|Free Press photo by Pat Chritman|
1. Home sweet home: 4,106 braved the snowstorm and got a good show from the Mavericks. Ben Youds' opening goal (pictured at left) -- a blast from the high slot -- shattered goalie Alex Kangas' water bottle and got the packed student section going. The crowd stayed into it through the very end when the Mavericks were killing off a penalty over the final 1:25. "Our crowd was involved tonight, especially late in the game when we were ahead," Mavericks coach Troy Jutting said. "It gives us an era boost, especially when we're killing." The Mavericks, of course, have not played a home game since Oct. 23.
2. Mueller comes through: The No. 1 star of the game rightly went to Adam Mueller, who had the game-winning goal, assisted on Youds' goal and played a key role on the penalty kill. He had five shots on goal and also clanked a shot off the crossbar. Gophers goalie Alex Kangas also robbed him of an open shot from close range. Mueller has embraced his penalty-killing job, too. "Coach said, 'Take some pride penalty killing,'" Mueller said. Indeed, the Mavericks killed off all five Gopher power plays, including 43 seconds of 5x3 time. MSU had to kill off two penalties in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
3. The little things: A few other notes about the game. Michael Dorr scored MSU's other goal, a power-play goal. It was his first game against the team he began his college career with. ... The Gophers outshot the Mavericks 35-24. MSU goalie Phil Cook stopped 33 shots, including 13 on the Minnesota power plays. ... Kangas made 21 saves for the Gophers. ... Mankato native Corey Leivermann assisted on Mueller's goal. ... Freshman defenseman Josh Nelson assisted on Dorr's goal for his first college point. ... MSU is now 5-6-4 (3-6-2 in WCHA).
Read the box score here. Read The Free Press game story (and see other photos) here and the Star Tribune gamer here.
Around the rest of the WCHA, Denver edged top-ranked Minnesota Duluth 5-4 in overtime, Colorado College pounded Michigan Tech 7-3, Alaska-Anchorage edged Wisconsin 2-1, North Dakota defeated St. Cloud State 3-1 and Bemidji State surprised and shut out Nebraska-Omaha 3-0.