Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mavericks 3, Gophers 2 (OT)

Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Not a typo: Just texted my son, asked him if he watched the Mavericks. He said he turned it off when they were down 2-0. Went to the video games, I'm sure. He probably wasn't the only one with that idea. Minnesota State was on the verge of getting shut out for the second night in a row to the Gophers and the fifth time this season. But won't people be surprised when they see that final score? The Mavericks scored twice with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker in the final 4 minutes or so — Bryce Gervais with 3:32 left and Brett Knowles with 44.9 to go — to tie the game and force overtime. Teddy Blueger won it in OT with 42.7 seconds on the clock and the celebration was on.

2. Stepan up: The Mavericks lost two defensemen to injury in the game, and played with just four down the stretch. Jon Jutzi didn't return after he was shaken up by a slap shot off the helmet in the second period, and Jaden Schmeisser was also out with an injury. Junior forward Zach Stepan moved back to D to spell the others. "Stepan did a great job in there acting as (a defenseman)," MSU coach Mike Hastings said. "That third period was a lot of guts." The remaining defensemen made plays, too. Casey Nelson took the shot that Gervais redirected in to get MSU on the board. And 6-foot-3 Daniel Brickley reached high to pull down a puck and keep it in the offensive zone to set up Knowles' goal. Brickley didn't get an assist on the play but he did on the game-winner.

3. Playing with poise: Brickley wasn't the only freshman who played like a veteran in the game. Goalie Jason Pawloski got his third win of the year, making 24 saves, including eight in the third period and overtime. He didn't get rattled despite giving up two late-period goals. And rookie forward Max Coatta made the best pass of the game, getting the puck down low and, instead of throwing it on goal in desperation mode, waited for Knowles to move into scoring position before dishing across the goal mouth to Knowles for the game-tying goal. "I thought Max Coatta's assist to Knowles, he showed some poise there," Hastings said.

Deep thought: Knowles' game-tying goal was the second big one he scored at Mariucci Arena. As a freshman, he scored the game-winner with 44 seconds to play in a 2-1 victory over the Gophers.

Read my game story here. Check out highlights from the game here.

Around the WCHA: Bowling Green 3, Michigan Tech 2 ... Arizona State 3, Lake Superior State 2 ... Bemidji State 6, Alaska 3 ... Ferris State at Alaska Anchorage (late)

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