MANKATO, Minn. — A night after he was unable to convert on a couple of good scoring chances, Rylan Galiardi finally found the back of the net Saturday at Verizon Wireless Center.
Galiardi scored twice and assisted on another to lead the Minnesota State men’s hockey team to a 4-1 non-conference victory against Bowling Green in front of 3,546 fans.
“I thought Rylan played very well all weekend,” said Mavericks’ coach Troy Jutting. “Last night, he had a lot of opportunities to score and unfortunately didn’t, but tonight he cashed in on a couple of chances.”
Galiardi, a junior center, scored on a deflection in the first period and scored the Mavericks’ fourth goal in the third on a hard wrist shot from the slot.
“It really felt good to get that one,” said Galiardi of his second goal, “Especially after Friday and all the chances I had.”
Similar to Friday’s game, the Mavericks outshot the Falcons heavily. Minnesota State outshot Bowling Green 35-20 in Friday’s win, and 41-23 Saturday night, including a 30-10 edge after two periods. Jutting was pleased that the Mavericks capitalized on more opportunities than they did Friday, but said his team still has work to do.
“We left quite a few out there still, but we’re creating chances,” Jutting said. “If you keep creating opportunities, they’ll go in.”
Kevin Murdock allowed one goal in his collegiate debut for the Mavericks, making 22 saves in the win. Murdock faced only four first-period shots and six more in the second. Another Mavericks’ goaltender, Austin Lee, made his collegiate debut Friday and stopped 18 shots in the win.
“I would like it if we can keep teams around that 20-shot mark every night,” Jutting said. “That’s playing good ‘D.’”
Murdock was a highly-touted freshman joining the Mavericks, and led the USHL in goals against average (2.24) and save percentage (.920) last season.
“I was pretty nervous,” Murdock said, “but I felt better as the game went on.”
Added Jutting, “When the game was on the line, he had to make some big saves. I thought he did a nice job and I thought he was very composed in there.”
The Mavericks netted their first goal on a power play when Galiardi scored on a deflection at 14:37 of the first. Mike Louwerse threw the puck on net and Galiardi tipped it past Falcons’ goaltender Andrew Hammond for an early 1-0 lead.
The Mavericks added their second goal at 19:34 of the second period on the power play again, this time with a shot from the point through traffic by Kurt Davis to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead after two periods.
“You never want to give up goals that last minute, but that’s the way it goes,” said Bowling Green interim coach Dennis Williams. “Obviously, giving up the second one there is not what you want to do but it’s still a 2-0 game going into the third.”
The Mavericks worked their lead to 4-0 after Andy Sackrison scored at 1:02 and Galiardi notched his second at 6:54. Josh Boyd scored the Falcons’ only goal at 10:48 of the third period.
Minnesota State rattled off 14 shots and two power-play goals during their nine power-play attempts.
“We need to play five-on-five hockey,” Williams said. “I don’t want to get into eight or nine power plays per side. I think when we play five-on-five and stick to what we do well, we’re successful.”
Hammond made 37 saves for the Falcons in his first start of the season.
The Mavericks (2-0-0, 0-0-0) begin WCHA play with an away series against Minnesota-Duluth next weekend, while the Falcons (0-2-0, 0-0-0) host the U.S. Under-18 National Team in an exhibition game Friday.