Saturday, February 4, 2017

Seawolves 4, Mavericks 3

There was no third-period comeback for the Minnesota State men’s hockey team on Friday night in Anchorage.

The Mavericks fell to Alaska Anchorage 4-3 in their WCHA series opener, losing to the Seawolves for the first time in seven games.

Minnesota State outshot Anchorage 43-17 but couldn’t solve goaltender Olivier Mantha for much of the game.

The Seawolves led 2-0 until 31 seconds remained in the second period. Daniel Brickley finally got MSU on the board with help from C.J. Franklin.

That wasn’t enough to spark a big final period as they had in four of their last five games.

Midway through the third, the Seawolves got the Mavericks chasing in their defensive zone, and Mason Mitchell finished off a tic-tac-toe play for a 3-1 lead.

Fifty seconds later, MSU’s Sean Flanagan got the goal right back. Ian Scheid assisted, but the Mavericks were still playing from behind.

With two minutes remaining in the third period and an offensive faceoff coming up, coach Mike Hastings called timeout and pulled goalie Cole Huggins (13 saves) for an extra attacker. The Mavericks got a scoring chance, but couldn’t get it to goal. Quickly, Anchorage’s Tad Kozen cleared the puck from deep in his own end, putting it right down the middle of the ice and into the empty net for the 4-2 lead.

Minnesota State made another push with a power play and an extra attacker but didn’t score until Marc Michaelis’ goal with 6.9 remaining.

The goal was the team-leading 32nd point of the season for Michaelis, a freshman forward. Brickley assisted on the goal for a two-point game.

With the loss, the third-place Mavericks  (15-10-4, 11-8-4) failed to pick up ground on second-place Michigan Tech, which lost at Bemidji State, or create space from Bowling Green, which lost at home to Northern Michigan.

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