Minnesota State again relies on scoring depth in WCHA semifinal

Minnesota State scored three times on Ferris State goaltender CJ Motte and added an empty-net goal (photo: Tim Brule).

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Despite a slow start Friday night, Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings never seemed worried.

After all, his team has tremendous scoring depth. Anyone on his team can score at any given time. And anyone can step up to make a play at any given time.

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Friday night’s 4-0 victory over Ferris State in the second WCHA Final Five semifinal was no exception. Six different Minnesota State players had at least one point, and it just goes to show you that Hastings doesn’t have to rely on just one player game in and game out.

“We’ve had different guys step up at different times [this year],” Hastings said. “When you can start talking about different people on consecutive nights, consecutive weekends, I think the responsibility gets shared. Nobody feels like they’re trying to carry the club.”

Of course, you can also credit the leadership and teamwork Minnesota State has.

“There’s a lot of we, and not a lot of me in the locker room,” said Hastings. “That’s enjoyable to come to work with every day because they don’t mind sharing the workload. It’s been a positive for us.”

Hastings also credited the leadership role that some of his younger players assumed at the beginning of the season. He talked about how they’ve helped carry this team along.

“Two of the guys, Brad [McClure] and C.J. [Franklin], have been thrust into our lineup since day one,” Hastings said. “Those guys had good summers, and they came in ready to play college hockey. As you can see, they haven’t played like freshmen.”

Other coaches tend to notice this kind of unselfish hockey, even on the opposing bench, and Ferris State coach Bob Daniels was quick to acknowledge the Mavericks success despite his own team seeing its season end.

“In my opinion, Minnesota State’s the No. 1 team in the nation,” Daniels said.