NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The holiday break was short and sweet for the Maverick hockey programs and now they prepare for the second half of the season. It’s time for your weekly Maverick Hockey Quick Hits and we start out by taking a look at this week’s USCHO men’s national rankings.
The Minnesota Gophers lead the pack for another week with a perfect 8-0 record. Boston College holds strong at 2nd. North Dakota 3rd. Minnesota Duluth 4th.
And sitting comfortably in the top-5, as they have all season, the Maverick men’s team. Sports Director Rob Clark joins us to further discuss the men, hey Rob.
Rob Clark: The MSU men’s hockey team is currently ranked 5th in the nation despite only playing in five games this season. Mavericks going 3-1-1 in those contests. This offense is not struggle to create chances, Mavericks averaging almost 40 shots a game this season. And also, defense looking good as well for MSU. Goaltender, Dryden McKay, with two shutouts so far this season. He has 16 in his career, McKay still just a junior. Now, the Mavericks open the second half of the season on the road against Northern Michigan for a two-game series that is actually the start of WCHA play. Now the Mavericks of course have won the McNaughton cup for three straight years, they will go for a fourth this season. That title defense begins on Saturday against Northern Michigan.
Should be an exciting journey to the WCHA title, puck drop for both those games are at 5:07 Saturday and 3:07 Sunday.
Switching gears to talk about the women...the Minnesota State Mavericks will start the new year by hosting number-1 Wisconsin this Saturday and Sunday. In their last meeting, MSU upset Wisconsin 3-1 in Mankato. The Badgers earned their 1-1-0 record this season after facing number-4 Ohio State. Wisconsin was previously idled due to Coronavirus cases on their roster. The 2-5-1 Mavs are coming off of a strong series against Bemidji State with continuous support from freshman forward Jamie Nelson continues to tear up the WCHA as the league’s top-scoring newcomer. Puck drop is at 2:07 Saturday and Sunday.
We wrap up this edition of your Maverick Hockey Quick Hits with a question from one of you. One viewer asked, when does conference play begin? We’ve touched on it briefly and actually all of the women’s games this year are WCHA conference games although now, the WCHA will no longer be broken up into respective multi-conference sections, meaning now you see the Mavs playing their big 10 conference schools. As for the men, the team has played it’s WCHA opponents all season long, although they’ve counted as non-conference games. Moving forward through the remainder of the season, their WCHA match-ups will also count for conference games.