The 3rd seed Minnesota State Mavericks men’s hockey team took on the 6th seed Alaska Nanooks this past weekend at the Verizon Wireless Center in a first round of match-up of the WCHA playoffs. While the Nanooks came in with a 4-game unbeaten streak, the Mavs were able to stiffle Alaska on Friday, with Jason Pawloski leading the way with a 23 save shutout in the 3-0 victory and WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors. Senior defenseman Sean Flanagan added three points of his own, while Freshman Parker Tuomie scored two goals on his way to being named WCHA Rookie of the Week. Saturday’s contest was tightly contested for most of the evening, with the Mavericks holding a slim one goal lead with 5 minutes remaining in the game. Minnetonka native Max Coatta put MSU over the top, however, with two goals in the final two minutes to seal the 4-1 victory and put Minnesota State into the WCHA semifinals.
Elsewhere around the WCHA last weekend featured 3 other playoff series, including the 5th ranked Ferris State Bulldogs taking on the 4th ranked Bowling Green Falcons. After holding on to home ice in the first round, the Falcons took down the Bulldogs in a sweep, with a 6-1 win Friday and a 5-3 win on Saturday. The 2nd seed Michigan Tech Huskies took down the 7th seed Lake Superior State Lakers with a 6-4 win on Friday, and a 8-0 thumping on Saturday as they advanced to the semifinals. Finally, the 8th seed Northern Michigan Wildcats went to the top seed and MacNaughton Cup champion Bemidji State Beavers. Bemidji won with a 3-0 shutout on Friday, but the Wildcats shocked the Beavers with a 4-2 victory on Saturday to force a winner take all game three on Sunday. The Beavers were able to score two early goals in the 1st period, however, and held on for the 2-1 victory to advance.
This weekend semifinal action will feature the top 4 seeds in the WCHA facing off. Bowling Green travels to Bemidji State, and the Minnesota State Mavericks will travel to Houghton, Michigan to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies. Both match-ups are a best of three series, with games Friday and Saturday, and (if necessary) Sunday. The winners will face off in a one game WCHA Championship, to be hosted at the site of the highest seeded remaining team, for a chance at an NCAA Tournament bid and the Broadmoor Trophy.
- Intern Ryan