The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 24, 2013

Idle week means 'maintenance' time for Mavericks

(Continued)

Other MSU alumni besides Pitlick to play in the NHL include current players David Backes, Tim Jackman and Ryan Carter, as well as Grant Stevenson, Steve Wagner, Jon Kalinksi and Travis Morin.

Morin is a player who could get another shot at the NHL. The Texas Stars forward and Dallas Stars prospect currently leads the AHL in scoring, with 15 points in six games.

WCHA play begins

The WCHA season will begin this weekend with two conference series. Both matchups are between a pair of longtime rivals.

Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan will play a home-and-home series, as they have for years. However, it will be the teams’ first meeting as WCHA foes since 1997 when Northern Michigan went to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Meanwhile, Bemidji State will open league play at Alabama Huntsville. Those two teams were members of the College Hockey America Conference and, as Division II teams, met for the national championship four times with each winning two of those matchups.

The only other WCHA team in action this weekend will be Alaska, which will close out its nonconference schedule with a home series against Mercyhurst.

Back in action

After a week off, the Minnesota State women’s team will return to WCHA play with a home series against Minnesota Duluth. The Mavericks and Bulldogs will play at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at All Seasons Arena.

The Mavericks are 6-49-4 all-time against the Bulldogs but went 2-1-1 against them last season. Duluth (2-3-1, 0-3-1 in WCHA) is unranked but receiving votes in the latest national poll.

The Mavericks (3-3-0, 0-2-0) have shown some offensive balance to start the season with 11 different players scoring their 17 goals. Junior forward Kathleen Rogan leads the way with four goals and seven points.

One-timers

WCHA men’s players of the week included: Bowling Green forward Bryce Williamson (offensive), Lake Superior State defenseman Zach Sternberg (defensive) and Alaska goalie David Jones (rookie). ... Undefeated Lake Superior State (4-0-0) joined MSU in the national rankings this week, jumping in at No. 15. ... Minnesota State’s home-opener crowd of 3,829 was its largest since 2008 when 4,123 watched the Mavericks against Bemidji State.

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