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This week in MSU Maverick sports (2/22/10 - 2/28/10)

MSU Memorabilia in the Taylor Center
MSU Memorabilia in the Taylor Center
Zack Thieman

This week marks the last home women's and men's basketball games on Wednesday as the Mavs wrap up the regular season this week. The men's hockey season is also drawing near an end as the Mavs face Denver at home this weekend and have a home and home series with St. Cloud State next weekend. Women's hockey heads to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers for the first round of the WCHA playoffs this week. The week is full of key match ups that will affect playoff positions in basketball and men's hockey.

The women's hockey team closed out regular season play with a home split against North Dakota. The lady mavs scored a goal a period to beat UND 3-2 Friday night. Despite a 30 save effort by sophomore goaltender Alli Altmann, the Mavs weren't able to light the lamp in a 0-1 loss Saturday. Altmann received number one star of the game.

The one win secured the seventh place spot in the WCHA standings heading into the playoffs. This equates to a first round playoff series against Minnesota in Minneapolis this weekend. The Gophers sit at second in the WCHA entering the playoffs with an 18-6-4 conference record. MSU went 0-3-1 this year against Minnesota and was outscored 13 to 5 in the games.

Men's hockey had a strong weekend with their first sweep since December. The Mavs beat Alaska Anchorage 5-2 Friday and 4-3 in a tighter contest Saturday. The home series was the first since early January.

The Mavs were down 1-0 after the first period before a scoring streak of five unanswered Maverick goals in the second an third sealed the deal. Senior forward Kael Mouillierat earned the first star of the game with two goals, one of which was a short-handed mark and an assist. Senior forward Zach Harrison also scored a short hander in the third period. It was a physical night as MSU logged 26 penalty minutes and Anchorage logged 20.

Saturday night was another rough, but much closer game as MSU pulled away with a 4-3 victory. Sophomore forward Michael Dorr scored the first two goals of the game in the first period to set the tempo for the Mavs. Mike Louwerse, Ben Youds, Tyler Pitlick and Eriah Hayes all scored two points each in the Saturday night contest. Freshman goalie Phil Cook was solid in net both nights, recording 27 saves Friday and 26 saves Saturday.

With two more series left before the first round of the WCHA playoffs MSU faces Denver at home this weekend. The Pioneers are ranked number one nationally and sit at the top of the WCHA with a 16-4-4 conference record. MSU sits in ninth in the WCHA, one point behind Alaska Anchorage and five points behind Minnesota in seventh.

Denver is on an eight game winning streak. Six of these eight wins were conference wins. Denver is among the lowest in penalty minutes and highest in penalty kill success, making special teams play a key factor. Denver goaltender Marc Cheverie holds the lowest goals against average at 1.93 per game and the highest save percentage at .937 in the WCHA. Look for Cook to start in goal both nights for the Mavs since he has been hot as of late.

The MSU Men's Basketball crew cleaned up house against Southwest Minnesota State winning 81-64 Saturday night. Junior guard Terry Morrow scored a career-high 15 points in the win as the MSU bench contributed 33 points. MSU turned 12 SMSU turnovers into 17 points and out-rebounded SMSU 35-30.

MSU remains at the top of the NSIC standings with 16 wins and two losses. The Mavs take on Augustana at home Wednesday and head to Bismark, N.D. Saturday to compete with Mary for the final two games of the regular season. Augustana sits in third with a 13-5 NSIC record as Mary sits in fifth with a 10-8 NSIC record. MSU beat Mary and fell to Augustana earlier this year. Look for a close set of games this week between the Mavs and their foes, especially Wednesday night at home.

MSU women's hoops also took care of SMSU with a 70-54 victory against the Mustangs. Senior forward Liz Trauger lead the Mavs with 18 points followed by sophomore center Laura Weber with 14 points, earning her third career double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds as well.

The lady Mavs are looking to climb the NSIC standings in the last two regular season games against Augustana Wednesday and Mary Saturday. MSU is currently sitting at the middle of the NSIC pack, tied with two other teams for seventh with a 9-9 NSIC record. Augustana is tied for second with a 14-4 NSIC record and Mary is tied for twelfth with a 5-13 NSIC record. The lady Mavs defeated Mary and lost to Augustana earlier in the season. Both contests should prove to be close.

MSU Maverick sports schedule in order of occurrence. Home games are in bold.

Wednesday, Feb. 24:

  • Women's basketball vs Augustana at 6 p.m.
  • Men's basketball vs Augustana at 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 26:

  • Women's Track and Field NSIC Championship in Mankato - all day
  • Men's Track and Field NSIC Championships in Mankato - all day
  • Women's hockey WCHA Playoffs at Minnesota at 7:07 p.m.
  • Men's hockey vs Denver at 7:37 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27:

  • Women's Track and Field NSIC Championships in Mankato - all day
  • Men's Track and Field NSIC Championships in Mankato - all day
  • Women's basketball at Mary at 2 p.m.
  • Men's basketball at Mary at 4 p.m.
  • Women's hockey WCHA Playoffs at Minnesota at 4:07 p.m.
  • Baseball at UW-Parkside (DH) at the Metrodome at 5 p.m.
  • Women's tennis vs Gustavus Adolphus College at 6:30 p.m.
  • Men's tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College at 6:30 p.m.
  • Baseball at UW-Parkside (DH) at the Metrodome at 7 p.m.
  • Men's hockey vs Denver at 7:07 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 28:

  • Wrestling NCAA II Super Region 3 in Aberdeen, S.D. - all day
  • Women's tennis vs Augustana College at 11 a.m.
  • Men's tennis vs Augustana College at 11 a.m.
  • Women's hockey WCHA Playoffs at Minnesota at 4:07 p.m. (If necessary)

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