Greetings from downtown Mankato. We're about 30 minutes away from the game.
Looks like Stephon Williams will start for MSU tonight. As you can see below the Mavs' lineup is shaken up a bit.
Stepan, of course, is playing for USA. Blueger is playing for Latvia this week at the WJC Division I Group A tournament. Jutzi is banged up and getting some rest. Knowles is out with an upper-body.
There might be more media and scouts here than fans at the moment.
Two huge goaltenders for the US and MSU has played against both. Gillies at the start of the season at Providence and Stolarz last year around this time in Omaha.
Looking forward to seeing Blake Thompson make his debut tonight.
USA starters: Gilles, Butcher, Carrick, Fitzgerald, DePauli, Stepan (nice touch)
MSU starters: Williams, Palmquist, Carter, Gervais, Leitner, McInnis
First shot goes to USA. Williams with the save.
Leitner double-shifted early. No Margonari?
Blake Thompson on the ice for the first time.
Might not be a home-for-Christmas thing as much as it's at the end of a long stretch of games, including travel to Huntsville.
Having said that, there are a ton of scouts here tonight, and there's incentive to play well.
Margonari is on the bench now. Perhaps it was an equipment issue or a tweak in warmups.
Thompson broke up a 3-on-1 after Palmquist pinched at the other end.
Shots are 4-3 for USA. MSU hadn't had one in awhile until a big blast by Margonari.
9:35 left in the first half. Scoreless game.
USA has a few guys scratched tonight who are locks to make the team. Kerdiles and Barber, for example.
I will not be on that trip. Sounds like a grind. 12 days, two weekends. Can the Mavs get 4-6 points?
Chance for Gervais on a nice play with Leitner.
Shots are 6-6 with 3:30 to play in the period. Lots of feeling out right now. USA has been practicing together since Sunday night. Four practices and they have seven scratches.
Mavs adjusting, too, without some key guys -- including one on the other team!
That should be a good one. It'll be tough for MSU, though, coming right off that Alaska trip.
I think folks have checked all WCHA teams, and it hasn't been great historically. But I'll look into that over break.
That would be a great time to schedule a bye.
Now MSU goes to the box. Leitner for hooking
First power play of the game ... roughing, actually, is the call
Williams with a save on a long shot -- no stick.
Mavs spending a long time killing in zone before Williams finally makes a save and covers.