HOUGHTON, Mich. — After finally breaking through with a big win last night, the Michigan Tech Huskies looked to complete their first sweep of the season. Unfortunately for Huskies’ fans, the Minnesota State Mavericks scored on a couple of their power play chances and skated away with a 3-2 win Saturday night, despite two goals from Huskies’ forward Brett Olson, at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
“Tonight, we were fortunate that three was enough,” said Mavericks’ coach Troy Jutting. “Five-on-five tonight I thought we didn’t give up many good chances.”
Rylan Galiardi was the story of the game for the Mavericks, as he notched a goal and an assist in the victory.
Kael Mouillierat scored what would stand as the game-winning goal 12:23 into the final frame. Jerad Steawart got Mouillierat the puck and the senior found daylight behind Huskies’ goaltender Kevin Genoe.
The Mavericks (12-14-2 overall, 6-13-1 WCHA) came out of the gates with a lot of fire and got some shots through to Genoe. Tyler Pitlick nearly set up Michael Dorr on one rush and captain Geoff Irwin tipped a Kurt Davis shot on another. Genoe was equal to the task each time until the Mavericks earned their third power play of the opening frame.
On that man advantage, Dorr found Davis on the left point for a shot that was redirected by Tyler Pitlick through Genoe’s wickets. With the puck on the goal line, Galiardi swooped in and pushed the puck in the back of the net at 9:51. The goal was Galiardi’s seventh of the season.
“I really liked our penalty kill,” said Russell. “The position we put ourselves was back-to-back kills twice and they scored on both of them.”
The Mavericks dominated the early portion of the second period, but again Genoe was there to make the necessary stops and keep the Huskies (4-21-1 overall, 3-17-0 WCHA) in the game.
Ben Youds and Pitlick both had some golden opportunities on the Mavericks’ first power play of the second, but Genoe held the hosts in the game. Genoe finished the contest with 42 saves.
The Huskies finally managed to settle themselves down after the penalty kill and forced the Mavericks back on their heels. The Huskies’ hard play drew two Mavericks’ penalties, but no goals on the ensuing 1:33 of five-on-three play.
In the late stages of the second period, the Mavericks earned a five-on-three of their own, but couldn’t find the net. However, during the following five-on-four, they did.
Eriah Hayes forced himself open in front of Genoe and found the puck on his stick at 16:09. Hayes’ sixth goal of the season was assisted by Michael Dorr and Galiardi.
Genoe responded to the goal with a tremendous stop on a Mouillierat one-timer off a pass from Pitlick. Without that save, the Huskies would have been sunk.
Instead, the Huskies gained confidence and finished the period strong, getting an odd-man rush late against Mavericks’ goalie Phil Cook.
Olson, an assistant captain, cut the Mavericks’ lead to one with just 10 seconds left in the middle frame after potting a pass from assistant captain Jordan Baker. Olson’s 14th goal of the season was also assisted by junior defenseman Deron Cousens.
Olson’s second of the night came at 16:14 of third when freshman defenseman Steven Seigo found him in front of the net on a power play. Junior winger Bennett Royer also assisted on the tally.
Both teams had a plethora of power plays, with the Mavericks finishing two-for-eight and the Huskies one-for-eight. Cook made 30 stops for the win, his fourth of the season.