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Linder's Father Passes

Minnesota State lost last night to Nebraska-Omaha in a game that severely hurt their NCAA tournament chances, but the loss seemed a little less important as news came out that senior defenseman R.J. Linder's father had died after a battle with cancer. Linder was back home in St. Cloud on Tuesday, and not with the Mavericks for their game.

Linder has become one of the leader's on Minnesota State's team, and perhaps one of the biggest catalysts in their recent success. Linder scored the first of five unanswered goals against St. Cloud State on January 25th to erase a three goal deficit in the final 8:15 of the game for the win. Minnesota State head coach Troy Jutting told the Mankato Free Press:
"(Linder’s goal) was huge. When a guy who is your leader but is not a goal scorer gets a goal like that, it’s an incredibly big goal. There’s not a guy on our team who the kids would rather see score than (Linder)."
That win was the first of a school record seven straight victories for the Mavericks, and Linder tallied 5 points over that stretch, after scoring just 9 points in his first 113 career games.

The deepest of sympathies and condolences go out to Linder and his family in this difficult time.