The Mavericks now face off with Lake Superior State in the second round
The Minnesota State men’s hockey team took care of business over the weekend, sweeping the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in the first round of the WCHA Tournament.
Friday’s game saw the scoring begin quickly for the Mavericks, as sophomore forward Walker Duehr netted a goal just five minutes into the game.
Huntsville would follow the goal with a power play, but the opportunity was stifled by a tight MSU defense.
Outside of some four-on-four play midway through the period, the action would largely subside until after the break. Huntsville had spent most of the period on defense, getting off only five shots in the period.
The second period of the game saw a total of five power plays between both teams. The only successful power play of the period would come within the first five minutes, when junior forward Marc Michaelis extended MSU’s lead to 2-0.
Another opportunity would shortly follow, but UAH would hold firm on a power play nearly four minutes long. UAH would have three power plays in the period, but failed to capitalize. Nearing the end of the period, fresh off the last power play, the Chargers would break through on a goal by Connor Merkley, cutting the deficit to one.
Huntsville tried playing catch-up with the Mavericks in the third, but two power plays would derail any efforts of a comeback. The second UAH penalty, a high sticking call on Kurt Gosselin, would result in a second Michaelis goal and the Mavs taking a 3-1 advantage. MSU would shut out the Chargers the rest of the way, with only two shots coming out of the entire third period.
The Saturday game again saw the Mavericks get on the board early, as sophomore forward Reggie Lutz scored on a power play less than two minutes into the game. It wouldn’t take too long for the Mavs to add to that lead, as junior forward Parker Tuomie scored the eventual game-winner near the midway point in the period.
The Chargers would receive two power plays within the period, but failed to convert on both chances. This would be the theme of the day for the Chargers, as they got off only four shots on seven power plays.
The majority of the second quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with no team breaking through. That would change with another Lutz goal that occurred with less than six minutes to play in the period.
Just 71 seconds later, Michaelis would score his third goal in two days as the Mavericks would take a 4-0 lead.
UAH’s Adam Wilcox would score a goal midway through the third, but the damage was done as Minnesota State cruised to a 4-1 victory and a spot in the WCHA semifinals.
This coming week will see No. 1 seed Minnesota State host No. 4 Lake Superior State. The winner of the best-of-three series will face the winner of the Northern Michigan/Bowling Green series. The games will take place at the Verizon Center on March 15-17.
Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.