By Shane Frederick
Free Press Staff Writer
Eric Means may be surprised by the number of points Tracy McCann has already for the Minnesota State women’s hockey team. But he’s not surprised by how she’s gone about getting them.
“She’s extremely strong,” the Mavericks coach said. “She has the willingness to stick her nose in those tough spots, to go in front of the net. She’s become a better and better hockey player every year.”
On Wednesday, McCann, a junior left wing, was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week for her performance last weekend against Minnesota Duluth.
She had a hand in all four of the Mavericks’ goals as they took five of six points from visiting Minnesota Duluth at All Seasons Arena. The Lakewood, Ohio, native now leads Minnesota State in scoring with six goals and five assists in 11 games.
“She wins the battles along the wall; she scores rebound goals,” Means said. “She’s so strong; she’s tough to handle.”
McCann scored a goal and two assists in the third period on Friday when MSU erased a 3-0 deficit to tie the Bulldogs. After a scoreless overtime, the Mavericks ended up winning the shootout on a McCann goal.
In Saturday’s 1-0 victory, McCann scored the game’s lone goal, putting back the rebound of her own shot with 8:26 remaining in the third period.
The Mavericks, who are unbeaten in their last four games and 4-2-2 overall, are now ranked No. 10 in the country in the latest U.S. College Hockey Online poll. The last time the were in the top 10 was Nov. 28, 2005.
No. 1 Minnesota and No. 8 North Dakota are the other WCHA teams in the poll.
Minnesota State will play No. 5 Mercyhurst in a nonconference series Friday and Saturday in Erie, Pa.
Minnesota State men’s captain Tyler Elbrecht took over College Hockey Inc.’s Twitter feed (@collegehockey) for a day on Wednesday to give followers a first-person look at the life of a Division I college hockey player.
Elbrecht, who normally tweets from @Elbrecht16, solicited questions from fans and gave a real-time rundown of his day, from a morning weight-room session to classes to practice.
“It’s been really fun,” the senior defenseman said. “One, it was fun to tweet that much, and two, it was fun to be able to answer questions and give some perspective of a college athlete.”
GAC starting up
The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team will open its season this weekend, playing Hamline on Friday and Concordia on Saturday in the MIAC Showcase in Blaine.
The games are against league opponents but do not count for the standings.
Gustavus, which took second in the MIAC last year but won the conference tournament, lost just one player from that team due to graduation. But that loss was a key one in Ross Ring-Jarvi, an All-American and the MIAC’s Player of the Year.
Ring-Jarvi had 130 points in 115 games during his college career.
This year’s top returning point scorer is junior forward Zach May (10 goals, 13 assists), while junior Adam Smyth is coming off a 14-goal season. Also back is 6-foot-8 sophomore goaltender John McLean. He won 15 games as a freshman.
Newcomers include Tyler and Darren Lapic of New Prague. Tyler is a sophomore transfer from Wisconsin, while his brother is a freshman who played junior hockey in the North American Hockey League.
The Gustavus women’s hockey team will open the season on Tuesday when they host Wisconsin-Superior. ... WCHA men’s players of the week are Colorado College forward Andrew Hamburg (offensive), Bemidji State goalie Andrew Walsh (defensive) and Michigan Tech goalie Pheonix (rookie). ... Former St. Cloud State and Minnesota Wild player Mark Parrish is now part of St. Cloud’s TV broadcast team. This weekend’s series between the Huskies and Minnesota State will be carried on Charter cable channel 87.