The Free Press, Mankato, MN


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

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
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
Goodell backs Rice ban Andre Reed reflects on Hall of Fame Man with no arms throws first pitch Wade supports LeBron's decision Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Steelers feeling a sense of urgency in camp Reaction to Ray Rice's comments Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX 5 things I think I think about the Atlanta Falcons Paul Breitner: We're sure Julian Green will be a great player for Bayern Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Morosi: Tigers pick up Price from Rays Rice intends to become advocate of domestic violence with wife Janay when time is right Ray Rice issues apology for his part in a domestic violence incident A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Price on dealing with trade rumors Arian Foster Answers Questions With Same Boring Answer - @TheBuzzeronFox Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Cardinals make Peterson highest paid CB