Maverick Hockey Quick Hits: Minnesota State players up for Hobey Baker Award

The No. 1 Minnesota State Mavericks are on a nine-game winning streak, ranked first in all of college hockey for most of that time.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:58 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The No. 1 Minnesota State Mavericks are on a nine-game winning streak, ranked first in all of college hockey for most of that time.

A few big headlines surround the Mavericks this week, from the national to the international stage.

Mary Rominger: Rob, starting off this Maverick Hockey Quick Hits with the Hobey Baker nominees, senior goaltender Dryden McKay and junior forward Nathan Smith making the first phase of balloting.

Let’s talk about Dryden McKay, he was a finalist last year, is a two-time All-American, and is setting records from the program to NCAA level.

Rob Clark: McKay is no stranger to the Hobey Baker Award and being a nominee for that prestigious honor. This year, as a senior, he’s putting up more solid numbers that MSU fans have come to expect. Every time he comes out, he gives the team a good chance to win. When you look at what the Hobey Baker Award stands for, he checks all the boxes.

MR: Smith is a leader for this team offensively, in the locker room, he’s a playmaker week to week. No surprise there for Nathan Smith, he’s generating a lot of attention right now.

RC: Smith is the catalyst of this team. For MSU, to see him in every game, this team seems to elevate every time he takes the ice. He leads the nation with 33 points. It has to be a lot of fun for Mavericks fans to watch him do his thing inside the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. He’s so much fun to watch and whenever the team needs a big goal, he is either scoring or providing an assist.

MR: This past week against Ferris State, the Mavericks picked up a couple of substantial wins, a 7-1 in game one and a 7-0 route in game two. Nathan Smith with a pair of goals and a pair of assists in the series, but we also saw a hat trick from Wyatt Aamodt. It’s always fun when you see a defenseman putting up numbers like a hat trick, Aamodt’s first career hat trick.

RC: You don’t see that every day, but it was a cool moment. The way MSU is playing right now, it seems like any player on the ice for the Mavericks can strike for a hat trick.

MR: So moving forward, the team will face Northern Michigan, they’re 12-8-1 this season. The mindset should be playing consistently and strongly. It was Ferris State who split against the Mavericks on the road earlier this season. It’ll be important for that not to happen again.

RC: Lake Superior State as well, those are two of the team’s four losses. When you look at Northern Michigan, yes MSU swept them earlier in the year, but Northern Michigan is playing better hockey since that sweep. The Wildcats were able to put a beat down on Minnesota Duluth when UMD was the number one team in the nation. Michigan, in general, has a lot of good hockey teams coming out of that state.

MR: You can’t rule out any CCHA team because every team wants to take down the Mavericks. Hockey Day Minnesota is right around the corner, and the Mavericks released who will be in town for the alumni game on Friday before next Saturday. Eight former NHLers, quite the resume of talent that have graduated from MSU.

RC: What a cool moment for this community and to be able to see all those names. When you put them right up there, it’s really neat to see the rosters they formed. It’ll be a great alumni game, a great week, and great hockey that will be played.

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