Friday, January 28, 2011

Game Day-MSU @ SCSU

SCSU's Mike Lee makes the save against the MSU Mavericks!
Welcome to this game day edition of Husky Hockey Time. The Huskies will be at home Friday and Saturday night at the always exciting National Hockey Center to face off against instate rival Mankato State University. I expect these games to be very hard fought. I also expect a Husky Hockey sweep. However, here is what other folks are saying:

Goal Gophers:

"Dan: To me, this is the most exciting series of the weekend. The Huskies have quietly won six in a row and are just one point back of home ice in the WCHA race. SCSU has done a fine job feasting on bad teams, showing the offense many thought they would when the season started, while finally handing the goaltending job over to Mike Lee full time. He has responded by allowing just three goals over the last four games. Looking at the standings, one would say Minnesota State is another bad team. But the Mavericks have played much better than their record says they have. Over the last two weeks, they've gone 0-3-1 but all four games were one-goal games. And while MSU is in 11th place in the conference, the Mavs are just one game under .500 and are 8-5-1 over their last 14 games. ... Split

"Eye: Most exciting series Dan, really? One team is in eighth place, the other in 11th. The Mavs have played everybody tough. Their five losses have been to DU (one game), North Dakota (two) and Wisconsin (two). Ex-Gophers Mike Dorr is 4-3-7 in his last eight games and is MSU's second-leading scorer (8-9-17). But the Huskies have more hot players; forwards Garrett Roe, Drew LeBlanc and Cam Reid all have six-game scoring streaks. And, yes, SCSU is 6-0-0 in those games. Then there is winger Dave Eddy, just back off academic ineligibility. He has three goals and three assists in four games. Wow. Teams are 2-2-1 in last five games, 4-4-2 in last 10 but ... Huskies sweep
Goon's World:
"Last weekend the Mavericks were swept by the Badgers in Madison and the Huskies swept the Beavers in Bemidji.

The Huskies are on a roll in 2011 they ended 2010 by winning the Florida College Classic. SCSU is riding a six game winning streak, heading into this in-state rivalry games. The Mavericks are win less in their last four games (0-3-1), and those losses were by one goal. MSUM has gone on four game streaks this season, for better (two 4 game winning) and for worse (two 4 game win less), for what it’s worth. Are the Huskies finally turning into the team everyone thought they were going to be to start the season? SCSU has a rough slate of games after this weekend to end the season (@UNO, @UMD, UND, UW, and @DU). The Huskies are now back into the race for home ice, and getting over the hump isn’t going to be easy.
"Theresa: If, as Tyler said in his column this week, the Huskies are working on on-ice success to distract from off-ice issues, it’s been working. They haven’t lost since Dec. 11 and look to be finally becoming the team we thought they should be this year. The Mavericks, on the other hand, have slipped recently and although most of their losses have been close (one-goal), they’re still not finding ways to win. Therefore, Huskies, you have restored my faith. SCSU sweep.

Tyler: MSU has lost close games to good teams because it can’t finish off scoring opportunities and the Mavericks are going against a hot goalie for the second week in a row in Mike Lee. Those pucks are going to have have to slip by eventually, though. Split."
"The Mavericks are coming off of being swept at Wisconsin last weekend while the Huskies are riding high on a six game winning streak. Mankato is a beatable team, but you're going to have to work your butt off to do so. They'll outwork you all day long in the offensive zone and throw some goals in the back of the net, but they'll let a lot in the net too. And, for some reason, they are having a horrible WCHA season again. They're 4-11-3 in the WCHA and 6-0-2 in non-conference play. The Huskies, on the other hand, are playing some of their best hockey right now. They've won four league games in a row, but those games have been played against Bemidji and Tech, teams they should be beating anyway. A sweep here would be huge for the Huskies and is much needed to get them back into this thing. If the Huskies sweep and CC and Minny split, the Huskies will find themselves all alone in 6th place. I think the Huskies are playing some of their best hockey right now, so I have to go with the hot team here.
Huskies sweep 4-3, 3-2"
By my count, that makes 3 in favor of a split this weekend and 4 in favor of a Husky Sweep. If the Huskies do beat this very hard working Mavericks team, the Huskies will be 8-0 since Christmas break. If you were not able to tell (by the fact I am no longer the only person predicting Husky sweeps) two of the largest college hockey sites gave recognition to the Huskies turnaround:
Mike Doyle's Three Keys to the Game: (click the link to read more)
  • Defensive Transition
  • Special Teams
  • Goals from Grinders
LW                                                   C                                       RW
23-Cam Reid                            9-Garrett Roe                        22-David Eddy
GP-23 7-12-19 21-PM +12         GP-24 5-17-22 28-PM +2         GP-4 3-3-6 0-PM +5

11-Jared Festler                      19-Drew LeBlanc                     26-Nic Dowd
GP-24 8-4-12 2-PM +2              GP-24 8-21-29 12-PM +4        GP-24 4-11-15 28-PM +7

10-Ben Hanowski                     17-Aaron Marvin                     21-Brian Volpei
GP-23 8-3-11 8-PM -5              GP-23 4-5-9 10-PM -6            GP-17 1-3-4 4-PM -5

28-Mitch MacMillan                  13-Jordy Christian                   16-Nick Oslund
GP-17 3-1-4 8-PM -4               GP-17 1-1-2 6-PM -6               GP-17 1-1-2 4-PM -2

D                                                 D
25-Oliver Lauridsen                 4-Taylor Johnson
GP-23 1-4-5 37-PM +1            GP-21 2-4-6 32-PM -5

7-Kevin Gravel                      6-Brett Barta
GP-22 0-3-3 2-PM -1             GP-24 1-9-10 4-PM +3

3-Sam Zabkowicz                 14-Nick Jensen
GP-9 0-2-2 2-PM -2              GP-24 4-8-12 10-PM -4

Goalie -- Mike Lee 9-7-1, 2.67 GAA, .907 save percentage
Travis Novak
If you are wondering way Novak is not on the roster it is because he is still injured from a hit he took last week in Bemidji. You can read more about that here.

History (recent)
The Huskies have some pretty recent history with the Mavericks that is worth noting. Last year during the first round of the WCHA playoffs, these two teams met at the National Hockey Center. The playoff matchup went to three games. Each were decided by one goal and two went to overtime, including the third game (the Huskies eventually went to the WCHA Championship game). Drew Leblanc scored the Huskies game winning goal that sent them to the WCHA Final Five. Here is that video:

Other Husky News:

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