, but there's some rebuilding going on with Eriah Hayes (13 power-play goals) and Zach Lehrke no longer around.

3. Home cooking: The Mavericks are 169-119-43 (.576) all-time at the Verizon Wireless Center. That includes a 13-7-1 record last season. Tonight is Southern Minnesota Youth Hockey Night, and Saturday is Hockey Night in Mankato with pregame festivities in City Center and Skate with the Mavericks after the game. Minnesota State is 1-2-3 in their last three home-opening series, going 0-1-2 on Fridays over that stretch.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Farrell on Pineda: 'When it's that obvious, something has to be said' Wrigley Field celebrates 100th birthday Phelps returns to the pool Tour Confidential: What Impact Will Tiger's Absence Have on Golf? Pujols joins 500 club Wall: 'This was a make or break year for me' Klatt's Mock Draft: Top 10 Klatt's Mock Draft: Late 1st round Marcus Spears: Cowboys Needs on Draft Day Could Bridgewater Make Scouts Look Foolish? NFL Draft: Will Manziel Be Off The Board By Pick No. 4? Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes Race to avoid Premier League relegation heats up The many faces of Mike Woodson Draft Preview: Ego Ferguson Chelsea, Atletico set to do battle in Champions League With The Twelfth Pick, The New York Giants Select... Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Trail Blazers battle back, overcome Rockets in OT