The Mavericks took advantage of 18 power plays, as the men’s hockey team won both games at home in the series against the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks by scores of 4-0 and 3-1, respectively this past weekend.
The series got started Friday night as Minnesota State looked to defend their WCHA title from a year ago.
The first period of the game had the Mavs in control, yet they were unable to muster up any offense. They made up for it by not allowing a single shot on goal the entire period.
The Mavericks made their mark in the second period as they were given three power plays by the Nanooks. They scored each time, converting in 6, 47, and 11 seconds, respectively.
The Nanooks failed to generate any offense the entire night, getting only two power play attempts and six shots on goal. The Mavericks, however, had eight power plays and 26 shots on goal.
In the third period, junior forward Charlie Gerard tacked on the fourth goal for the Mavs, also coming on a power play.
The Mavericks would get two additional power play opportunities, but failed to score on either attempt.
Senior goaltender Mathias Israelsson, making his first start of the season, pitched a shutout while collecting six saves.
The Saturday game started a little better for the Nanooks, as they got on the board first early in the game.
However, the Nanooks would have trouble staying out of the penalty box in this game, and ended up conceding 10 power plays to the Mavericks.
Nearing the end of the first period, junior defenseman Ian Scheid scored back-to-back goals on power plays just a minute apart. This would send the Mavericks into the break with a 2-1 lead that they would not surrender.
The second period of Saturday’s game was as sloppy as it can be, with five-on-five hockey occurring in only six of the period’s 20 minutes, and the Nanooks did a fair job of repelling the Mavericks’ high-powered offense when down a man. However, they couldn’t generate any offense by themselves, only getting off five shots in the period.
The final period saw even more penalties, though not as severe as the second. The Mavericks did a good job of keeping the Nanooks away from the goal when down a man, only allowing four shots at tying the game up. Most of the period was spent on the Maverick offensive.
It paid off with 5:39 left as Jared Spooner padded the lead, extending the score to 3-1.
Minnesota State improves its record to 5-1, while Alaska Fairbanks falls to 0-7-1. No. 5 Minnesota suffered a loss over the weekend, so it will be interesting to see where the rankings place them compared to the Mavericks. The Mavericks will be on the road at Minnesota this Friday, but will face the Golden Gophers in Mankato on Saturday.
Saturday’s game will start at 7:07 p.m. at the Verizon Center.