The 15th ranked Denver Pioneers (4-4-2) and the Minnesota State Mavericks (2-4-4) will matchup for only the 38th time as MSM only started playing division one hockey during the 1996-1997 season and joined the WCHA in 1999-2000. Denver’s record against MSM is 19-13-5 and 10-4-3 in Denver, including an eleven game unbeaten streak at Magness Arena. The last time these two teams met, Denver clinched the MacNaughton Cup in a thrilling 4-3 overtime win. The MacNaughton Cup is awarded yearly to the regular season conference champion of the WCHA.
Last weekend, Minnesota State was swept by new WCHA member, University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. MNS gave up five goals per game while only scoring three goals total. Meanwhile, Denver had an up and down weekend splitting against CC.
Jesse Martin had surgery this week. A wrap up of the press conference can be seen here at the DU website. The doctor's called the surgery very successful. Also of note was Jesse walked for the first time since the injury. Great to hear, Jesse!
Also on the injury list are Nick Shore (wrist/hand fracture), Dustin Jackson (mono) who have been upgraded to questionable for this weekend while Paul Phillips (nasal surgery) is probable. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post has more insight at from George Gwozdecky.
Freshman Jason Zucker was once again nominated for the WCHA Rookie of the Week for his performance last weekend against CC. Zucker scored two goals and had one assist against CC and is tied for fifth in WCHA rookie scoring. We could also see history being made this weekend as Anthony Maiani only needs three points to join the 100 point club for the Pioneers. He would become the 92nd member of the exclusive club.
After a brutal schedule to start the season, this should be a very productive weekend for the Pios. They need to take advantage the softest portion of their schedule.