The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 6, 2012

Minnesota State men’s hockey outlook

Coach: Mike Hastings (first year)

Assistant coaches: Darren Blue, Todd Knott

2011-12 record: 12-24-2 (8-18-2 in WCHA, 11th place)

Captains: Tyler Elbrecht, Eriah Hayes

Top returning players: F-Matt Leitner (11 goals, 18 assists), F-Jean-Paul LaFontaine (13, 15), F-Eriah Hayes (13, 11), F-Zach Lehrke (13, 10), F-Johnny McInnis (8, 7), D-Zach Palmquist (6, 13), D-Tyler Elbrecht (1, 5), G-Phil Cook (.887 save percentage, 3.55 goals-against average).

Key losses: G-Austin Lee, F-Michael Dorr, F-Joe Schiller, D-Cameron Cooper.

Newcomers to watch: F-Teddy Blueger, F-Bryce Gervais, G-Stephon Williams, D-Jon Jutzi

Notes: F-Chase Grant returns after missing all but five games a year ago; Grant had 20 points in ’10-11. ... Elbrecht is a captain for the second year in a row; Hayes is a first-year captain. ... There are two NHL draft picks on the Mavericks’ roster: Blueger (Pittsburgh) and F-Max Gaede (San Jose). ... LaFontaine, Leitner, Palmquist and D-Evan Mosey played in all 38 games last season. Mosey has played in 46 consecutive games. ... The Mavericks will open the regular season on Friday at Alabama Huntsville. Their home opener is Oct. 19 against RPI, and they will begin the WCHA schedule Oct. 26 at St. Cloud State.