Series of the Week: No. 6 Minnesota State vs Michigan Tech
The No.6 Minnesota State (23-6-1) take on Michigan Tech (12-13-3) in hopes of strengthening their resume for the NCAA Tournament. The Mavericks have almost full control of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, tallying 54 points in conference play.
Minnesota State swept the Huskies at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minnesota at the beginning of the new year. This series will be held on Friday and Saturday at MacInnes Student Ice Arena in Houghton, Michigan.
The Mavericks are ranked fifth in the country in scoring, averaging 3.75 goals per clip. The offense revolves around junior forward Marc Michaelis, who leads the team in scoring and points with 13 goals and 30 points, respectively.
Alongside Michaelis, Parker Tuomie, Jared Spooner and Charlie Gerard have surpassed 20 points on the season with Spooner leading the Mavericks in assists at 18.
Toumie has lit the lamp 11 times in the 2018-2019 season and sophomore forward Dallas Gerads has 12 goals in 28 games played.
The Mavericks are a serious threat while on the attack and there’s a reason as to why they are a serious contender for a berth in the Frozen Four once the NCAA tournament begins.
Between the pipes, freshman goaltender Dryden McKay has seen action in 23 games and has a record of 16-5-1.
In those 23 games, McKay has surrendered just 43 goals alongside a goals against average of 1.91. In addition to allowing under two goals per contest, his save percentage is .921.
Michigan Tech’s season on the other hand will more than likely fall-short of an NCAA Tournament berth unless they can win the WCHA Tournament.
The Huskies are unranked in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll and currently sit at No. 38 in the PairWise Rankings.
Tech only has one player over 20 points on the season, and that’s senior forward Jake Lucchini. Lucchini has tallied seven goals and 15 assists during the 2018-2019 campaign and is surely a force when the puck is in his possession.
Sophomore defensemen Seamus Donohue has only one goal but is tied with Lucchini for the most assists on the team. Freshman forward Brian Halonen has registered eight goals and that total is good for first on the team at the moment.
In net, the Huskies use a goalie system as sophomore Robbie Beydoun and junior Matt Jurusik having played in 12 and 13 games, respectively.
Beydoun has a record of 4-6-1 but holds a goals against average of 1.98 and a save percentage of .931.
Jurusik compliments Beydoun with a record of 7-4-1, a goals against average of 2.40 and a save percentage of just .904.
In WCHA conference, Minnesota State has recently risen to prominence and Michigan Tech has been a traditional power. Since teams like St. Cloud State, Denver and Minnesota-Duluth left for the NCHC, there has been a relatively significant drop-off.
On paper, Minnesota State is destined to inflict even more damage and win the WCHA title in a fashion more convincing than last season’s.
Look for the Mavericks to make yet another statement that they are truly a force in the college hockey world. They will put a hurting on Michigan Tech early and often.
Prediction: Minnesota State sweep
Christopher Hess is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in history. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.