Top-ranked Minnesota State-Mankato lived up to it’s No. 1 ranking on Friday night at Amsoil Arena with a 4-1 dismantling of No. 8 Minnesota Duluth at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.
Junior wing Kobe Roth got the lone goal for the Bulldogs on the power play in the third, but it was too little and way too late to make much of a difference with the Mavs already ahead 4-0 at the time.
Below are Friday’s thumbs up, thumbs up and three stars from News Tribune college hockey reporter Matt Wellens.
Thumbs down to Bulldogs lack of intensity
“Credit to them, but I don’t think our intensity level was high enough. We lost a lot of battles all over the rink and that showed in the final score.” — UMD senior center Jade Miller
Uff da. That’s not good to hear.
A lack of intensity should never be an issue when you’re playing the No. 1 team in the country, though maybe the two-time defending national champion Bulldogs weren’t phased by the Mavs ranking coming into the series.
They had few issues with the last No. 1 team they faced here three weeks ago, tying and beating Denver.
Minnesota State proved to be a much more legit challenge than the Pioneers. Miller said the Mavs had awesome sticks, played a strong defensive game and did a solid job taking away time and space.
But the battles. That was the killer for the Bulldogs on Friday. That’s where they needed to be at their best, at their most intense, and UMD just wasn’t.
“We won a couple early, we got some O-zone time, which was nice, but we have to keep consistent throughout the whole game,” UMD junior defenseman Louie Roehl said. “We have to win battles in the defensive zone. You spend too much time in the D-zone, it leads to a lack of offense. We spent too much time there not winning every battle.”
Thumbs up to UMD’s ticket policy Saturday
A historic winter storm is on its way to Duluth bringing 1-2 inches per hour and gale force winds off Lake Superior, prompting a blizzard warning.
But with the Mavericks already in town, as well as NCHC officials, Saturday’s game will still go on as scheduled at 7:07 p.m. at Amsoil Arena because a convenient makeup date is not readily available at the moment.
Blizzard conditions, which are to be the worst Saturday afternoon and evening, will make travel dangerous, if not impossible, National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Howell told the News Tribune.
Fans with tickets to Saturday’s game should probably stay home, but they don’t have to eat the ticket they paid for. UMD athletic director Josh Berlo has made a generous offer to Bulldogs fans.
“Ticket holders are encouraged to follow any municipal travel advisories and those unable to attend may contact the Bulldog ticket office for a possible credit toward a future 2019-20 regular season game,” Berlo said in a statement.
Saturday’s game will be televised locally in Duluth on My 9 sports. You can listen KDAL 610 AM or 103.9 FM. You can check out the live blog on DuluthNewsTribune.com and chat with me on Twitter as well.
Stay safe tomorrow, Duluth.
Matt’s Three Stars
3. MSU sophomore goalie Dryden McKay: Mavs goalie stopped 27 saves, including a few big ones early to keep UMD off the scoreboard.
2. MSU senior wing Parker Tuomie: A power play goal to make it 2-0 and an assist on the first Mavs goal to make it 1-0.
1. MSU senior center Michaelis: Got the first goal of the game, which Miller said deflated the Bulldogs, and then assisted on Tuomie’s goal.