ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Garrett Roe took all the negative things that happened Friday night to heart and he took responsibility.
“I was not going to lose (Saturday night’s) game for my team,” said the St. Cloud State junior center. “I was going to win the draws I needed to win and get the pucks I needed to get out.”
The Huskies faced an early exit from the WCHA playoffs at the hands of eighth-seeded Minnesota State. With his team facing a two-goal deficit after the second intermission Saturday, Roe assisted on David Eddy’s goal 52 seconds into the third period.
Less than five minutes later, Roe added the tying goal on a slap shot from the point and the game-winner on low-angle shot as the third-seeded Huskies beat MSU, 3-2 at the National Hockey Center and tied the best-of-three series.
“He’s the absolute man tonight,” said SCSU center Aaron Marvin. “He put the team on his shoulders that third period.”
Roe took plenty blame for Friday’s 5-4 loss, after he lost a draw to Kael Mouillierat with three seconds left that resulted in a last-second goal for MSU and sent the game to overtime.
“Let’s be honest,” Roe said. “Last night, I lost that faceoff and they tied it up.”
The Mavericks were one period away from reaching their first WCHA Final Five since 2003 before Roe took over in the third period.
After a scoreless first period, MSU’s top line sparked the offense, just as it did Friday.
Geoff Irwin, who scored the tying goal with one second on the clock in Game 1, slapped in a centering pass from Kael Mouillierat 6:39 into the second period on an odd-man rush started by a Jerad Stewart outlet pass.
With exactly 10 minutes gone by, Irwin skated the puck into the SCSU zone and left a pass for Mouillierat, whose slap shot won the game in OT Friday. Mouillierat tapped it over to Ben Youds at the point, and Youds fired a rocket slap shot past SCSU goaltender Mike Lee at the 16:39 mark.
The Mavericks had scored the last five goals of the series to that point, three by Moullierat and two by Irwin.
“We were playing well but we needed to get a goal to get the crowd going,” said SCSU coach Bob Motzko. “We weren’t shooting enough pucks. We had a lot of possession time but we passed up on a lot of shots.”
Taylor Johnson led a three-on-two rush into the Mavericks’ zone and hit Roe on a cross-ice pass, who then found Eddy trailing in the high slot. Eddy’s wrist shot beat MSU goalie Phil Cook high glove-side, and just like that, the National Hockey Center was alive again.
“As soon as we got that first goal the crowd would be rocking,” Roe said. “This place gets rocking when we get going. It was a boost for us. It propelled us to the next goal and the goal after that.”
Added Motzko, “That’s the advantage of being at home and that’s what the goal did.The crowd was waiting for it to happen.”
At 6:31, Roe skated out to the point as an extra attacker when the Mavericks were charged with a delayed penalty. The Huskies worked the puck along the half boards and out to Roe, who buried the slap shot from the blue line.
Roe was back on the ice 20 seconds later and sent the puck to the crease from a low angle at Cook’s right. The puck found its way past Cook as MSU’s Rylan Galiardi checked Eddy into the crease and into the net. The play went under review, but the goal stood.
No. 7 SCSU (21-12-5) held on for the win, led by Lee’s 33 saves, 17 in the third period. Cook stopped 23 shots for the Mavericks (16-19-3).
The Mavericks look to keep their season going, as the Huskies try to keep their bid for a high seed in the regional alive when the teams meet for Game 3 at 7 p.m. (CST) Sunday in St. Cloud.
Sunday’s winner advances to next week’s Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
“That was a devastating loss last night if we don’t respond tonight,” Motzko said. “The season was on the line and big time players have to make plays and Garrett Roe did that tonight.”