Mavericks men’s hockey passed an important test this weekend in Boston against the second-best ranked team in the nation. Minnesota State rallied after losing the regular season home opener to St. Cloud State 4-0 last weekend. The No. 2 Boston University Terriers hosted the Mavericks in the two-game series over Friday and Saturday night. Jet lag was no issue for Minnesota State as they swept Boston University (6-4, 3-0) and ended the weekend with a shutout by junior goalie Jason Pawloski in Saturday’s game.
Friday night’s game was a high-scoring affair. Luckily for the Mavericks, most of those goals went their way. In net for Minnesota State was senior Connor LaCouvee when the puck was dropped in Boston for the opening game in the series. The first goal of the game was scored by the Terriers’ Shane Bowers while Minnesota State played with a man short as a result of an early interference penalty committed by freshman Connor Mackey. After taking on five shots from BU in their defensive end, the Mavericks’ turn on the power play arrived. MNSU capitalized on the Terriers’ cross-checking penalty quickly, and senior forward Zeb Knutson put the puck in Boston’s net just 18 seconds after the power play began.
The special teams for Boston University continued to be efficient as the team took a 2-1 lead on another power play goal. The Mavericks successfully killed one penalty before the holding call was made that led to the Terriers’ power play-scoring shift. More penalties would follow for both teams, as junior defender Daniel
Brickley tallied two minors for roughing and hitting after the whistle. Another tripping call against the Mavericks gave BU a small window for a five-on-three power play. Minnesota State held off the Terriers and went on to tie the game 2-2 with a goal from Brickley. The defenseman would have four points in this game with a goal and three assists.
The Mavericks overwhelmed Boston University in the second period, scoring three consecutive goals before the Terriers scored with 2:50 left before the third period.
Freshman forward Jared Spooner added an insurance goal for Minnesota State while the defense and goalie did their parts by shutting out the Terriers in the third period. Game one ended with a Mavericks victory, 6-3.
Saturday’s game proved that Friday was no fluke and the Mavericks were here to play. The first period of the second game in the series was stuck in a scoreless gridlock and remained that way until the second period. Sophomore forward Nicolas Rivera opened up the scoring in the second period with a power play goal 7:15 in. Senior forward C.J. Suess increased the Mavericks’ lead to 2-0 six minutes later, and the Terriers couldn’t manage to get the puck past Pawloski before the second period ended.
Seven blocked shots in the third period aided MNSU en route to the sweep over Boston University. Plenty of time was spent in the Mavericks’ defensive zone to open up the final period but the Terriers were unsuccessful in their pursuit of a goal. With just over a minute and half left in the game, sophomore forward Marc Michaelis scored on an empty BU net, giving the Mavericks the 3-0 lead, which would remain the score until the final buzzer. Pawloski recorded Minnesota State’s first shutout of the season, bringing his record to 1-1 and the Mavericks’ to 2-1.
The Mavericks jumped up four spots in the USCHO.com rankings, now sitting at No. 14. Boston University dropped from 2 to 7 after the weekend losses to MNSU. Minnesota State will remain east of the Mississippi River as they go to Bowling Green, Ohio this weekend to take on the Bowling Green Falcons.