GOTW: Special teams, McKay spark a statement win for No. 6 Minnesota State, 4-0, over No. 8 Bowling Green

Minnesota State’s Dryden McKay made one of his 30 saves on Friday in posting his seventh shutout in 11 starts this season, a 4-0 whitewashing of No. 8 Bowling Green (photo: Jim Rosvold)

Just when it seems like Dryden McKay can’t get any better in goal for Minnesota State, he finds yet another way to raise the bar.

McKay, the nation’s leader in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts, stopped a season-high 30 shots to earn his seventh shutout in 11 starts and lead the Mavericks to a statement victory over No. 8 Bowling Green.

It was McKay’s 21st shutout of his career placing him just five short of the all-time NCAA mark set by the last goaltender to win the Hobey Baker Award, Michigan State’s Ryan Miller.

“Dryden was Dryden,” said Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings. “He makes it look easier than it is. He made a few that he shouldn’t have made and then made the ones he’s supposed to make.

“I’m happy for him. He’s put a lot of effort into where he is right now.”

Offensively, Minnesota State took advantage of the power play, scoring twice on goals by Nathan Smith and Dallas Gerads, while the defense kept the Falcons off the board in four attempts with the man advantage, including a five-minute major midway through the hockey game.

“The [power play goals] gave us the momentum, and the difference tonight was the special teams” Hastings said. “It was, obviously, the turning point.

“A five-minute major is momentum. Can you get one or get two? Or can you find a way to kill it? Killing it injects energy into your bench.”

Sporting a two-goal lead into the third, the Mavericks managed the game well, killing two additional penalties and scoring twice for a 4-0 final.

These two teams will battle again on Saturday in a game where there won’t be any lack of intensity.

“There is a rivalry every time we play,” said Hastings. “Every time you play someone as good as Bowling Green, it’s going to be a battle.”


No. 11 Wisconsin 4, No. 2 Minnesota 1

If anyone doubted that Cole Caufield is likely the best play in the Big Ten – and one of the top in the nation – the sophomore answered critics on a big stage.

Taking on the second-ranked Minnesota in a weekend series that could have some major impact on which team wins the B1G regular-season title, Caufield scored twice for his third-straight multi-goal game and sixth-straight multi-point contest.

Caufield now has 16 goals in 19 games for the Badgers this season and is in the midst of an 11-game point streak.

On Friday, it took just 64 seconds for Caufield to make his presence known giving the visiting Badgers an early lead.

Minnesota’s Sammy Walker, another of the many stars on display in this contest, netted his 10th goal of the year at 8:01 of the second to knot the game at 1.

But that just set up a third period for Caufield and the Badgers to shine.

With 7:00 minutes remaining, Linus Weissbach skated with Caufield, 2-on-1, and feathered a perfect pass that the nation’s leading goal scorer deposited for the eventual game-winner.

Dylan Holloway and Roman Ahcan added the insurance tallies.

These two teams will face one another for the fourth and final time this regular season on Saturday.

No. 1 Boston College 4, No. 15 Boston University 3 (F/OT)

Drew Helleson’s end-to-end rush in the closing seconds of 3-on-3 overtime finished with the sophomore defenseman slipping the puck into the net with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock as top-ranked Boston College defeated crosstown rival No. 15 Boston University, 4-3, in yet another crazy chapter of this legendary college hockey rivalry.

With the game looking as if it were heading to a shootout, Helleson had different plans. He picked up the loose puck in the defensive zone, turned on the jets in the neutral zone and, after beating two defenders made a nifty move around BU netminder Ashton Abel (29 saves).

The entire game was a back-and-forth affair. After the Eagles struck midway through the first on Jack McBain’s fourth goal of the season, BU grabbed the lead with two goals of its own in the second from the fourth line.

Jack DeBoer evened the game with his first of the season at 3:15 before lineman Markus Boguslansky gave the Terriers the lead at 6:01.

Boston College responded in the second half of the frame on goals by Matt Boldy and Colby Ambrosio.

But a too many men penalty to the Eagles in the third gave BU a power play where Alex Vlasic found the equalizer that forced overtime.

Spencer Knight made 21 saves for Boston College to remain unbeaten on the season at 10-0-1.