Uff da!! After spending the last 90 days or so on the injured list myself, I’m back in the TMS lineup and I couldn’t be more stoked. We have a lot of catching up to do in the State of Hockey. The Wild are in the home stretch with Kirill on the mend. The Whitecaps begin their playoff run this week and the Minnesota State Mavericks make history (again.) So much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.
Let us begin with the team on Kellogg Blvd. in St. Paul. The Wild are currently on a 13-game point streak, dropping their last contest in OT to the lowly Arizona Coyotes. While doing so, they briefly held the top spot in the Central Division and now trail the Dallas Stars by just one point. They have a five-point lead over third place, Winnipeg.
It is gut-check time for the Wild as their franchise stud, Kirill Kaprizov, will be on the bench for another 2-3 weeks, at least, after a lower-body injury against Winnipeg during a 4-2 Wild victory last week. Jets defenseman, Logan Stanley, fell on Kaprizov and he awkwardly skated to the bench.
No, the Wild may not go on a big winning streak with Kaprizov out, but as long as they can keep gaining points in the standing, they should be ready to roll for the rest of the season and you know Kaprizov will be well-rested and amped to return.
The Minnesota Whitecaps, the women’s professional team in the PHF, will be taking on the Boston Pride this week in Boston. Game 1 of the series will Game 1 will be on Thursday night at 6 p.m. CST, Game 2 will be on Saturday night at 5 p.m. CST and Game 3, if necessary, will be on Sunday at 5 p.m. CST. Games will be televised on ESPN+ in the United States and on TSN in Canada.
The Whitecaps were led this season by Jonna Albers, an Elk River native, who had 10 goals and 10 assists during the regular season. Natalie Snodgrass, an Edina native, matched Albers season totals with 10 goals/10 assists. Amanda Leveille, of Kingston, Ontario, the Whitecaps leading goalie had a season record of 9-6, in addition to 2 OT losses. After changing home rinks to Richfield this season, the Whitecaps finished 4th in the standings. As the veterans of the team know, the chase for the Isobel Cup is difficult, yet after winning it in 2019, they know it is within their reach.
Minnesota State Mavericks
After capturing their sixth-straight MacNaughton Cup conference championship title, the Minnesota State Mavericks easily defeated Lake Superior State (6-1) in the Mason Cup quarterfinals a week ago. Their opponent in this past weekend’s semi final match were the Ferris State Bulldogs, who the Mavs beat just as easy with a 7-2 victory. They will now face Northern Michigan University this Saturday at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.
In the last five seasons, no team has won more games in college hockey than Minnesota State (and it’s not even close). With 152 regular season wins, the Mavs clearly beat out Minnesota Duluth (113 wins), Quinnipiac (112 wins), Massachusetts (111 wins) and Denver (109 wins). With their successful season, the Mavericks became the first Division I team in NCAA history to win six-straight conference championships outright.
The Mavericks are already adding more postseason hardware. Forward David Silye and Defenseman Jake Livingstone are on the CCHA First Team. On the CCHA Second Team, Defenseman, Akito Hirose, represents the Mavs.
If you’re a fan of Minnesota hockey, you will know that the Minnesota Golden Gophers are in the Big Ten Championship game this weekend AND that the Xcel Energy Center was packed to the rafters last weekend with as much as 19,000+ fans per game for the Minnesota State Hockey Tournaments. There’s no better time, nor place to be, than in Minnesota during playoff hockey season. More championship coverage in the next article. I’m out.