Men’s hockey win big on Hockey Day

The Maverick men’s team defeated St. Cloud State on the road

The lights were even brighter last Saturday for the Maverick men’s hockey team, when the team took on the St. Cloud State Huskies to record the 5-2 assault on the rival in SCSU’s home arena.

It was an especially big game after the 4-0 embarrassment SCSU laid against the Mavericks in the MSU home opener, back in September. The big college hockey night in Minnesota was highlighted with incredibly clean play for the two fierce rivals, with only three combined penalties and six penalty minutes. SCSU came into the game ranked no. 3 in the country with a 14-5-3 record, up against MSU and their 18-7 record.

“After the 4-0 loss, we wanted to try and get back and get it done, definitely helps our body of work moving forward,” said MSU head coach Mike Hastings to the athletic department following the game. “I’ve been in this building when you’re working uphill, so I think it was important for us to get an early lead.”

The opening period set a strong tone for the Mavs, jumping out to a 2-0 lead with Connor Mackey scoring in the first two minutes, followed by Zeb Knutson netting a power play goal after 13 minutes. The one SCSU penalty bite the team immediately as the Mavericks controlled the game from the start. SCSU tried to find a way back into the game with a Jon Lizotte goal very late in the first period.

In the second period, MSU jumped back on top of the Huskies with a Jake Jaremko score to grab a 3-1 lead. The freshman netted his eighth goal of the season to go up two scores again. The Huskies stayed persistent despite the crushing numbers, with a Robby Jackson score to come within a single goal. Yet again, MSU had an answer, yet again in the form of a Knutson goal which gave him 22 points on the season. The third period sealed the game with a C.J. Suess goal in the first minute of the closing period, which slammed the door on SCSU.

“I thought (LaCouvee) was solid, you need goaltending late in the season when you play a team like St. Cloud and you have to find a way to keep it out of your net,” said Hastings on the play of his goaltender. “After that late goal, I was wondering ‘here come the proverbial snowball down the hill’ but we got to the break and did a good job getting out of that period.”

The 5-2 game closed out what was an incredibly efficient shooting night for the Mavs, finding the back of the net five times on 26 shots. In the net for MSU, Connor LaCouvee had a phenomenal night, recording 28 saves on 30 shots, which is the third highest number of saves this season from the senior. The next game MSU plays is against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Jan 23.

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