MANKATO, Minn. — In Minnesota State’s first two home games, the Mavericks saw a pair of games that should have been wins evaporate into ties.
Two weeks after MSUsquandered a pair of late one-goal leads against St. Lawrence, the Mavericks held on to edge Colorado College 5-4 in a wild game Friday at the Verizon Wireless Center.
“The puck just went in the net tonight,” said MSU head coach Troy Jutting. “I thought we responded well against St. Lawrence and we got a ton of opportunities, they just didn’t go in the net and tonight they did.”
The Mavericks entered the third period with a 3-2 lead and CC tied it twice, but Eriah Hayes scored from a bad angle to the left of Tigers goaltender Joe Howe with 8:25 remaining.
“We’ve been getting after it every game but we just couldn’t get the bounces to go our way,” Hayes said. “Tonight we wanted it more. The last minute the last few games has been a killer for us and we all had that in the back of our heads.”
After Hayes put the Mavericks ahead, Channing Boe and Joe Schiller took tripping penalties four minutes apart. In past games, MSU might’ve succumbed to bad penalties and a poor penalty kill but Friday night, the Mavericks gotthe jobdone.
“The penalty kill has been an area we struggled with and an area we worked on,” Jutting said. “Sometimes you gotta get a bounce and sometimes your goaltender has to be your best penalty killer and tonight Phil (Cook) made some really good saves for us.”
The Tigers generated six total shots on plenty of great opportunities but couldn’t find the net on the power play.
“We weren’t getting to the net enough and we passed on some good shots,” said CC left wing Jaden Schwartz, who scored a pair of goals. “Their goalie made a couple really nice saves. We worked hard and moved the puck around nice but we didn’t get the bounces.”
The guys battled hard and it was a matter of everything. Guys were sacrificing everything and that’s the kind of night it was for us.”
The Mavericks had to play catch-up before they put themselves in the driver’s seat late. CC scored a pair of early goals and held a 2-0 lead until the 1:38 mark of the second period.
Tigers left wingAlexander Krushelnyski brought the puck down the left boards on a CC odd-man rush and centered it to William Rapuzzi who tapped it past Cook to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead 2:27 into the game.
CC went up by two 12 minutes later when Arthur Bidwill’s shot from the point came to Rylan Schwartz at Cook’s left and Schwartz slid it across to younger brother Jaden who roofed it for his third goal of the season 3:20 before the first intermission.
“I think (the MSU players) knew they didn’t play very good in the first period,” Jutting said.”They knew they are a better hockey team and they let themselves down.”
MSU got on the board when freshman Chase Grant carried the puck from the neutral zone along the far boards and backhanded a shot past CC goaltender Joe Howe’s far shoulder.
Rapuzzi nearly had a second goal immediately after Grant scored but it was reviewed and disallowed after it was concluded that he kicked the puck in. Jaden Schwartz called it the turning point of the game.
“It was the disallowed goal and then they came down and scored a couple goals,” Jaden Schwartz said. The Tigers had a second goal disallowed in the third period. “It was a swing in momentum and we took a couple undisciplined penalties that they took advantage of.”
No more than a couple minutes later, theMavericks tied the game at 16:23when Eriah Hayes found Andrew Sackrison alone in the slot for an easy one-timer.
Grantgave MSU the leadat18:05of the second period as he was hauled down in the crease. The puck made contact with his skates as his feet slid toward the goal and the puck slid across the line.
CC tied the game early in the third periodwhen Krushelnyski deflected Eamonn McDermott’s shot past Cook. Only 1:16 later with MSU shorthanded, Sackrison and Adam Mueller created a turnover in the defensive zone as Mueller started the 2-on-1 the other way. Mueller chose to keep the puck and beat Howe far post for his first goal of the season.
Jaden Schwartz tied the game again at the 10:36 mark with a shot from the left circle right off the faceoff but it only took Hayes 59 seconds to steal the lead back for MSU.
Cook finished with 39 saves for MSU and Howe stopped 29 shots for CC.
The Mavericks go for their first sweep of the Tigers since the 2006-07 season when the teams square off at 7:07 (CST) Saturday night at the Verizon Wireless Center.