The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

December 16, 2012

MSU Hockey Review: McInnis, Blueger developing chemistry

OMAHA, NEB. — Johnny McInnis remembers the first time he skated with freshman Teddy Blueger, and he hoped it wouldn’t be the last time they were on a line together.

“It was (preseason) captains practice,” the Minnesota State junior wing said. “I was skating out of the zone, and he flipped the puck over everyone and put it right on my stick. … He’s pretty special.”

McInnis and Blueger have been together all season, and Friday against Nebraska Omaha was one of their best games together. McInnis had two goals and an assist, and Blueger finished his second three-assist game of the season.

McInnis scored his eighth goal of the season in Friday’s 6-3 victory, equaling his total from last season. He ranks second on the team in goals, behind Eriah Hayes, who has 10. With an assist on the team’s lone goal Saturday (a 5-1 loss) he has 14 points, just one shy of his total from last year.

Blueger said he and McInnis have developed some pretty good chemistry.

”Playing with him is great,” he said. “I can always give him the puck in the offensive zone, and he’ll have a scoring chance. We complement each other that way, and we get a long pretty well.”

Blueger leaves today for his home country of Latvia where he will participate in that country’s training camp leading up to the World Junior Hockey Championships in Russia. Blueger likely will miss MSU’s next four games while playing in the tournament for the second year in a row.

Home-ice prediction

Omaha coach Dean Blais had high praise for Minnesota State and credited his former and current assistant coaches for what’s happening with the purple Mavericks right now.

“They’re going to probably have a chance for home ice, which means the top six,” Blais said. “That’s a good hockey team, a good team assembled by Troy and coached by Hasty. That’s a pretty good combo.”

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