Leitner, LaFontaine, McInnis, Lehrke. Teddy Blueger, Bryce Gervais, defenseman Zach Palmquist. That’s a crew that was expected to put up big numbers this season.
They accounted for nine of MSU’s 10 goals against Anchorage and compiled a whopping 15 assists. LaFontaine finished with five points, while Blueger and Lehrke each had four points.
“We’re spending more time in zone,” Hastings said. “We’re doing a better job winning faceoffs, and if you’re winning faceoffs and have possession, you can get it in and get more looks. We’re getting more pucks to the net.”
Sure, there were some turnovers; they put a couple of pucks right on MSU sticks. But the key was that Minnesota State converted those mistakes into goals. The Mavericks also scored timely goals, not letting the Seawolves grab any momentum after they cut down MSU’s lead.
Following his “Lehrke” comment,” McInnis added that he was kidding — a bit.
“We’ve been working hard at it, obviously,” he said. “Early on, I thought we hadn’t been getting the bounces. But when you work hard you get the bounces. It really came together tonight for sure.”
Shane Frederick is a Free Press staff writer. Read his blog at mankatofreepresshockey.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @puckato.