OMAHA, NEB. —
Former MSU coach Troy Jutting is now part of Blais’ staff and handles the defensemen among other duties, while current coach Mike Hastings spent the last three years working for Blais.
With about five minutes remaining in Saturday’s game, Hastings pulled goalie Stephon Williams for an extra attacker in hopes of coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Omaha’s Matt White ended up scoring an empty-netter all but ensuring the Spirit of the Maverick trophy remain in Omaha for a fourth straight year.
While the trophy would have been a nice feather for MSU, it certainly wasn’t more important than trying to gain valuable points for the WCHA standings.
While the Mavericks and Mavericks will be in different conferences beginning next year, both coaches said they are interested in continuing the rivalry as a regular nonconference series in the future.
The Mavericks’ seven-game winning streak that ended Saturday was tied for the longest in their Division I era. They also won seven WCHA games in a row in 2007-08.
The last time Minnesota State won eight games in a row was 1995-96 when it was still a Division II program. That was their final season before turning Division I.
The Mavericks are off until after Christmas when they head east to play in the UConn Hockey Classic tournament in Storrs, Conn. MSU will play Brown (3-5-4) in the tournament opener on Saturday, Dec. 29 and either Connecticut (4-7-2) or American International (4-8-3) on Sunday, Dec. 30.
Freep stars of the series
1. Johnny McInnis, F, MSU — Led all players with four-point weekend, including three on Friday.
2. Matt White, F, UNO — The junior scored two big goals and had an assist in the series.
3. Teddy Blueger, F, MSU — Three assists Friday gives freshman seven points in last five games.