MANKATO, Minn. — For the Minnesota State Mavericks, Fridays Western Collegiate Hockey Association match-up against No. 12 Minnesota-Duluth seemed like a case of dj vu.
Two weeks ago in Denver, the Mavericks (3-6-2, 1-6-2 WCHA) jumped to an early lead only to see the Pioneers score a pair of quick goals in the first frame en route to a 2-1 win.
On this night, it wasnt quite as bad for the Mavericks, however, as MSU jumped to a 2-0 lead and held on for a 2-2 tie in front of 4,323 people at the Alltel Center in Mankato.
The high point of the game ” and perhaps so far the season ” for the Mavericks came just 28 seconds into the second period when forward Joel Hanson scored his first goal of the season to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
The senior captain Hanson was to be counted on this season to be one of the teams top point producers ” but the goal was only his first point of the 2007-08 campaign. Hanson said afterward that he felt like a different player after the goal.
Definitely, Hanson said. It was a sense of relief. I havent had that feeling for a long time. After that, when I was out there, I wasnt gripping my stick too tightly. I was just playing.
That is where the good vibes ended for MSU, however.
After being outworked during the games first 25 minutes, the Bulldogs (6-4-3, 5-4-2 WCHA) took control for a middle portion of the second period, and took advantage with a pair of goals just 1:06 apart.
Andrew Carroll made it a 2-1 game on a wrister that went over MSU netminder Mike Zacharias glove at the 8:23 mark of the second.
Jason Garrison tipped a shot by Kyle Schmidt past Zacharias at 9:29 to make it 2-2.
Neither team seemed to take control of the game after that. The teams traded 11-8 shot advantages in the second and third periods. Although the Bulldogs out-chanced the Mavericks 4-0 in overtime, none of the shots resulted in quality scoring chances.
It looked like no contact, skate around and do nothing, said Bulldogs head coach Scott Sandelin referring to his teams first period. Give them credit, they got better as the period went on and we were lucky to get out of there down only 1-0.
MSU outshot UMD 10-5 in the first and 29-28 for the night.
We got down, but this team doesnt quit, Sandelin said. It showed some character to come back, get two goals and tie it, and I thought it was a pretty even hockey game after that.
For the Mavericks, it was disappointing not to get a win, but as head coach Troy Jutting said afterwards, it beats the alternative.
Its not like winning, he said. But its not like losing either.
Jutting compared the game to MSUs match-up in the Mile High City two weeks ago because of the shot differential (the same) and the opponents score (the same).
This time we scored two goals, too, Jutting said. One point is better than none.
Both teams got up and down the rink. I thought it was a good college hockey game.
The first goal of the game was at 5:43 of the first period by MSU defenseman Kurt Davis. The goal was his first as a collegian. Fellow freshman Rylan Galiardi and junior Brian Kilburg earned assists. Kilburg also earned a helper on Hansons tally ” giving him six points this season, which equals his entire point total from a year ago. Trevor Bruess also had an assist for the Mavs.
Zacharias made 26 saves for MSU and will likely earn the start Saturday. Alex Stalock stopped 27 shots for UMD.
Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota State will conclude their WCHA series Saturday with a 7:07 p.m. face-off from Alltel Center in Mankato.