Series Preview: Purple Mavericks Come to Town!

Watching the Minnesota State Mavericks play the Pups is one of my favorite series of the entire year.  It has NEVER let me down once.  The only thing is, the purple Mavs are a helluva lot better than they have been in the past.  Maybe Dorr was holding them back?


Overview:

Well, to say the least, Mike Hastings has turned his Minnesota State Mavericks around 180 degrees from the direction of last season.  Last year the Mavs finished 12-24-2, taking second-to-last for the third consecutive year, but this year things are looking a bit more promising.  Mankato had the weekend off last weekend but split a series with the Gophers in the previous weekend, losing at home but winning at Mariucci.  The Mavericks are on a roll to finish in the top half of the WCHA for the first time since the 2007-'08 season.


Pos.
(GP) G-A-Pts.
Pts/G
Matt Leitner
F
(28) 10-20-30
1.07
Jean-Paul Lafontaine
F
(28) 8-17-25
0.89
Eriah Hayes
F
(28) 12-9-21
0.75
Zach Palmquist
D
(28) 5-14-19
0.68
Josh Nelson
D
(23) 4-3-7
0.30
Pos.
(GP) GAA/Sv%
Mins.
Stephon Williams
G
(22) 1.82/.927
1286

On a much different path, the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs haven't been able to depart the "struggle bus" they've been riding for the season.  Last weekend the Dogs were shutout on Friday night and gave up a three-goal lead on Saturday night resulting in a very point-less weekend (get it?).  If the Dogs hope to scrap up some points in this series, they're gonna have to figure out how to score on both nights while keeping the puck out of their own net.  The balancing act.


Pos.
(GP) G-A-Pts.
Pts/G
Mike Seidel
F
(26) 12-13-25
0.96
Tony Cameranesi (TOR)
F
(26) 11-13-24
0.92
Austin Farley
F
(24) 9-9-18
0.75
Wade Bergman
D
(25) 2-13-15
0.60
Andy Welinski (ANA)
D
(26) 2-9-11
0.42
Pos.
(GP) GAA/Sv%
Mins.
Matt McNeely
G
(18) 2.71/.894
1062

Lets Compare:

Bulldogs
Mavericks
10-13-3
...Overall...
16-9-3
8-9-3
WCHA
10-9-1
5-6-1
Home
8-5-1
5-5-2
Away
7-4-2
2.58
Avg. Offense
3.04
2.88
Avg. Defense
2.32
16.6
PIM/G
13.7
21.7%
Power Play
21.7%
83.3%
Penalty Kill
83.0%
32.9
Shots/G
32.5
25.9
Opponent S/G
26.2




The Verdict:

Gosh I'm excited for this one.  I love this series, if I haven't already noted it.  Minnesota holds a pretty decent record in this series for the past few years, if you can't already tell above.  I mean 10-1-1 in the last 12 isn't terrible right?  I guess we have to take into consideration the talent of each team though...

Both teams will be looking for wins in the end, most likely for different reasons at this point, but with the goal of bettering their record for a shot at home ice.  Look for the Bulldogs to be angered after being swept at home for the first time since the Gopher series in October of 2011, which should bring intensity and agression to this series.  The purple Mavs will be looking to bounce back from the home-loss to Minnesota they sustained two weekends ago.

With the Mavericks running on two weeks of rest and the Pups angered over last weekend I'm going to go out on a limb here and say this is going to be one helluva series.  I can't predict a Bulldog sweep, unfortunatley, but I do not feel like they'll get swept again.  The P-Mavs and Pups wrestle to split.

Friday's puck drops at 7:37 and Saturday's at 7:07.  The games can be viewed on My9 in the Duluth area or Listen to Bruce Ciskie call the game live on 94X or online at 94X.com.  See ya there!

Enjoy

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