The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

November 22, 2013

Minnesota State at Bowling Green

For the second time in two weeks, the Mavericks (4-6-0, 2-2-0 in WCHA) will take on the Falcons (5-4-3, 3-2-1). On Nov. 8-9 in Mankato, the teams split a conference series with Bowling Green winning 4-3 and MSU winning 1-0 in overtime. The Mavericks lead the all-time series 4-1-1.

The 5-hole

Five things to know about the matchup:

1. Getting healthy: Mavericks coach Mike Hastings finally has a few options when making out his line chart. Zach Lehrke is back with the team, and freshman forward Zach Stepan (1-1—2) has been cleared to play after missing four games with an upper-body injury. Hastings did not make a decision on his starting goaltender before leaving Mankato on Wednesday.

2. Road woes: The Mavericks are 1-5-0 on the road so far, getting shut out twice and getting outscored 22-7. Four of those away losses have come against two of the nation's top teams, including last weekend at No. 1-ranked Minnesota. MSU's opening-weekend opponent, Providence, is now ranked third in the country.

3. Waiting for the O: Minnesota State has scored just two goals in its last three games and five in its last four, going 1-3-0 in that stretch. Johnny McInnis (3-3—6) continues to lead the team in scoring, followed by Dylan Margonari (2-3—5). McInnis leads the Mavericks with 38 shots on goal. Teddy Blueger (3-1—4) and Chase Grant (1-2—3) each have 24 shots.

4. Tough luck: Bowling Green was hoping to have standout forward Ryan Carpenter in the lineup for this series. The preseason All-WCHA pick had just recovered from a broken finger that kept him off the ice since the start of the season. He was set to return for last week's series at Ferris State, but he broke his foot in practice. He remains out indefinitely.

5. Scouting the Falcons: Bowling Green tied and lost last weekend at Ferris State and is now in third place in the WCHA. Junior forward Dan DeSalvo (3-9—12) leads the offense, followed by senior forward Bryce Williamson (6-5—11). In goal, sophomore Tommy Burke (.912, 2.24) and freshman Tomas Sholl (.910, 2.17) have split duties.

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