By: Matt Dresens
After a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win Sunday afternoon at Quinnipiac, BU is back in action this weekend with a pair of games at Agganis Arena against Minnesota State – Mankato, a school the Terriers have never played in their 96-year history.
The two teams enter this weekend going in opposite directions. BU is a perfect 2-0-0 on the year, while the Mavericks lost their season opener a week ago, 4-0, at St. Cloud State.
Mankato is projected to have a strong season, as they were selected first in the WCHA preseason coaches’ poll. They return five of their top six scorers from a season ago when they finished third in the WCHA.
With Mankato being a team BU has never faced, Head Coach David Quinn wanted to focus more on improving his own team in practice rather than game-planning for the Mavericks.
“I think at this point in the season everyone is just working their own thing,” Quinn said. “There’s not a lot of pre-scouting and tailoring your practices, you just want to be good at what you’re good at. You’re trying to implement what you’re trying to do and do it well.”
Playing at an up-tempo pace has been a huge emphasis for Quinn so far. For a player like Patrick Harper, who has been on fire to start the year, posting four goals and two assists, this is exactly the type of system that best fits his game.
“I think with the forward group and D we have, we all want to play a fast, skillful and effective game,” Harper mentioned. “We want to control the pace out there, and dictate the offense and play a fast transition game. The plan doesn’t really change week to week. We are approaching Minnesota-Mankato the same way we have the last two games.”
Scouting The Mavericks
Through one game this year, no one has scored for Mankato after they were shutout by St. Cloud. That being said, the Mavericks do have some firepower. Brad McClure, Marc Michaelis and CJ Suess combined to score 40 points as a line last year. As a freshman, Michaelis lead the team in scoring with 14 goals and 22 assists for 36 points. Suess was right behind Michaelis with 31 points by way of 12 goals and 19 assists. The team also returns their leading goal-scorer from a year ago in Zeb Knutson, who found the back of the net 15 times in 2017.
In goal, Jason Pawloski allowed three goals on 25 shots to St. Cloud last weekend. A year ago, he split time with Cole Huggins, who has since graduated.
Another Familiar Face
For the second consecutive weekend, another former Terrier will do battle against his old team. Last week, it was Kevin Duane and Brandon Fortunato, this week Connor LaCouvee makes his return to Agganis Arena. The graduate transfer finished up school at BU last spring in just three years, and now, as a Maverick, he could very well see time in goal this weekend.
In three season with the Terriers, LaCouvee saw time in 32 games, posting an 11-5-4 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.88 goals against average.
While BU and Minnesota State haven’t actually faced off against one another, the two schools did both participate in the 2011 Shillelagh Tournament hosted by Notre Dame. BU lost to Brown in the first round and Mankato beat Notre Dame to advance to the championship game, where the Mavericks cruised to a 7-3 victory to win the holiday tournament over Brown.
An earlier version of this story made reference to a Coach Dave Quinn quote stating that goalie Max Prawdzik would see time in net on Friday night. After further clarification from team sources, it was told that Coach Quinn made the comment “you’ll see him tomorrow night,” in reference to a question believed to be about sophomore goalie Jake Oettinger. We apologize for the error.