The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

March 28, 2013

MSU hockey team found new coach to be a font of wisdom

(Continued)

MANKATO —

“It makes you remember. If I’m a coach one day, I’ll be saying that.”

Said Hayes: “Every time he comes in the locker room, everybody’s all ears,” Hayes said. “We can’t wait to hear coach’s speeches. He gives you goosebumps; you’re ready to get going.”

But it’s not just talk.

As the season has progressed, those Mavericks of old appear have been buried. The new-look Mavericks under Hastings, have seen their penalty minutes melt away, their team defense improve and their power play become one of the best in the country.

The Mavericks’ place in the WCHA standings wasn’t the only reason Hastings was named the league’s Coach of the Year.

“It’s taken us to places we haven’t been to in 10 years,” McInnis said.

This weekend, the Mavericks will try to go further than they ever have before as a Division I program. Two wins would mean a trip to the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh in two weeks.

“Obviously, he’s a really special coach,” Hayes said. “From Day 1, it was all about family and buying in for your family, doing things the right way and doing things the hard way.

“If you live life the right way, good things are going to happen.”

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