Saturday, January 7, 2017

Mavericks 3, Chargers 2

The Minnesota State men’s hockey scored its first sweep since mid-October, defeating Alabama Huntsville 3-2 in a WCHA series finale on Saturday night.

It was the third win in a row for the No. 19 Mavericks.

Senior forward Zach Stepan scored two of MSU’s three power-play goals. Freshman defenseman Ian Scheid also had a goal, and Michael Huntebrinker finished with two assists.

Junior goaltender Aaron Nelson, who made his collegiate debut in Friday’s 3-0 victory, got the win, stopping 29 of 31 shots.

Nelson strung together five consecutive shutout periods before the Chargers scored a pair of goals 52 seconds apart in the third period to make it a 3-2 game.

The Mavericks scored twice in the first period during a five-minute major on UAH’s Cody Marooney. Scheid and Stepan had the goals 2:22 apart.

Stepan made it 3-0 with 3:23 remaining in the second period.

The goals were the first two of the season for Stepan. Prior to Saturday, he hadn't scored since Feb. 12, 2016 in a 3-3 with UAH.

After Huntsville scored its two goals, the Mavericks had to kill off their own five minute major, a checking-from-behind penalty on Clint Lewis, as well as a minor on Carter Foguth in game’s the final minute.

Minnesota State (13-7-2, 9-5-2 in WCHA) is now in a tie for third place in the conference standings with Bowling Green, whom it will host in Mankato on Friday and Saturday.

A more detailed version of this story that includes comments from coach Mike Hastings can be found here.

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