The 7th ranked MSU men’s hockey team kicks off the second half of their season Friday at home against Northern Michigan  in a battle between two of the WCHA’s top squads.

MSU is outscoring opponents 68-39 this season with no shortage of goal scorers, 19 different Mavs found the back of the net in the first half

“For an accountability standpoint from a coaching staff, it’s really good because our job is to give opportunity. It’s their job to take advantage of the opportunity and do something with it. When there is not a stress level on one, two, three guys, a couple of defenseman, opportunity is available every day. We ask the guys to bring an energy to the rink every day and have some purpose, and try to accomplish something in that 24 hour clock. When we have other guys standing behind them, or breathing down their neck, it’s amazing how that peer pressure of motivation is something that develops competition. Guys continually get better, and we’ve had that happen. You’ve seen some freshman who might have started off a little slow who are starting to pick it up. Lutz, Jaremko, Jared Spooner, Connor Mackey, those guys are starting to hit their stride. We need them to come back rejuvenated. We need our leadership corps to come back and continue to lead in the manner they have. If we can play four lines, play six defenseman, have a different goaltender get the job done of different nights. It creates a hard match-up, and if we can be a hard match-up, we’re going to have a good second half,” said Mike Hastings, MSU head coach.

The Mavericks have a solid test Friday against the Wildcats of Northern Michigan  a team that split a series with MSU last month.

“We’ll be playing a team that’s as close to anybody as us in the standings in Northern who in their last four games are undefeated and are playing very well. We split with them up in their building. The guys will be excited when they get back, I don’t think I’ll have to do much to get them excited for a really big series,” said Hastings.

Puck drops at the Verizon Center Friday shortly after seven.

We’ll have highlights of the contest on KEYC News 12.

--KEYC News 12