MANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State coach Troy Jutting said Fridays game against St. Cloud State was reminiscent of last week when the Mavericks hosted top ranked Denver. MSU outshot and stuck with a high-ranked team for the second week in a row.
The difference: the Mavericks converted three of their four power-play chances, had a four goal lead after one period, and hung on to beat No. 4 St. Cloud State at the Verizon Wireless Center.
It was pretty reminiscent of last week, Jutting said. Three power play goals on either night last weekend and we probably win two. We created a lot of offensive opportunities for ourselves tonight.
Forward Rylan Galiardi put MSU on the board just 1:10 into the game when he stole the puck from Taylor Johnson in the SCSU zone, walked alone and put the past Huskies goaltender Dan Dunn.
I kind of baited him and picked it off with my forehand, Galiardi said. Their D was spread out and I just had a breakaway and went high blocker.
Ten minutes later, SCSUs Garrett Roe took a slashing penalty and Galiardi scored his second goal of the game 16 seconds later when he tipped in a pass from Kurt Davis at the blueline to the right of Dunn.
It was definitely a shot-pass from (Davis) said Galiardi, who was denied a hat trick on a tremendous save by SCSU backup, Mike Lee. It felt like last years power play which is nice because we had a really good power play.
The Mavericks went back on the power play two minutes later when Sam Zabkowicz was called for tripping. Davis sent a wrist shot from the point that made it past Dunn at 13:25. Bob Motzko immediately replaced Dunn with his platoon mate, Lee.
The Mavericks other power-play line got in on the scoring when Lee gave up a rebound off a Michael Dorr shot and Mike Louwerse was waiting on the backdoor to put it home with just under two minutes in the period.
We didnt help ourselves out in the first, you could see we were rusty but thats never an excuse, said SCSU forward Ryan Lasch. I thought we definitely won the last two periods.
Lasch revived the Huskies early in the second period when he received a pass at the blueline from Tony Mosey and beat Phil Cook high on a bad-angle shot.
Garrett Roe cut the lead to two 10 minutes later. Roe got a second-chance opportunity after his Cook stopped his first shot it bounced off Cooks chest and came right back to Roes tape. He and put the rebound past Cook.
Despite letting the Huskies back in the game, the Mavericks were in a good spot leading after 40 minutes. MSU was 12-0 when leading with one period to play coming into the game.
Cook preserved the MSU lead with eight saves in the third period, and all eight turned out to be big. Cook dove across the goal to rob SCSUs Tony Mosey on the doorstep with six minutes left.
(Cook) never gives up on a play, Galiardi said. Cook finished with 27 saves. You see him diving for pucks on third and second opportunities.
Lee finished with 26 saves. Dunn left the game 13:25 of the first period, giving up three goals on six shots.
The Huskies (20-11-4 overall, 15-9-3 in the WCHA) have lost two of their last three games.
Tomorrow nights a big game because we could play Mankato next weekend and you want to send a message, Lasch said.
For the Mavericks (15-18-2, 9-17-1), its their second series in a row against a top-four team, knowing they will likely draw a high-ranked opponent in the first round of the WCHA playoffs next weekend.
Were battle tested, Galiardi said. Weve played really competitive games against great teams. They havent all gone our way but we work on the process more than the result.
The teams meet again at 7 p.m. CST Saturday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.