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College Hockey:
Mankato Battles Back from Two-Goal Deficit, Tops Huntsville

Rooney Scores Twice for Mavericks

— After falling down 2-0 early in the first period, Minnesota State-Mankato came back and scored two power-play goals to defeat Alabama-Huntsville on Friday at the Midwest Wireless Civic Center.

The Mavericks (7-8) were powered by senior Jesse Rooney, who netted two goals, and sophomore defenseman Joe Bourne, who added a goal and an assist.

The Chargers (8-5) came out early and dominated play in the first period, scoring two early goals and taking a 2-1 lead into intermission. But the Mavericks started the second period strong and never let up.

“I think we were a little bit rusty in that first period,” Mankato coach Troy Jutting said. “We didn’t come out with quite the intensity we needed to, but I was very happy with the way we picked it up in the second and third period. We talked about the things we needed to do before the game, and we reinforced them with each other in between periods.”

The first period started off with a goalies’ battle. Maverick goalie Eric Pateman came up with a big stop on Chargers defenseman Tyler Butler, who took a slap shot from the blue line eight minutes into the game. Pateman knocked the puck away with a quick kick save.

It was Chargers goalie Mark Byrne’s turn less than a minute later. MSU-Mankato defenseman Andy Hedlund took a shot from the point, which was deflected by Rooney. Byrne stopped the deflection and pounced on the rebound.

At the 10:59 mark of the first, Butler finally got the puck past Pateman. Right off a faceoff win in the Maverick zone, Butler took a shot from the middle of the blue line which found its way through the screen and underneath the Mankato goaltender to make the score 1-0.

Alabama-Huntsville kept the pressure on and added another goal one minute later. Right after another faceoff win at the right circle, sophomore Joel Bresciani fired the puck on goal. Pateman stopped the initial shot, but the Mankato defense wasn’t able to clear the rebound. Teammate Jason Hawes came in and wristed the puck past Pateman to put the Chargers up 2-0.

The Mavericks started to tilt the ice in their favor later on in the period, and their work paid off with a fluke power-play goal with 1:10 left in the first. Bourne took a shot from the blue line that flew in the air, bounced off Byrne’s head, and fell into the net to cut the Chargers’ lead in half.

“It’s gotta be the luckiest [goal] of my career,” Bourne said. “I just kind of flicked it up there, and I think it went off the goalie’s head. I was just trying to get the puck on net and see what happens.”

The Mavericks kept up their hard work right from the beginning of the second period, but Byrne came up with big saves on Mankato’s Hedlund and Ben Christopherson early in the second to preserve the lead.

The Chargers attempted to make the score 3-1 nine minutes into the period on the power play. Senior Ron Baker passed the puck to a wide-open Hawes in front of the net. Hawes slid across the front of the goal and fired the puck on net. However, Pateman made the best of his 21 saves by stacking his pads and keeping Hawes from getting his second of the game. UAH was 0-for-4 on the power play.

MSU tied the score at 2, 16:34 into the period. Bourne took a shot from the blue line, and Byrne stopped the initial shot. However, Rooney picked up the puck, moved from left to right across the net, and put the puck over the sprawled Charger goalie for his first goal of the game.

“Bourne had a good shot on net, and the goalie wasn’t able to control the rebound,” Rooney said. “It just kind of popped out, and I skated over and got it. Fortunately the goalie went down, and I just put it on net.”

The score remained 2-2 until the Mavericks scored again on the power play 8:35 into the third. Senior T.J. Guidarelli passed the puck from the corner to teammate Jerry Cunningham, who was left all alone in the slot. Cunningham one-timed the puck through the five-hole for the eventual game winner. MSU finished 2-for-8 on the power play.

MSU-Mankato padded its lead with Rooney’s second of the night less than four minutes later. With the teams skating four-on-four, Mankato’s B.J. Abel took a slap shot from just inside the blue line. His shot went just left of the net, but it bounced back from the boards to Rooney, who backhanded the puck past Byrne. The goal was Rooney’s ninth of the season.

Alabama-Huntsville had a golden opportunity to cut into the Mavericks’ lead with 3:35 left in the game. After Mankato’s Nate Mauer was caught for using an illegal stick and Hedlund was called for roughing, the Chargers pulled their goalie for a 6-on-3 man advantage. However, the Maverick defensemen were able to block numerous shots and kept UAH from finding the back of the net.

Alabama-Huntsville assistant coach Lance West said the Mavericks started to take over the game after the first goal.

“That late goal gave them a little momentum I think, and they came out really flying,” West said. “Our guys just seemed to not get their legs moving. We got back on our heels and let them come at us, and they have some offensive ability.”

When asked about the amount of penalties the Chargers took, West said, “We need a little more discipline.”

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  • Otistaw

    Will Minnesota fans root for Michigan? Which is greater? Their hatred of North Dakota or support for WCHA teams? I say root for North Dakota and Duluth. All WCHA FINAL!

    • bluetell

      The only Minnesota fan said he will be cheering against North Dakota. Cheering for your conference is a truly pointless and backwards endeavor: “Well since I’m worse than [hated rival from same conference], I will subsequently pour heaping amounts of salt in my wound and cheer for them to win a national title so they can then proceed to rub it in my face for the rest of time” Why would you do that to yourself?
      As a Michigan fan, I loved (loved loved) seeing Miami choke because I don’t like them and it’s awesome to see them suffer

      • bluetell

        Should be “The only Minnesota fan I know said…”

      • Hoalie

        Gopher fans going to the Frozen Four – what for? To root for Michigan? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

  • http://twitter.com/pucknut9 Brad Schaack

    Well I can tell ya one thing this Sioux fan would never root for the gophers. Never.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501157411 Joey Loeffler Jr

      Agreed. In a pretend season where the gophers are the worst team in the country (i mean country not tournament) but somehow get an autobid by winning the WCHA tournament . . . aaaaand the winner of the gophers and the toughest team in the tournament are playing us: I’m still cheering against the gophers

  • DG

    I don’t think gopher fans would root for the Sioux either, Sioux/gopher rivalry is bigger than WCHA/CCHA rivalry

  • Sara

    the ONLY reason a lot has been made of Michigan’s so-called “underdog” status is that Red Berenson and his players have gone out of their way to make it known that’s what they are. WELL guess what…. this Sioux fan doesn’t buy that sandbagging garbage for one second. There are no underdogs in this matchup Michigan.

    • Sioux guy

      I agree, Michigan is using this to try throw the Sioux off their game by inflating their heads. Nice try, they’re unbeaten in 15 games because of their focus and ability not to look past opponents. Michigan preaching their underdog role won’t change that.

  • NDFangasm

    No way the Gopher fans cheer for the Sioux. I would not be caught dead cheering for the Gophers. The Gophers could be playing against a team of aliens for the cure for aids and I’d cheer against them. I hope Gopher fans show up and boo the Sioux. One of the best things about college hockey is the atmosphere during a rivalry. Go Sioux!!

  • achybreaky

    The Fighting Sioux want you to know something, Wolverines. They are not afraid of you! They WILL NOT underestimate you. The Fighting Sioux are here to win #8.

  • MGoBlue

    Go Blue!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/scottcmartineau SCOTT MARTINEAU

    Providence needs a coach whose recruiting budget rivals that of the other Hockey East schools, but then if they had that Coach Army would have turned this team around. That said, one of the most historic moments tying college player to team is when Chris Terreri led PVD to their inaugural HE Tourney championship over BU An original HE member, Hockey East is at its best when PVD is competitive. That said, PVD needs to follow the model of a UNH or a UVM in order to become competitive. First, hire a Coach with strong RI ties – preferably PC & NHL – but a name that makes people think Providence Hockey, whether it be a brother of or a father of one of the two recently graduated Cavanaghs of Toll Gate, or even outside the box thinkng and bring in a SARAH DE COSTA type as if not head Coach then assistant head coach. Next, they cannot let a single prospect from RI get out of their grasp. Whether that means offering the guy when others say he needs a season in the EJHL or USHL, PVD needs to sign RI prep player of the year every year. Next, and this is where I say follow UNH & UVM- each of those schools seem to get any player they want from the Green Mountain team and the NH Monarchs in the EJHL. So too should be the same with the South Shore participant in the EJHL. One final thing, PC is still just a notch below BC & Notre Dame for any players who wanna play Catholic College hockey. Providence needs to focus on any player that BC & ND just pass on offering, because chances are many will make outstanding D1 players, and would rather from history play elite hockey at the 3rd most prominent Catholic Program than one of 50-something others that dont teach the same values that ND and BC teach.