Friday, March 8, 2013

UND 4, Mavericks 3

Pat Christman/The Free Press
Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Tough to swallow: Minnesota State outshot North Dakota 40-20, dominated the first period (12-2 shot advantage; held UND to just nine attempted shots), got a couple of big goals. But two bad turnovers led directly to UND goals — one too many to overcome. First, there was Mark MacMillan's aggressive play on a penalty kill, taking the puck away from goalie Stephon Williams behind the MSU net and, with defenseman Josh Nelson also back there, easily tucked the puck into an open net for a 2-1 lead. The Mavericks tied the game just 17 seconds later, but in the third, Stephane Pattyn intercepted the puck from defenseman Zach Palmquist between the circles and fired a quick shot for a 3-2 lead.

2. Top guns: The Mavericks got goals from Teddy Blueger and Eriah Hayes. Good plays by Dylan Margonari and Matt Leitner, respectively, set those up. (MSU also got a late goal from freshman Taylor Herndon, his first career goal, with 20 seconds to go, just after UND's empty netter). MSU also kept North Dakota's top two scorers — two of the best forwards in the nation — Corban Knight and Danny Kristo off the scoreboard. Kristo had three shots on goal.

3. What it means: With Wisconsin losing to St. Cloud State and Denver beating Anchorage, MSU is in a three-way tie for fourth place with those teams but loses the three-way tiebreaker, giving them the sixth and final home ice spot for now. The Mavericks lead Nebraska Omaha by one point. A win or a UNO loss ensures MSU of home ice. It appears that MSU holds most of the tiebreaker wins over Omaha. The Mavericks also dropped to 11th in the Pairwise Rankings.

Read The Free Press game story here.

WCHA standings
1. St. Cloud State (37 points, clinched No. 1 seed)
2. Minnesota (35)
    North Dakota (35)
4. Wisconsin (31)
    Denver (31)
    Minnesota State (31)
7. Nebraska Omaha (30)
8. Colorado College (24)
9. Minnesota Duluth (23)
10. Michigan Tech (20)
11. Bemidji State (17)
12. Alaska Anchorage (10)

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