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MavHockey14
10-06-2013, 11:27 PM
With tonight's 7-1 Exhibition win over Lethbridge, the season is truly almost here!

Coming off the best season in school history, the Mavericks open play this weekend against Providence. This is an important season for Minnesota State, as they should be able to build off last year and be even better in the upcoming year. Here's my season preview as game week is finally here!

Key Returners:

#18 Matt Leitner, Jr. Forward: As the nation's fourth highest returning scorer, Leitner has received preseason All American awards, been in the Hobey Baker talk, as well as WCHA First team honors. With 17 goals and 30 assists last year, Leitner was an offensive wizard for the Mavericks. Although he's a small kid, he makes up for his lack of size with a creative hockey sense as well as great playmaking ability. He's a key piece of a PP that was deadly last year, and needs to be lethal again this year.

#30 Stephon Williams, So. Goaltender: When Stephon Williams took over in net last year, the Mavericks started putting things together; it wasn't a mere coincidence. Williams was the WCHA Rookie of the Year last year, the league goaltending champion, and a member of the WCHA's first team. Williams posted a 21-12-2 record, a 1.96 GAA with a .924 save percentage in 35 games. With a swagger in net that fans have come to enjoy, Williams is the backbone of this Mavericks team.

#7 Zach Palmquist, Jr. Defenseman: An offensive minded defenseman, Palmquist loves to join the rush and make things happen on the scoreboard for the Mavericks. Palmquist is effective in his own zone, and does a fantastic job moving the puck up ice. He's a key part of the transition game and helps create chances all over the ice. Like Leitner, he is a key asset to the Power Play.

#22 Johnny McInnis, Sr. Forward: The captain of the Mavericks this year, his leadership on the ice is needed, just as his production will be. McInnis was third on the team with 13 goals last year, and he's poised to bring that number higher playing with Teddy Blueger and Dylan Margonari.

Key Losses:

Forward Eriah Hayes tallied 20 goals, 16 assists, and the biggest loss of the offseason, THIRTEEN power play goals.

Defenseman Tyler Elbrecht only had 1 goal and 7 assists, but he was a leader and ate up a lot of minutes for the Mavericks.

Forward Zach Lehrke had 8 goals and 17 assists, and unfortunately has had to give up his senior season due to health concerns. He's a role player who did everything asked of him; a lunch pail kind of guy.

Poised for a breakout:

#19 Teddy Blueger, So. Forward: Blueger is a second round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and was a true freshman last year. He contributed with 6 goals and 13 assists, but showed flashes of talent and skill. If he has refined his game, as was the indicator in tonight's exhibition game, he could explode offensively for the Mavericks, and could be a key part of the power play as well.

#25 Zach Stepan, Fr. Forward: Stepan decommitted from Ohio State and joined the Mavericks this spring. He is picked as the preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year. It looks like Stepan will start the year on the top line with Matt Leitner and Bryce Gervais. Playing with those two will help him play at a high level right away, and he will benefit from the playmaking abilities of his linemates.

My Thoughts:

Last year's success won't win the Mavericks any games this year, but I do think that the experience gained from consistently playing at a high level will help this team handle the expectations they're face with. The Mavericks won't be a surprise to anyone this season, and teams now understand the type of team Mike Hastings will have in Mankato. I truly believe this Mavericks team can make a push to win as many, if not more games than last season. I do believe they're the deepest, most talented team in the WCHA. This isn't without some concerns, though.

Defensively it will be interesting to see how things shake out. Nelson and Palmquist are definitely the top two guys, and Jutzi played in a lot of games last year. Ideally, the Mavericks will need at least two more guys to play significant minutes. Have Brett Stern and Nick Buchanan made strides in the offseason to fill those rolls? Can Mat Knoll add depth defensively as he returns from a year away? Will any of the freshman defenseman crack the top 6? These are all questions that we will see unfold in the next few weeks. Stephon Williams is a solid backbone in net, but he needs defenseman in front of him to do a good job as well.

Offensively, we've had some good teams at Minnesota State, but this may be as talented and offensive minded as any. In addition to the players mentioned above, the Mavericks return guys such as J.P. LaFontaine(9-26-35), Dylan Margonari(10-9-19), Chase Grant(7-12-19), Brett Knowles(5-9-14) and Bryce Gervais(8-5-13). That's a pretty good core of forwards, and with another offseason under them, depth offensively should be a strength of this team.

I'm excited to see how far this team can go. Can the Mavericks win their first MacNaughton Cup? Final Five? NCAA Tournament game? NCAA regional? It should be a fun ride as we break in the nWCHA, and it should be a great year to be a Maverick Hockey fan.

gfmorris
10-06-2013, 11:59 PM
UAH must be good, because we took a point off of the Mavericks last season, one of our three.

;)

I'm curious to see how great the Mavericks are going to be — not how good. I firmly believe that y'all are our best hope at a Frozen Four bid this season.

GFM

MavHockey14
10-07-2013, 12:05 AM
UAH must be good, because we took a point off of the Mavericks last season, one of our three.

;)

I'm curious to see how great the Mavericks are going to be not how good. I firmly believe that y'all are our best hope at a Frozen Four bid this season.

GFM
I would tend to agree. I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic and not too high, but if this team stays healthy, they could be so very dangerous. It'll be fun to see how things unfold.

Their two biggest series of the year are probably Providence and Minnesota, so we'll have a huge test right away this weekend. We need wins in the non conference, especially on the road.

MAVSFAN4EVER
10-07-2013, 01:02 AM
I would tend to agree. I'm trying to keep my expectations realistic and not too high, but if this team stays healthy, they could be so very dangerous. It'll be fun to see how things unfold.

Their two biggest series of the year are probably Providence and Minnesota, so we'll have a huge test right away this weekend. We need wins in the non conference, especially on the road.

Not so much a series, but The North Star Cup will be as big a weekend as Providence and Minnesota. As I expect 2 or 3 of those teams to be playing in the NCAAs.

MavHockey14
10-07-2013, 01:03 AM
Not so much a series, but The North Star Cup will be as big a weekend as Providence and Minnesota. As I expect 2 or 3 of those teams to be playing in the NCAAs.

But those are weighted slightly less due to being neutral site games. Providence is a very good hockey team, one that will make a strong push to the NCAAs. It would be a surprise if Minnesota didn't make the tournament.

MavsFan
10-07-2013, 01:05 AM
Shots on goal 52-11. Wow.

MavHockey14
10-07-2013, 01:15 AM
Shots on goal 52-11. Wow.

Did you make the game, MF?

My Thoughts (Remember, this is only one game, one exhibition, and against a weak opponent):

1. Teddy Blueger is going to be a star. The kid looked like his game was much refined tonight. He worked very well with McInnis and Margonari, and his passing ability is uncanny. He made an absolutely gorgeous two line outlet pass to Margonari who scored a beautiful breakaway goal. Blueger was a man among boys tonight, and I thought he was the best player on the ice tonight for the Mavericks.

2. This could be the deepest Mavericks squad in history. Not only were the top two lines fantastic tonight, as well as an effective third line, the fourth line was pretty **** good as well. They were opportunistic, showed solid chemistry, and move the puck well together. They had a lot of chances, and I was impressed with Huntebrinker's speed and decision making.

3. Defense will be interesting. I'm a little less worried about our defenseman after tonight, but the 4,5,6 defenseman remain an absolute mystery. I thought Knoll looked pretty good, especially on the PP. Another guy to watch is Casey Nelson. He was poised and made solid decisions and simple plays on the blue line.

4. My seats numbers were different than last year. While putting the new seats in, the seats on the aisles switched numbers. I have always had seats 1 and 2, and they were on the opposite end of the row this year. This really ****ed me off, as it's the first I'd heard of it.

Bale
10-07-2013, 09:05 AM
Did you make the game, MF?

4. My seats numbers were different than last year. While putting the new seats in, the seats on the aisles switched numbers. I have always had seats 1 and 2, and they were on the opposite end of the row this year. This really ****ed me off, as it's the first I'd heard of it.

From what we were told, it was a screw up on the part of the people that installed the seats and will be fixed in time for the UCONN series. There were a lot of unhappy people sitting around us.

Also, I was extremely surprised at the way that the new configuration changed the sight lines. Not bad, not good. Just a lot different.

tunahead08
10-07-2013, 09:22 AM
I caught the game on America One Sports last night. Feed quality was pretty decent, definitely much better than the past few years.

I thought the Mavs looked a little sloppy in the first, which is to be expected for the first game of the season. But they definitely looked like they were pulling things together in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The one goal that Williams let by was a tough one to get. Wish we could have seen the goalies get a little more action to see how they looked, but the Mavs dominated possession and didn't allow the puck to get into the other teams zone too often.

Excited for the Providence series, as it will be a much better indication of where this team stands. Unfortunately, the games aren't on America Sports One so I'm stuck listening to the radio :(

MavHockey14
10-07-2013, 10:31 AM
From what we were told, it was a screw up on the part of the people that installed the seats and will be fixed in time for the UCONN series. There were a lot of unhappy people sitting around us.

Also, I was extremely surprised at the way that the new configuration changed the sight lines. Not bad, not good. Just a lot different.

I guess I never really thought about the change I sight lines.. I didn't think it was all that different, but I'll have to look into it further next weekend.

This weekend is a huge series. Absolutely gigantic. It's going to be an important series later in the year as we battle for tournament positioning.

Bale
10-07-2013, 02:33 PM
I didn't actually end up sitting in my normal seats because of the seat screwup so I don't know about those for sure. we were sitting next to some friends and as you go lower it seemed to change things a bunch. It seemed like it wasn't as steep and that's what caused it, but I don't know for sure.

MavHockey14
10-07-2013, 03:09 PM
I didn't actually end up sitting in my normal seats because of the seat screwup so I don't know about those for sure. we were sitting next to some friends and as you go lower it seemed to change things a bunch. It seemed like it wasn't as steep and that's what caused it, but I don't know for sure.

I guess that's probably just a result of the rink smaller?

MavHockey14
10-08-2013, 12:48 PM
Hastings and the Mavericks have a new recruit for 2015. Max Coatta is a Forward for the BCHL's Penticton Vees; he's their leading scorer, and was a dominant High School player for the Minnetonka Skippers. This is a great pick up for the Mavs.

MavHockey14
10-09-2013, 11:20 AM
Things have been very quiet on the Chase Grant injury front.. I was told upper body injury, and I wonder if he'll travel with the team today or not. It would be nice to have him in the lineup this weekend.

goldy_331
10-09-2013, 12:54 PM
Hastings and the Mavericks have a new recruit for 2015. Max Coatta is a Forward for the BCHL's Penticton Vees; he's their leading scorer, and was a dominant High School player for the Minnetonka Skippers. This is a great pick up for the Mavs.

He is, congrats!

MavFan19
10-09-2013, 07:43 PM
"Bale".......don't know if you caught the info I posted on Lehrke"s medical condition, as I posted on Oct. 6th on the Mankato's Off-season2013 thread and the Mavs New-Season Thread started the same day.....but all the info that I'm aware of is there if you're interested

MavHockey14
10-09-2013, 11:09 PM
"Bale".......don't know if you caught the info I posted on Lehrke"s medical condition, as I posted on Oct. 6th on the Mankato's Off-season2013 thread and the Mavs New-Season Thread started the same day.....but all the info that I'm aware of is there if you're interested

That was old news that I posted before it became public. Tough break for a good kid, now we move on.

MavHockey14
10-11-2013, 03:15 PM
I'm hearing 8 d men made the trip..

MavHockey14
10-11-2013, 06:08 PM
Maverick Hockey Lines

Gervais-Leitner-Stepan
Margonari-Blueger-McInnis
Knowles-LaFontaine-Gaede
Grant-Jordan Nelson-Huntenbrinker
Herndon-->Grant is a game time decision. If warmups go well, he's in, otherwise Herndon is in.

Josh Nelson-Palmquist
Stern-C Nelson
Jutzi-Foguth

Williams
Huggins

MavHockey14
10-11-2013, 10:04 PM
Tonight was Jutting hockey..:(