What a game for the Mavericks, who outshot the Gophers 42-26, including an 18-4 advantage in the first period. Rylan Galiardi scored the game-winning goal with 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the third period, finishing off a pretty-as-it-gets play from Mike Louwerse. Zach Harrison had an empty-net goal and an assist to Jerad Stewart on the Mavericks' first goal. And don't forget goalie Austin Lee, who came up with some big, big saves in the second and third periods.
Read more about the game here.
UPDATE: Got back to Kato late last night/early this morning. Here are a few more tidbits that didn't get into the story ...
Mavericks senior Jason Wiley got his bell rung in the third period during a collision with the Gophers' Tony Lucia. It looked like Lucia got his shoulder under Wiley's chin but it didn't appear to be a dirty hit. No penalty was called (although there was one "contact to the head" penalty called in the game). In fact, Wiley was initiating the contact, MSU coach Troy Jutting said.
"(Wiley) had the giraffe legs," Jutting said, referring to Wiley needing help getting off the ice. "It's hockey. It happens. I don't think it was a dirty play."
I think it was just coincidence that the play involved two players who have been involved in ugly plays over the last couple of seasons. Wiley is the player who, two seasons ago, hit the Gophers' Tom Pohl, when Pohl lost his helmet, went head first into the boards and eventually needed surgery. Lucia was hit hard last season by Trevor Bruess and Bruess was given a five-minute major and a game disqualification.
Meanwhile, Lee did not hurt his standing as the Mavericks' No. 1 goalie. He said he's getting more comfortable in the net, especially after watching from the bench the last two seasons.
"Confidence-wise, the team is playing great, making it easy on me," Lee said. "I'm getting confidence with every game. I'm getting more games in and getting used to the speed of the WCHA."
Said Galiardi: "Austin did what's he's gotta do. He was solid and calming. He didn't let in any weakies. I like to think that if he allows one goal that's enough for us. ... He's a pretty calm guy; that's something you want from your goalie."
There's no question that the Gophers are frustrated with their play this season. They've won once in their last six games and have averaged 1.67 goals per game in that stretch.
"We're not scoring enough," coach Don Lucia said. "We have three goals in our last three games and are fortunate to have won one of those. ... We have to play with a lot more passion and move our feet."
Don't forget to check back with PucKato later today for Saturday night's lineups and a live blog from the Verizon Wireless Center.