Three thoughts, Jan. 18

1. Still the 1

Minnesota State will do something a few others haven’t been able to do this season: Stay No. 1 for a second week after rising to the top spot for the first time last Monday. The Mavericks faced one of their toughest road tests of the season — or at least since going to Michigan Tech in November — and swept Ferris State, a team that rarely loses at home. On Saturday, the Mavericks won in come-from-behind fashion, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to erase a 1-0 deficit. The wins also gave MSU a firm grip on first place in the league standings, although Michigan Tech (eight points back) and Bowling Green (nine) have two and for games in hand, respectively.

2. Surprising sweeps

Things didn’t exactly go according to Hoyle, standings-wise this weekend, with the league’s bottom teams — Alabama Huntsville, Alaska Anchorage and Lake Superior State — all sweeping series. The Chargers took two games from Northern Michigan for its second home sweep in a row. The Seawolves went on the road to rival Alaska and took a two-game lead in this year’s Governor’s Cup, thanks, in part to Blake Tatchell’s overtime goal on Saturday night. And the Lakers swept visiting Bemidji State, starting with Friday’s dramatic finish — Alex Globke scoring the game’s only goal with 0.6 seconds left in regulation — and with Gordon Defiel’s 76 saves in the series.

3. Just one split

The only split of the weekend was not a surprising one, as it came between the second- and third-best teams in the conference. And it sure seemed to be a classic series between Michigan Tech and Bowling Green in Houghton. On Friday, Tech came from behind to hand the Falcons their first conference loss since Halloween, erasing a 2-0 second-period deficit and a 3-2 third-period disadvantage. Tanner Kero, who is making a play for league player of the year scored the game-winner midway through the third. The next night, Bowling Green bounced back with a 3-2 win. All five goals were scored in the second period, including the first three by the Falcons.