The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

January 30, 2014

Mavericks seek to get better on the road

MANKATO — The Minnesota State men’s hockey team on Wednesday left town for Marquette, Mich., and their WCHA series against Northern Michigan.

It weekend will wrap up a stretch of 10 games out of 12 in which the Mavericks have played away from home, dating back to Dec. 13-14.

The Mavericks are 3-5 in those games, which were sandwiched around a pair of home wins against Ferris State on Jan. 17-18. Overall, Minnesota State is 5-11-0 outside of the Verizon Wireless Center, including last weekend’s two nonconference losses to Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State at the North Star College Cup in St. Paul. In WCHA play, the Mavericks are 5-5-0 on the road.

“We have not been as successful on the road,” coach Mike Hastings said. “There’s a fine line between winning and losing at home vs. on the road.”

The Mavericks swept Northern Michigan on Dec. 6-7. Of course, those games took place in Mankato where MSU is 9-1-0, including 7-1-0 in league play.

“Playing on the road, we have make sure we’re not creating momentum for the other team,” Hastings said. “They’ve got enough of an advantage playing at home in front of their home crowd, in front of their students.”

Following the Northern Michigan series, Minnesota State will play three of its final four series at home, starting Feb. 7-8 against Bemidji State.

GAC’s Doyle honored

Gustavus senior captain Melissa Doyle was named MIAC women’s hockey player of the week for her performance last weekend against St. Mary’s. Doyle had three goals and an assist in the series sweep, helping the seventh-ranked Gusties stay unbeaten in conference play.

Doyle scored two goals in Friday’s 4-3 victory and had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-0 win.

Doyle is now on a three-game point streak She currently ranks fifth in the MIAC in goals with nine, is seventh in points with 16 and 10th in assists with seven.

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