HOUGHTON, Mich. — Minnesota State-Mankato broke open a 1-1 tie with three second-period goals en route to a 5-1 victory and a weekend sweep of Michigan Tech on Saturday night.
Tim Jackman, Tyler Baines, Nate Mauer, Cole Bassett, and Andy Hedlund scored for the Mavericks (3-5-0, 3-5-0 WCHA). Jerry Cunningham and Ben Christopherson each had three assists.
“I thought we played a lot better tonight,” Mankato coach Troy Jutting said. “I thought our intensity was better and I thought our execution was better tonight.”
The Mavericks scored a power-play goal in each period, finishing 3-for-7 with the man advantage.
“I thought our power play executed very well all weekend,” said Jutting, whose team scored both its goals on the power play in Friday night’s win.
“One of things we try to stress in practice is to take advantage of our opportunities,” Christopherson said. “Sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t.”
With Tech’s Brett Engelhardt in the penalty box, Jackman got the Mavericks going when he scored his fourth goal of the season just 2:12 into the game.
Engelhardt redeemed himself though when he fired a shot through Mankato goaltender Todd Kelzenberg’s legs to tie the game at the 14:03 mark.
When the second period started, though, the Mavericks took control.
Baines put Mankato back in front on assists from Cunningham and Christopherson 2:10 into the middle period and the Mavericks never looked back.
Just 10 seconds after Tech’s Chris Durno went off for interference at 14:21, Mauer beat Huskies’ goaltender Brian Rogers from inside the left circle to make it a 3-1 game.
Freshman Cole Bassett then made it a 4-1 game 68 seconds later when he raced in on a breakaway and backhanded the puck past Rogers.
Tech picked up the intensity in the third period but still couldn’t generate much offense.
With 6:03 left in the game, Hedlund scored a power-play goal from the point to make it a 5-1 game and secure the victory and sweep.
“Any time you can get a sweep in this league — at home or on the road — it’s very important,” Jutting said.
“It’s good for us,” Christopherson said. “It gives us a lot of confidence going into next weekend.”
Rogers finished with 34 saves for Michigan Tech (1-7-1, 1-7-0), while Kelzenberg made 19 saves for Mankato.
Tech, which was 0-for-4 on the power play, fell to 0-6-1 at home on the season.
Mankato returns home to take on Denver next weekend, while the Huskies hit the road to battle Minnesota-Duluth.