ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Any momentum Minnesota State was about to gain to begin the comeback was quickly killed by the outward swing of the referee’s arms.
St. Cloud State found itself on a two-man disadvantage early in the second period with a three-goal lead. The Mavericks appeared to score before the second penalty expired, but it was waved off after a review.
The Huskies killed off the penalty, added two more goals and won 5-1 in WCHA action Friday at the National Hockey Center.
“It gave us a lot of momentum going into the rest of the period,” said St. Cloud State forward Nic Dowd. “It took a lot away from them, too. You could tell when they originally scored that goal, they had energy and it sucked the wind out of us.
“When it got reversed, momentum came back our way and it sucked the wind out of them.”
Drew LeBlanc finished with a goal and three assists to lead the Huskies (3-2-0 overall, 1-0-0 WCHA). He had the assist on both Ben Hanowski goals.
Hanowski took a centering pass from LeBlanc and one-timed a shot past MSU goaltender Phil Cook from the slot.
On the second goal, LeBlanc sent a long lead pass from deep in the Huskies zone to Hanowski at the red line. Hanowski beat Cook low stick side on a breakaway with 5:12 left in the first period.
Dowd scored 34 seconds after Hanowski to make it 3-0 going into intermission.
Hanowski banged his head against the half boards one minute into the second period, which preceded a five-minute major penalty assessed to MSU’s Eriah Hayes for charging. Hanowski didn’t play after the hit.
“When he gets going right away, you know he’s going to be good,” LeBlanc said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back for tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious.”
SCSU coach Bob Motzko said he didn’t know Hanowski’s status for Saturday’s game or beyond.
“We’ll just have to wait,” he said.
Forty seconds after the Mavericks killed off Hayes’ major, SCSU went on the penalty kill for Ethan Prow’s trip. Kevin Gravel received a five-minute major with a game misconduct for checking from behind 52 seconds into Prow’s minor.
Then MSU (2-1-2, 0-1-0 WCHA) showed its first signs of life when the Mavericks charged the SCSU net, kept whacking away and finally, Chase Grant was able to push the puck across the goal line amid a pile-up in the crease.
The play went to review and the goal was called off.
“Call it what it is,” Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings said. “On the road in this league, there just wasn’t enough push-back from Minnesota State tonight.”
The second period went scoreless, but Kalle Kossila made it 4-0 on a nice saucer-pass feed from LeBlanc across the goal mouth 1:23 into the third.
Kossila took Hanowski’s spot on the top line for SCSU.
Evan Mosey’s first goal of the year put the Mavericks on the board at the 8:53 mark, ending SCSU goaltender Ryan Faragher’s shutout bid.
Faragher finished with 24 saves. Cook had 23.
After all of the assisting, LeBlanc scored on a highlight-reel goal, making a move around Cook to the left side of the crease and sneaking the puck under the crossbar.
“There have been a lot of players through the years that have wanted to play on his line,” Motzko said. “Our top guys showed up tonight and were outstanding. Hanowski was clicking. LeBlanc was clicking.”