1. Mavericks make statement
Minnesota State bounced back from a one-point weekend at Michigan Tech in big-time fashion, scoring 13 goals in a romp over Lake Superior State in Mankato. The Mavericks won 8-0 and 5-1 against a team that had made some real strides defensively this season. One weekend might not be enough to make a trend, but if MSU has indeed found the goal-scoring touch it had been missing for much of the season, it could spell trouble for the rest of the league. Minnesota State is now 10-0-0 all-time against Lake Superior State. Forward C.J. Franklin, who had three goals and two assists this weekend, has 12 career points in eight games against the Lakers.
2. Bulldogs burst in
In each of its first eight league series, Ferris State secured two points for the league standings, hanging around and keeping itself in the hunt for home ice. In each of the last two series, however the Bulldogs have gotten three points, and they’re suddenly in a tie for third place. This weekend, Ferris played two overtime games at Bemidji State (surprise, surprise!) and got a win and a tie. On Friday, the Bulldogs’ Simon Denis forced OT with an extra-attacker goal with 25 seconds to play in regulation, and Mitch Maloney won it 47 seconds into extra time. On Saturday, goalie Darren Smith stopped 35 of 36 Bemidji State shots to get the tie. (Smith had 28 saves on Friday.)
3. Falcons fly forward
Bowling Green kept pace with Minnesota State in the race for the MacNaughton Cup by beating visiting Alaska Anchorage in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday and Friday. The Falcons are three points behind the Mavericks in the standings but have two games in hand. They play an important series this coming weekend when they host Michigan Tech. Bowling Green’s offense exploded against the Seawolves, who were on the back half of a two-weekend road swing (the went 1-3-0 on the trip and have just one win in their last eight games). In the opener, the Falcons scored five goals in the second period; on Saturday, they had a three-goal first. Brandon Hawkins had a stellar weekend with three goals and two assists.