Three things I thought I learned this weekend …
Note to MSU foes: Stay out of the box
Remember when Minnesota State’s power play was one of the worst in the country? I believe I used the word “feeble” to describe it in more than one story. Don’t look now, but the Mavericks have the WCHA’s best and the nation’s 10th best power play, as it’s shot up to 22.6 percent. It’s been clicking at nearly 40 percent during MSU’s recent seven-game win streak. Jean-Paul LaFontaine leads the league in power-play goals (7) and points (11). The Mavericks scored four power-play goals in their first 10 games of the season. In the eight since, they have 17. Against Alabama-Huntsville, they scored three power-play goals each night of the series sweep, which proved to be the difference in the games.
Falcons, Nanooks come up big on road
Bowling Green and Alaska not only scored some huge road points this weekend with each winning and tying at Michigan Tech and Bemidji State, respectively, but they buoyed themselves before break after some tough stretches before the weekend. The Falcons not only beat the Huskies on Friday but scored two late goals in a come-from-behind tie on Saturday. That series followed a 1-4-0 stretch that included four one-goal losses. The Nanooks, meanwhile, have two wins and a tie on the road in their last three games following a five-game losing streak and a 1-7-0 stretch.
League has good goaltending
There was quite the goaltending battle between Alaska Anchorage’s Chris Kamal and Lake Superior’s Kevin Murdock on Saturday night in Anchorage. The Seawolves and the Lakers appeared to be heading into overtime scoreless, but UAA’s Brett Cameron scored with just under 16 seconds to play. Murdock finished with 26 saves, and Kamal stopped 18 for the win, his first of the year, and series split. Anchorage is 7-2-1 at home this season. There’s been some pretty good goaltending in the league this season with Ferris State’s C.J. Motte, Minnesota State’s Cole Huggins, Northern Michigan’s Mathias Dahlstrom and Michigan Tech’s Pheonix Copley, to name a few.
Oh, and one more thing …
Interesting comments about the officiating – one no-call in particular – from Michigan Tech coach Mel Pearson on Saturday night. It’s a long but measured statement probably best viewed than transcribed. Check it out.