Our question this week for The Rink Live beat reporters is: What is the biggest surprise in the early going for the team you cover?
Those reporters are Mick Hatten, Jess Myers, Christian Babcock, Jason Feldman, Brad Schlossman, and Matt Wellens. Hatten covers St. Cloud State, Myers covers the University of Minnesota, Babcock covers Bemidji State, Feldman covers Minnesota State University-Mankato, Schlossman covers the University of North Dakota and Wellens covers Minnesota Duluth.
If you have a question for the group, follow us on Twitter and use #asktherinklive.
Hatten (SCSU): On Saturday, the day after being a healthy scratch, freshman forward Mason Salquist scored the game-winning goal and was on the power play for St. Cloud State to help the Huskies gain a split with Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Wellens (UMD): Only being two games and an exhibition in, nothing has surprised me yet for the Bulldogs' men. However, senior defenseman Maggie Flaherty has been a pleasant surprise to me (not to her teammates) for the UMD women. She's stepped up and filled the offensive void left by captain Ashton Bell, who is with Canada this season. Flaherty has two goals in four games, including the clutch OT-game-winner Saturday against Minnesota.
Schlossman (UND): You never know how transfers are going to adapt. That was especially the case for defenseman Chris Jandric, who hadn't played a game in a year and a half. But Jandric has looked good early and is going to play a huge role this season.
Myers (Minnesota): Small sample size, to be sure, but we probably expected the Gophers to sweep Mercyhurst. What was surprising, after talking up their experience in goal and on defense all summer, was them allowing seven goals in the process. Although, as Mike Sertich was fond of saying, "They don't ask 'How?' they ask, "How many?'"
Feldman (MSU-Mankato): The biggest surprise to me so far is the speed at which Minnesota State’s newcomers — transfers and freshmen — have fit in and contributed. Benton Maass (New Hampshire) has stood out in an experienced defensive core, Josh Groll (Michigan) and Zach Krajnik (Anchorage) are locked in on specialty teams and David Silye (Clarkson) looks like he could be a go-to guy in the faceoff circle.
Babcock (BSU): This wasn't exactly a stunner, but I was a little surprised that Bemidji State opted to start different goaltenders in each game of its two-game opening series with Minnesota Duluth. Coach Tom Serratore praised junior Michael Carr's experience and level of play after Friday's opener, but evidently, BSU isn't yet set on a specific netminder after starting sophomore Gavin Enright on Saturday.