The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Sports

November 15, 2013

MSU hockey team hopes to get offense going

Through a month and a half, the Minnesota State men’s hockey team has put up some surprising offensive numbers.

Surprising as in low.

A team that came into the season touting one of the deepest collections of forwards in the WCHA, if not the country, is struggling to get its offense going. Through eight games the Mavericks are averaging just 2.25 goals per game. That puts them in a tie for 46th among the nation’s 59 Division I teams.

“We need it,” coach Mike Hastings said. “It’s hard to score goals right now. We need to pay a more significant price. ...

“Pretty, ugly, something in between. It doesn’t matter.”

The Mavericks will need whatever they can get this weekend against No. 1-ranked Minnesota. The Gophers, who will host the nonconference series in Minneapolis, have the nation’s second-best scoring offense, averaging 4.38 goals per game.

“We need to get back to the little, simple things,” junior forward Matt Leitner said. “We’ve been a perimeter team. We’ve got to get back to the hard areas where people score goals. ... We’ve got to get back to being a hard team to play against.”

Leitner, who ranks fourth among the country’s top returning scorers from last season when he had 17 goals and 47 points, has no goals and just three assists, playing in six of MSU’s eight games this season. Another junior forward, Jean-Paul LaFontaine, who had 35 points last season, has one goal and two assists so far.

“We need some guys to finish,” Hastings said. “And those guys have scored. They’ve been successful. Our upperclassmen need to make more of an imprint at the offensive end, period.”

Dealing with early season injuries as well, Hastings has done some mixing and matching with his forward lines, trying to find combinations that click.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Outdoors
Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
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
Boomer: Chris Johnson signing will work for Jets NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Dallas Cowboys NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Western Conference playoff preview Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Damian Lillard's Oakland upbringing Niners' legal troubles Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Marcus Spears on the Wonderlic test Bubba Watson's Response to a Question About Last Year's Masters is Priceless