It's MEA Weekend in Minnesota, so what better way to celebrate that phoney baloney holiday crammed down our throats by fat-cat union gangsters than with an intra-state sorta-used-to-be-a-rivalry. No, not Minnesota vs. Minnesota Duluth. The other one.
Who: #14 Minnesota State(0-2-0) at #12 St. Cloud State(2-0-0)
When: 7:37pm CST on Friday; 7:07pm CST on Saturday
Television: Friday: Fox Sports North Plus/Fox College Sports; Saturday: Charter 823/426, Comcast 999
St. Cloud State opens up their home schedule coming off a pair of convincing wins in Alaska last weekend, albeit against two teams that struggled with Arizona State, so that may not tell us much. The Husky offense looks revamped this year after struggling much of last season. Some seniors that have struggled with injuries in previous seasons are healthy, sophomores Patrick Russell and Judd Peterson appear to have made a jump in development in their second season, and some talented newcomers are contributing and all of a sudden St. Cloud looks like a dangerous four-line team. Fourteen different players hit the scoresheet on the team's first weekend. That new offense will face a much stiffer test this weekend, however.
On the other half of the ice, Minnesota State is hoping to find someone, anyone that can put the puck in the net. The Mavericks dominated possession numbers against Nebraska-Omaha last weekend, but a 3% shooting percentage and four goal posts(Why do you hate Minnesota State, nets? What did they ever do to you? Oh right.) meant they came away from the weekend with nothing but a frustrating pair of losses. The good news is that kind of ineptitude likely isn't sustainable. The bad news is that those two early home losses, combined with poor non-conference results from the rest of the WCHA make these games about as close to a must-win for Minnesota State as you can get two weekends into a season.
I'll be covering both games this weekend. Follow @ChrisDilks on Twitter for live updates, and sbncollegehockey.com after the game for recap, stats, and analyis.