The Minnesota State Maverick’s men hockey team finished up their regular season last weekend with a split on the road against Bemidji State. With the end of the regular season comes the beginning of the WCHA playoffs. By virtue of finishing 3rd in the WCHA standings, the Mavericks will host the Alaska Nanooks in the first round this Friday, Saturday, and (if necessary) Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato.
The Nanooks come into the weekend with a 4 game unbeaten streak and touting a 7-7-3 road record on the season, finishing 6th in the WCHA standings. The Mavericks have a 2-1-1 record against the Nanooks this year, splitting the series in Alaska while coming away with a win and a tie at the Verizon Wireless Center in early December. The Mavericks come into the playoffs boasting the top scoring offense in the WCHA, averaging 3.21 goals/game.
Under the new WCHA playoff format, gone is the WCHA Final Five. Instead, all playoff games are hosted on campus sites, including the WCHA championship game. With the Mavericks sitting at the #3 seed, they still have a chance to host a playoff series next weekend as well. If the Mavs defeat the Nanooks, and either #2 Michigan Tech or #1 Bemidji State loses in their respective matchups, the Mavericks will be home again next weekend for the WCHA semifinals. The WCHA championship will be a one game, winner take all matchup for the Broadmoor Trophy on Saturday, March 18th.
- Intern Ryan