The Minnesota State men’s hockey team dropped its one game over the weekend to the University of Minnesota – Duluth on Saturday. The nonconference matchup was held at Amsoil Arena in Duluth where the Mavericks lost with a final score of 3-1.
5,536 hockey fans crowded the home arena to see the traveling Mavericks take on UMD. The Mavericks and Bulldogs entered this game ranked No. 8 and No. 16, respectively, in the USCHO.com poll taken on Nov. 20. The Mavericks possessed a 9-4-0 overall record prior to Saturday’s game and stood at 7-3 in WCHA play.
Duluth plays in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and was 0-2-1 against WCHA opponents this season before the victory over the Mavericks. This was the first nonconference game for the Mavs since defeating Boston University in Boston over the Oct. 13 weekend.
The Mavericks started senior goalie Connor LaCouvee in net against the Bulldogs, which was his third consecutive game as the starter.
Minnesota State outshot UMD 14-8 in the first period, but two of the Bulldog’s shots were able to sneak across MSU’s goal line. Duluth secured its first goal just halfway through the first period and beat the intermission horn by 10 seconds to record the second goal of the game.
MSU answered quickly into the second period with a goal five minutes out of the locker rooms. Sophomore defenseman Ian Scheid collected his fifth goal of the season to bring the score within one of the Bulldogs, 2-1.
A goaltender interference committed by Minnesota State cost the team its first penalty of the game with 12 minutes remaining in the second period. The Mavericks played more disciplined on the penalty kill against the Bulldogs after giving up three power-play goals to Bowling Green in the previous game. None of the three goals scored by University of Minnesota – Duluth occurred while the team was on the power play.
The Mavericks cut their shot total in the half from the first to second period, only putting seven shots up against the Bulldogs’ goalie. UMD’s offense produced 12 shots to MSU’s seven in the second period, bringing the shot advantage to 21-20 in Minnesota State’s favor. Both teams went into the second intermission with the score at 2-1 and the Mavericks looking to even up the score in the third period.
MSU was able to get three shots in the two power-play opportunities prior to the third period. The team wasn’t successful in getting any power play goals on its third chance against the Bulldogs after a hooking call late in the game. The Mavericks held it together throughout most of the final frame but could not even things up when the Bulldogs went up 3-1 with about 1:30 left in the game.
Unable to produce any more goals, the Mavericks left Duluth with a loss, bringing their overall record to 9-5-0. Both teams remain the same rank in the USCHO.com poll as they were before Saturday’s game in Duluth. No. 16 UMD goes to 7-6-2 on the season and begins a one-game win streak with the victory against Minnesota State.
The Mavericks next play at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan against Lake Superior State on Dec. 8 and 9, which will be a return to WCHA play after a two-week rest.