The most southern team in the State of Hockey, the Mankato Mavericks, have made a strong showing in the first part of the season. Coming out with an 8-3-0 record in the 2017-18 season. The WCHA team lost out to Michigan Tech last year in the playoffs, just barely missing the NCAA playoffs. They are determined to make a showing not just in the WCHA, but in all D1 hockey.
The Mavericks are ranked 5th in this week’s USCHO poll.
Mankato is also ranked 4th in the John Buccigross rankings. Clearly Mankato is doing something right this season. With a sweep last weekend in Bemidji, MN against the Beavers, the Mavericks proved that not only can they score goals, but they can come back from being down any amount. The WCHA has been a weaker conference since the realignment, but this Mankato team could be what the conference needs to move them back up to where they used to be.
Mankato can score goals,
Having scored more than 5 goals 5 times in the first 11 games, even getting 8 goals against Bemidji, a very defense- dominated team with a strong goalie in net, they have proven that even up against a challenge they can get the puck into the net. After starting the season with a 0-4 loss against the St. Cloud Huskies (ranked 3rd in the nation now) they went to Boston University and swept the young Terriers by a 3-goal margin in both games. The Mankato team has been led by their top goal scorer, Marc Michaelis, Michaelis had a big weekend in Bemidji, tallying 6 points in the weekend, 5 goals, 1 assist. Mankato’s 1st line has been strong, earning them 41 points all together.
Mankato is up against some challenges.
The Mavericks have earned 2 splits, both in away games, against Bowling Green and Northern Michigan. They get to return home this weekend (Nov. 17, 18) after 2 weekends away in a row to play Bowling Green again. Mankato will be looking for a sweep of the team that stole a game from them earlier. Minnesota State leads the WCHA in points early into the season with 18, with Bowling Green in 2nd right behind them. This weekend a sweep of Bowling Green could solidify them as the number 1 team in WCHA and prove to other teams that Mankato is a team that can go places.
Mankato has a tough schedule ahead of them. With games against St. Cloud State and University of Minnesota-Duluth ahead of them, they won’t be handed a place in the tournament without some work.