|A better purple Maverick ...|
I'm pretty sure I've written more previews for the Seawolves playing Mankato than any other team. The Mavericks used to be UAA's "designated rival" in the old WCHA (as assigned by Minnesota Gopher Coach Don Lucia; Don't ask what that was about ...) so it was 4 games against them every year for a few years.
Just search the blog for Mankato and give the results a quick peruse. You'll see early on how much I don't really give a crap about Mankato, Minnesota or it's college hockey team. You'll see lots of my disdain and sport's hatred for the purple Mavs and their forlorn nearly homogeneous and insipid community. But this year's edition of Minnesota State University, Mankato is a good one.
The Seawolves face having more than their hands full this weekend. They better get up on their horses and corral these Mavericks if they want to take advantage of having 2 to 4 games in hand versus the rest of the league. UAA has 7 points and sits in 6th place. A 4 point weekend could vault them up to 3rd place. That seems unrealistic yet if our boys play 60 minutes (or more as required) of focused hockey they're completely capable of getting four points.
There is another good hockey team on the ice though this weekend. A team that looks on paper to be very similar to UAA. But, I have much worry for the results this weekend. This isn't the first roadtrip of the season but it's a long one staying over in the lower 48 and going to Houghton next weekend. How will our guys do on the road?
Complicating matters for the Seawolves is that the Mav's are damn sure to be ready to play. Their season hasn't had the sort of start they were expecting/hoping for and this weekend in the comfort of their own barn they'll be focused like a laser to get as many as the 4 points as possible.
I hate to say the same thing every week but here goes. Can our guys apply the lessons learned from the last three series for this weekend? Stay outta the box; Play 60 minutes; Support Mantha and get some rubber on the opposition net, eh?
What can I say? Not much else ... Here's a couple of things I said back in the day which might be mildly entertaining.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention how in 1862 the fine citizens of Mankato (who by the way misnamed their own town when it was founded ... the name was supposed to be Mahkato but the only dolt with a pen in the town wrote it down wrong when it was founded) wanted to string up 303 Native Americans in retaliation for a minor uprising. Abe Lincoln pardoned 265 of them though so the fine Mankato gentry had to be satisfied with hanging only 38 of the savages. They made a big day of it and hanged them all at once. Woohoo! A world record!
Mankato is every bit the match for Grand Forks in terms of level of futility for human entertainment and/or distraction. There is literally nothing to do in the place. Unless you consider picking up a venereal disease at one of the local bars something to do which is the commonly accepted state of things according to the knowledgeable travelling hockey fan contingent at USCHO.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. As for me, I'm waiting til Sunday to be thankful for a 4 point weekend. Isn't this something like the 12,000th time we've played in Mankato on Thanksgiving?