COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — MSU-Mankato goaltender Jason Jensen stopped 43 shots to lead his team to a 2-1 win over Colorado College Saturday night in front of 6,349 fans Saturday at the Colorado Springs World Arena. The win improved the Mavericks to 10-13-1 (6-11-1 WCHA) and dropped CC to 12-8-2 (8-7-1 WCHA).
The Mavericks came out strong after being shut out Friday night by opening the scoring just 19 seconds into the game. Left winger Shane Joseph forced a turnover right in the slot. He then sent a pass under a diving CC defenseman to right winger Tim Jackman. Jackman one-timed the pass and slid the puck just inside the far post past Tiger goaltender Jeff Sanger. The goal was Jackman’s 13th goal of the season.
“The early goal really gave us a boost,” said Maverick head coach Troy Jutting. “They are a good team and yesterday we had trouble getting started. The early goal helped us get into the game and get going.”
The two teams played an even rest of the first period, with each team going 0-1 on the power play. The best scoring chance went to Maverick Shane Joseph, who hit the post on a breakaway midway through the period.
CC began the second period with a man-advantage as Maverick defenseman Andy Hedlund took a holding penalty at 19:27 of the first period. CC worked the puck low and at 1:14 of the period, evened up the scoring at one. Tiger defenseman Andrew Canzanello fired the puck behind the Maverick net where left-winder Noah Clarke came up with the puck. Clarke fed a pass out front to center Chris Hartsburg, who was sitting on the doorstep. Hartsburg snapped off a quick shot that beat Jensen high on the glove side.
MSU-Mankato came right back and scored a controversial goal that would end up becoming the game-winner just 1:09 later. Jason Jensen cleared the puck up ice to defenseman Matt Paluczak, who then passed it to center Jerry Cunningham. As Cunningham skated in, CC defenseman Tom Preissing and MSU left-wing B.J. Abel became entangled along the boards. Several of the players on the ice let up, assuming the play would be whistled for coincidental minors, with the exception of Cunningham, who walked right in and beat Jeff Sanger with a wrist shot to the glove side.
“I honestly didn’t know what happened there,” said Jutting. “All I saw was the puck go in the net and I never heard the whistle blow.”
Following the go-ahead-goal, the Mavericks set into a defensive mode and put the game in the hands of their defensemen and goaltender.
“Jason was really on his game tonight,” said Jutting. “We had the lead and decided to let him and the defense win it for us. Sitting back in the defensive mode is not our style of play, but when you’re on the road, you do whatever you can to get the win.”
“I owe a lot of the help to my teammates tonight,” said Jensen. “The did a nice job blocking shots, clearing lanes, and clearing rebounds, and somehow I managed to stop a few of the shots along the way.
CC began to poor on the pressure as the second period continued and into the third, outshooting the Mavericks 19-7 in the second period, and 19-3 in the third period. Jensen’s 43 saves matched with 34 saves made last night in a 2-0 loss, combined for him allowing only three goals on 77 shots during the two game series.
“I thought we were going to get them,” said CC head coach Scott Owens. “We came out a little flat but got it going in the second and third. We did have 44 shots tonight; we just were not able to finish. Jensen played really well for them, and it just wasn’t meant to be for us tonight.”
MSU-Mankato returns home next weekend for a pair of WCHA games against Wisconsin, while Colorado College hosts North Dakota for two at the Colorado Springs World Arena.