MANKATO, Minn. — After a penalty shot, four lead changes and four goals scored in less than two minutes during the third period, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State finally ran out of ice time Saturday in Mankato. Unfortunately, nothing was decided in the 65 minutes, as the WCHA foes concluded their regular season with a 4-4 tie at the Alltel Center.
Although a winner wasn’t decided Saturday, the matchups for next weekend’s WCHA playoffs were, as the sixth-seeded Huskies travel to Mariucci Arena to face the Gophers while the eighth-seeded Mavericks play Wisconsin in Madison.
The Mavericks and Huskies regular-season finale followed Friday’s 5-1 Minnesota State romp at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
“Obviously we had a terrible game last night from start to finish,” said Huskies’ coach Bob Motzko. “Tonight, it was a complete reversal.”
The Mavericks scored the only goal of the first when Garrett Raboin was whistled for covering the puck inside the crease, trying to prevent a Geoff Irwin shot from the right circle sliding past the goal line. The Mavericks received a penalty shot for Raboin’s delay of game which was taken by Kael Mouillierat, who beat Jase Weslosky over his glove-side shoulder.
Despite having a power play for nine of the opening period’s first 13 minutes and outshooting the Mavericks 17-9 in the frame, the Huskies went into the first intermission down one.
The Huskies’ power play failed to score Saturday, and even had a five-minute man advantage after a kneeing penalty on Trevor Bruess barely two minutes into the game.
“We did a good job killing; they were 0-for-5 with a five-minute power play as well,” said Mavericks’ coach Troy Jutting. “But you spend nine out of the first 13 minutes in the box you really put yourself behind the eight ball a little bit. We got to do a better job.”
The Huskies charged back in the second, though, when Aaron Marvin won a faceoff to John Swanson, who went behind the goal line to center the puck. No St. Cloud State player was in front of the net, but when goalie Mike Zacharias sprawled out to poke the puck with his blocker it was forced back into the net by Mavericks’ defenseman Ben Youds’ skate at 9:25. Barely more than a minute later, the Huskies took the lead when Zach Harrison turned the puck over at the blue line and Garrett Roe skated in to beat Zacharias for the 2-1 lead.
Jerad Stewart tied the game at two when Weslosky tried to clear the puck away from the crease, but instead poked it to Stewart, who made a move around a defender and backhanded the puck in at 5:36.
The Mavericks again grabbed the lead at 5:36 of the third when freshman Justin Jokinen stole the puck from Nicholas Rioux at the blue line and went in on Weslosky untouched, beating him over the blocker for his third goal of the season.
“Justin’s going to score a lot of goals,” Jutting said. “He’s a young kid learning the game and getting better all the time. Obviously a great shot by Justin and when he gets his opportunities he’ll score goals.”
The lead was short-lived, however, as Jokinen’s goal started a string of four that were scored within a span of 1:55.
Michael Olson tied the game for the Huskies at 6:15, and Jordy Christian gave the Huskies a 4-3 lead at 7:10, but just 21 seconds after taking the lead, Mick Berge tied the game for the last time at 7:31, where the game stayed through overtime.
“You want to get the win,” Berge said. “I think we could have played better but we played hard. We’re playing hard. You got to cut down on penalties but other than that we’re playing pretty good.”
The Huskies outshot the Mavericks 46-35 in the game, and had five power-play opportunities to Minnesota State’s one. Zacharias made 42 saves to Weslosky’s 31.
The Mavericks (15-15-6, 11-13-4 WCHA) are now unbeaten in their last five games (2-0-3) and will play at third-seeded Wisconsin next weekend.
The Huskies (18-15-3, 13-13-2 WCHA) will be in Minneapolis, where they are still looking for their first win of the season against the Gophers.