The weekend series against the Bemidji State Beavers didn’t go quite as planned for the Mavericks after not achieving a victory against the current leaders of the WCHA.
In the two-game weekend series, the Beavers and Mavericks played close contests that involved a total of five goals scored. In a race to see who will finish at the top of the standings, every game is as important as the last and Minnesota State might have just let a big opportunity slip through their fingers in Friday and Saturday night’s game.
Though it was not a win, the Mavericks were able to come out of the Verizon Wireless Center on Friday with a tie. Minnesota State did put the first score on the board with an early goal during the first period by freshman forward Charlie Gerard that was assisted by senior forward Zach Stepan and freshman forward Josh French. The goal by Gerard was the first of his career in only his fourth career game, according to Minnesota State’s athletic page.
The Mavericks would have a 1-0 advantage for the next two periods, but they failed to add on to their early success. It was not until the third period that the second and last goal of the game would be scored by the Beavers. With a little more then 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Beavers scored their first tally of the night, tying up the game on a goal by Bemidji State’s Dan Bilett. Neither team could add a goal in regulation, as the Mavericks and Beavers went into overtime. During the extra period, neither team could find the back of the net and the clock ran out with a tie. Head coach of the Mavericks, Mike Hastings, commented after the game on the 1-1 finish.
“I liked the effort and the attitude. I thought we played very good in the first period, but then we didn’t really back it up until we got to overtime,” Hastings said.
In the second game, Bemidji State jumped off to the early start scoring an even-strength goal just 2:22 into the game. The goal was scored by Beavers’ forward Mike Soucier and assisted by Jordan Heller and Tommy Muck. The Mavericks were able to answer Bemidji State’s goal with a goal of their own by freshman forward Marc Michaelis on a power play mid-way through the first period. Assisting on the goal was freshman defenseman Ian Sheid and freshman forward Parker Tuomie.
Much like the first game, neither team was able to score after the other had tied it up. The Mavericks were able to have ample amount of opportunities to score, but Bemidji State’s goaltender Michael Bitzer was on his game, saving 32 of 33 shots taken by Minnesota State. In overtime, the Beavers were able to close out the game with a goal by Nate Arentz. After the game, Hastings had a few things to say during his post game interview.
“I don’t care if Ben Bishop is in net- for us to get one on Friday and one on Saturday we need to be better then that,” Hastings said. “From start to finish, I didn’t feel like we were chasing as much as we were last night. I’ll take [C.J.] Franklin alone with the puck in front of the net, but the effort was there and that’s all we ask as a coaching staff.”
Though the effort was there for the Mavericks, it wasn’t quite enough to come out of Saturday with a win. Next on the schedule is the the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in a split two-game series. The Mavericks will host on Friday night, and the Gophers hosting Saturday night in Minneapolis. In their past 10 meetings, the Mavericks are 5-5-0.