BURLINGTON, Ver. — Ryan Severson broke a 4-4 tie with a goal with 7:31 remaining in the third period to help the Mavericks of Minnesota State University – Mankato to a 7-5 win over Vermont in the opening round of the Sheraton/Howard Bank Hockey Classic at UVM’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Severson’s tally was followed up with a goal by Tim Jackman. Jackman scored on a rebound from the right of Catamount goalite Andrew Allen at 13:52 of the third to give the Mavericks a two-goal advantage and what turned out to be the game-winner.
Vermont’s Graham Mink then scored his third of the game at 17:48 before Severson added an empty netter with 48 seconds left to make for the final margin.
Mankato scored the game’s first goal when Justin Martin went hard to the net, took a pass from linemate Tyler Baines, and beat Allen cleanly at 11:53 of the first period.
The Mavericks made it 2-0 just 24 seconds later when B.J. Abel scored from a scramble right in front of the net.
Vermont cut into the lead when Bryson Busniuk scored his third goal in as many games on the power play from just outside the crease. Busniuk fended off a MSU defender, got his stick on the loose puck in front of Todd Kelzenberg, and got just enough of the shot to get it over the goalline.
The Mavericks, 6-7-0 overall, made it 3-1 at 7:34 of the second period when Jesse Rooney made a great play and scored a short-handed tally.
Vermont stormed back to tie the game on Mink’s fourth goal of the year at 8:55, and Patrick Sharp’s second of the season at 10:24.
Mankato took a 4-3 lead at 2:55 of the third period on Nate Mauer’s fifth goal of the season. Ben Christopherson took a shot from the point that Allen saved, but Mauer picked up the rebound and skated to the right of the Catamount senior before sliding the puck into the net.
Vermont got the tying goal again skating with a 5-on-3 advantage when Mink scored his second of the game from right in front.
Allen made 25 saves for Vermont, while Kelzenberg stopped 41 for the Mavericks.
MSU-Mankato will play New Hampshire, a 4-3 winner over Minnesota-Duluth, Sunday at 1 p.m. in the second round of the tournament. Vermont will take on UMD in the 4 p.m. game Sunday.