Dorr Reopens: Minnesota State Transfer Provides Instant Spark
by Joshua Berhow/CHN Writer
MANKATO, Minn. Michael Dorr didn’t waste much time helping his new team to a series sweep in his first game in more than a year.
Dorr scored the game winner for Minnesota State and even added an assist in the Mavericks’ 3-2 win against No. 4 Bemidji State on Saturday in Bemidji, Minn. After dropping the Beavers 5-1 Friday, the victory Saturday capped a sweep against what was then the nation’s top-rated PairWise team.
The Roseville, Minn., native had to sit out a calendar year after he transferred from Minnesota during midseason last year. His presence Saturday — he became officially eligible the day after finals completed — was a noticeable spark for the Mavericks, who all of a sudden have won six of their last eight.
“He’s looked very good in practice, but if I were to tell you I thought he was going to score the game-winning goal in his first game, I’d be lying,” said Mavericks coach Troy Jutting. “But Michael’s going to score goals; that’s what he does.”
Dorr transferred from the Gophers in search of more playing time, something he didn’t get in a half of a season with the Gophers, as he appeared in only two games and recorded no points.
“I just wanted to get the opportunity to play,” he said, “and there I wasn’t given the opportunity.”
Coming to Mankato also reunites Dorr with former high school teammate Adam Mueller, a sophomore forward for the Mavericks.
Dorr made the trip north for the nonconference series, anticipating he would be cleared for Saturday’s game as soon as final grades went through. It was a timely addition to the Mavericks’ lineup as well, since the Mavericks have been without forwards Jason Wiley and Andy Sackrison because of separate injuries.
Dorr earned the second assist on Kael Mouillierat’s goal in the opening minute of the second period to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead and then scored what would become the game-winner at 7:34 of the third period. Dorr’s goal was the only shot on net the Mavericks had in the final frame.
“We were in the middle of a line change, and [Ben] Youds flipped the puck off the glass and it was pretty much a sprint for me to the top of the circle,” Dorr said. “I beat their defenseman and took one step and shot it. I was just trying to get it on net, but it took a lucky bounce and went right under his armpit.”
Jutting was pleased with his newest skater’s performance.
“I thought he played very well,” he said. “Especially for a kid who has played one game in the last year and a half, he played extremely well.”
The Mavericks will be without Wiley for at least this weekend against Nebraska-Omaha and without Sackrison for longer. Dorr will keep getting his opportunities to play, too, but not just because injuries are clearing a path for him.
“He’ll be an every-night kid providing he works hard and keeps playing well,” Jutting said. “He’s a skilled kid who can make plays and has the ability to shoot pucks by goaltenders.”
Dorr is just happy to finally have a chance to play, and to finally put on a game jersey instead of a raggedy practice one is a good feeling, too.
“To get the opportunity to go out and play is all I really asked coach Jutting for,” Dorr said. “Now I just have to keep it going.”