|Pat Christman/The Free Press|
1. No Howe, no matter: Colorado College goalie Joe Howe has scored 1-0 victories over Minnesota State in Mankato (the town of his birth) in each of the last two seasons. But he was on the bench Friday night, as Josh Thorimbert got the nod. Thorimbert did a pretty good impression of Howe, holding a 1-0 lead until 4:34 remained in regulation. Mavericks freshman Matt Leitner tied the game then and that eventually forced overtime where CC's David Civitarese scored the game-winning goal at 1:28. Thorimbert stopped 37 shots for the win, including 15 of 16 in the third period.
2. Slowing CC: The Tigers went into the series as the nation's top-scoring team but dropped to second after Friday's game after being held to their lowest offensive output of the season. Jeff Collett scored on a back-door play from Dakota Eveland at 12:51 of the second period, and Civitarese walked out of the corner dangling the puck and ripped a wrister for the game winner in OT. Mavericks goalie Austin Lee was rock-solid, making 27 saves. Minnesota State simply couldn't cash in on its opportunities — just six days after putting nine goals on the board against Alabama Huntsville.
3. Quick whistle? The Mavericks very nearly scored their first goal of the game with about three minutes remaining in the second period. That's when Zach Lehrke made a nice move cutting to the inside and firing a tricky shot on Thorimbert from the slot. Lehrke must have seen the puck not yet secure and darted toward the goalie. But the referee behind the net lost sight of the puck and blew his whistle. Moments later, Lehrke was tapping the puck into the goal, but it was clearly after play was blown dead.
Deep thought: Want a better idea of how small a crowd 2,395 is at the VWC? Well, about an hour or so after the game, the arena's clean-up crew found a puck that had been shot into the stands and tossed it on the ice. Apparently, there wasn't anyone in that area around during the game to grab it four a souvenir.
Quote of the night: "I definitely wish we would have won the game for as well as our team played. Tomorrow we have to play the same game but execute on our chances." MSU senior forward Justin Jokinen.
Around the WCHA: Northern Michigan 4, Michigan Tech 1 ... Bemidji State 3, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Denver 3, St. Cloud State 2 (OT)