MANKATO, Minn. — Channing Boe has always been one of the “big men” on the ice for Minnesota State but his size is used primarily for defensive purposes.
“I haven’t been playing the power play that long,” said Boe, an MSU assistant captain and defenseman. “I’m just trying to take away guys, get in the goalie’s eyes and create a mess in there.”
On Friday against Minnesota-Duluth, MSU head coach Troy Jutting put Boe on the first power play unit, lined up on the face-off circle. Instead of the point, he set up at the top of the crease. He cleared space, created scoring chances and had a hand in MSU’s first two goals.
The Mavericks went ahead two goals on a pair of power-play goals and went on to win 3-1 at the Verizon Wireless Center.
“Getting two power play goals and them not getting any was a big difference in the game,” Jutting said.
MSU went to work on the power play four minutes into the game when Justin Fontaine was caught hooking an MSU player.
Just 13 seconds after Channing Boe redirected Evan Mosey’s slap shot from the point over the crossbar, Boe was able to get the puck back out to Mosey. Mosey was able to fire another shot that Eriah Hayes redirected 10th goal of the season with 19 seconds left on the PP.
Another 1:30 went by before UMD’s JT Brown went off for boarding. On a similar play to the one the Mavericks scored on, Kurt Davis let a shot fly from the top of the slot and Boe knocked the puck down with his stick. Boe turned around to find the puck and put between Kenny Reiter’s pads.
“It’s good to find a way to score on the power play in this league,” said Boe, who hasn’t played forward since his sophomore season. “To win games, you need your power play working and it worked tonight.”
The Bulldogs got a goal back with 8:04 left in the first period when the Mavericks committed back-to-back turnovers in the defensive zone and Jack Connolly came away with the puck. Connolly found Mike Connolly all alone in the slot and Mike had plenty of time to get control of the puck and put it past an out-of-position Austin Lee.
But the Mavericks took back the two-goal lead and the momentum with an odd goal late in the period. Chase Grant brought the puck up the bench side and backhanded the puck between Reiter’s pads but the puck clanked off the far post and out to Corey Leivermann, who backhanded the puck off the left post and in.
“It swung the momentum back as soon as we could and that’s good,” Jutting said.
Neither team scored in the second period but the 20 minutes didn’t tick by without action. A total of 24 penalty minutes were handed out to the Bulldogs and the Mavericks served three minor penalties in the period, highlighted by Mike Connolly’s roughing/unsportsmanlike conduct double minor with a 10-minute misconduct slapped on top of it.
UMD controlled most of the third period, outshooting MSU 28-5. But the Mavericks played gritty, getting in front of passes and blocking shots to take away high-quality scoring chances.
“We did a good job keeping them to the outside,” Jutting said. “We limited their quality scoring chances. It wasn’t like Jack Connolly from the slot.”
The Bulldogs finished the night with 41 shots compared to MSU’s 27.
The teams meet again at 7:07 p.m. (CST) Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center.
“We did everything but score,” said UMD head coach Scott Sandelin. “It’s just not going in right now. I like our effort in the third period and our intensity in the third period. You have to have that start to finish.”