Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bulldogs 3, Mavericks 2 (2OT)

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Classic game: It was a game that ranked right up there with those 2008 overtime games against Minnesota in Mankato, maybe better. Austin Lee stopped 56 shots (18 in extra time), and Kenny Reiter made 47 saves (19 in the two OTs), both career highs. Duluth's Mike Seidel scored the game-winner at 4:07 of the second overtime, firing back a fat rebound and putting the Bulldogs in the Final Five and ending the Mavericks' season. "Unbelievable hockey game. Unbelievable hockey game," MSU coach Troy Jutting said. "We had our chances. We had lots of them." Lee's save total was a Division I-era high for Minnesota State.

2. Unhappy ending: It was another heartbreaker, of course, for MSU, which was eliminated from the WCHA tournament in an overtime game for the third year in a row. Seven of the Mavericks' last 12 playoff games have gone to OT, with the team going 2-5 in those games. "It's always tough to see the season come to an end, especially with this group of guys," said defenseman and captain Tyler Elbrecht, who scored his first goal of the season in the game. "We came a long way. We had 13 guys injured at one point, but we stuck together as a group, and that's how we were tonight."

3. What if? The Mavericks had a great opportunity late in the first overtime and early in the second when they had a power play. Tim Smith was called for tripping Michael Dorr, who got loose on a breakaway. Could it have been called a penalty shot? It certainly looked worse than Joe Schiller's slash that gave Duluth a penalty shot in Friday's opener. How would Dorr have fared in that situation?

Deep thought: Matt Leitner scored the Mavericks' first goal, and that put him atop the team's scoring list for the season. He finished with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists), one point ahead of Jean-Paul LaFontaine.

Quote of the night: "I couldn't be prouder of this group of kids. To start off the year with all the stuff that happened, the injuries, they battled back. And they battled this weekend against a team that's as good as any team in the country." — MSU coach Troy Jutting

Around the WCHA: St. Cloud State 3, Nebraska Omaha 1 (SCSU wins series) ... North Dakota 4, Bemidji State 3 (UND wins series) ... Minnesota 7, Alaska Anchorage 3 (UM wins series) ... Michigan Tech 4, Colorado College 3 — OT (MTU wins series) ... Denver 3, Wisconsin 1 (series tied 1-1)

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