For the third time in four years, the Minnesota State men's hockey team's season ended in overtime of the WCHA playoffs. Denver freshman Jason Zucker sent the Mavericks home just 1:29 into OT with a blast from the high slot during a rush. The puck hit goalie Austin Lee in the shoulder but bounced straight into the air before landing in the net behind him.
"In terms of how hard we played, I'm really proud of the kids," coach Troy Jutting said. "They battled the whole game, start to finish."
Indeed, it did not look like a matchup between the WCHA's 11th-place team and the second-place team.
Shots were even 34-34 for the game, and the Mavericks got goals from Ben Youds (5x3) and J.P. Burkemper for leads of 1-0 and 2-1. MSU led 1-0 after two periods, marking the fourth game in a row against Denver in which they've had a third-period lead. However, the Mavs did not win any of those games.
The problem continued to be goal scoring, and they were unable to cash in on some top-notch scoring opportunities, as they played solid defense.
"For some reason, it wasn't meant to be," Jutting said. "The guys worked their tails off."
Two Denver defensemen, Matt Donovan (4x3) and David Makowski tied the game with power-play goals. Makowski's goal made it 2-2 with 6:15 remaining in the third period.
The Mavericks' season ends with a 14-18-6 record. See Saturday's box score here.