MINNEAPOLIS — Give-and-go. Its a play as old as hockey itself. And when executed to perfection as it was in Minnesota State’s 3-1 victory over host Minnesota, its a thing of absolute beauty.
So it was then for the Mavericks, who used forward Rylan Galiardis game-winning goal (on an assist from linemate Mike Louwerse) at 12:25 of the third to beat the Gophers at Mariucci Arena.
Rylan hit Louwerse at center ice on a breakout pass, who then did spin-o-rama just inside the Minnesota blueline before sliding the puck back to Galiardi, whose wrister found a seam between Gopher netminder Kent Pattersons blocker arm and body.
“I would like to say we practice stuff like that. It was a great goal,” remarked Minnesota State coach Troy Jutting.
It was a well deserved victory as Minnesota State dominated the first half of the game, outshooting Minnesota 29-8 midway through the second period.
The Gophers then controlled play from midway through the second until they took two minor penalties in the third, giving the Mavericks nearly a minute of 5-on-3. It was a stretch where the Gophers held the Mavericks shotless for almost 10 minutes. The Gophers killed the penalties but the Mavericks found the edge they had early in the game.
Minnesota best chance of the third came on a play in which Josh Birkholz deked his way around a Maverick defenseman and came in alone on goaltender Austin Lee. But Lee stood tall.
“He made great saves at big times of the game,” said Jutting.
The Gophers continue their slide and the frustration is mounting.
“I told them my true feelings, but I am not sharing them with you, said Minnesota coach Don Lucia. “We are capable of playing a lot better.”
Jake Hansen of Minnesota opened the scoring at 8:37 of the first on a wrist shot from 10 feet in front of Lee. Fairchild pick up a puck of a Minnesota State turnover on the left boards and threaded a pass to Hansen, and then shot the puck just under the Lee’s blocker.
The Mavericks tied the game on a power-play goal by Jerad Stewart at 13:20. Initially the goal was credited to Zach Harrison. Stewart was on the far side and credited for the tap in.
The Mavericks carried the play throughout the first period including numerous scoring chances in close. They just could not seem to get the right bounce.
“Anytime you have an 18-4 shot advantage and the score is tied, you are a little nervous,” admitted Jutting.
“What is important about tomorrow night is to play with urgency,” said Lucia
The same two teams face off Saturday night at Minnesota State.