The Mavericks men’s hockey team closed out its second and final series against Bowling Green this season with a win and a loss at home this weekend, bringing the four-game series to a 2-2 record.
Minnesota State bowled right over Bowling Green on Friday night, winning the game 6-1, then going on to lose the second game 4-1 on Saturday.
MSU returned to the Verizon Center in Mankato after two road series against Northern Michigan and Bemidji State over the last two weekends. The Mavs went 3-1 in the span of those four games. The road performance brought the Mavericks men’s team to an 8-3-0 record heading into the final regular season series against the Bowling Green Falcons.
Minnesota State stood at No. 5 in the USCHO.com poll before the weekend and dropped to No. 8 after Saturday’s loss. The USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll also has MSU in the eighth spot in its rankings.
The puck was spread around plenty in Friday’s game, as five different players scored goals for the Mavericks and 12 Mavericks tallied at least one point in the game. The Mavericks were able to hold consistent pressure on the Falcons throughout the first game of the series. Senior forward Brad McClure opened up the scoring for the Mavericks just four minutes into the game on a power play caused by a Bowling Green interference penalty. McClure capitalized on the man-advantage, scoring thirty seconds later.
Freshman forward Reggie Lutz picked up an assist on McClure’s goal then managed to get past the net-protector for Bowling Green three minutes and twelve seconds later. The Mavericks held a 2-0 lead over the Falcons at the end of the first period.
Bowling Green was able to get on the board close to midway in the second period on a power play goal. A high sticking call against the Mavs’ Nicolas Rivera allowed the Falcons to get a goal 16 seconds into the power play. That goal would be all alone in the point column for Bowling Green at the final buzzer.
The Mavericks struck back with the team’s second and third power-play goals of the night, bringing the score to 4-1. Sophomore defenseman Ian Scheid was the special-team’s hero in the second period, with four different Mavericks players assisting on the two goals by Scheid. Freshman forward Jake Jaremko would finish out the scoring for the Mavs in the second period which would give MSU a four-point lead going into the final intermission.
The men’s team for Minnesota State held its ground in the third period, preventing any goals by Bowling Green and doing it cleanly by not committing any penalties. Freshman forward Walker Duehr scored the final goal for the Mavericks early in the period and the Mavs took the first game 6-1.
Penalties would be the Maverick’s Achilles heel in Saturday’s game. Jaremko scored the opening and lone goal for MSU with 30 seconds left in the first period on the power play. After carrying a 1-0 lead into the second period, the Mavericks dropped two goals to the Falcons, giving up the scoring advantage.
Bowling Green scored on three of the seven power-play opportunities it had in Saturday’s game. The Mavericks were able to ward off the Falcons after a five-minute-major penalty by MSU defenseman Daniel Brickley but could not protect the net on two other opportunities that led to the 4-1 loss.
The unranked Bowling Green’s win against Minnesota State on Saturday evened up the season series at 2-2 and will only face the Mavericks again should the teams meet in the postseason. The Mavs men’s team exits the weekend with a 9-4-0 record and the No. 16 University of Minnesota – Duluth in its sights next weekend at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.