The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

November 15, 2013

MSU hockey team hopes to get offense going

(Continued)

“We need some chemistry with our lines to create some more in-zone time,” he said. “We need to get those second and third opportunities that lead to goals.”

That includes on the power play, which has had a feeble success rate of 9.3 percent (4 for 43) — 54th in the nation. And after giving up three short-handed goals already this season, Minnesota State is plus-1 with the man advantage.

A year ago, with Leitner leading the country in power-play points, the Mavericks were fifth, clicking at nearly 23 percent. But with Eriah Hayes and Zach Lehrke departed and Josh Nelson injured, it hasn’t been the same so far.

“It would be nice to get our power play going,” said LaFontaine, who has 12 career power-play goals. “That was a huge part of our team last year. Once we get Leitner going again, me going again, we’ll be fine.”

LaFontaine, whom Hastings called one of the team’s most consistent forwards over the last four games, made a perfect pass from the wall to a streaking Johnny McInnis for the game-winning goal in overtime on Saturday against Bowling Green. It was the game’s only goal.

“We’ve been looking for a little jolt,” Leitner said. “Maybe that was it.”

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