Daniel McElroy ® Sports Editor |
Photos by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |
The Minnesota State men’s hockey continued to show why they’re the No. 3-ranked hockey team in the nation with their dominating sweep against the Ferris State Bulldogs. The Mavs took a 4-0 shutout win on Saturday and a 4-1 physical win on Sunday, extending their unbeaten streak to nine games, the longest active streak in the NCAA.
In a series where the Mavericks outshot their opponents 70-26, the depth of their fourth line including Jared Spooner, Brendan Furry, and Walker Duehr proved to be the shining light for MSU. A line that accounted for three goals and five assists across the weekend earned junior forward Furry his first career goals with the Mavericks, and senior forward Duehr’s first goals of the season.
“I thought they had an outstanding weekend,” head coach Mike Hastings commented after the game. “They proved to be very effective for us last night and continued to tonight.”
Duehr’s goal came as the first of the weekend when freshman defenseman Akito Hirose walked the puck up the boards, centering it in front of the net for Duehr’s one-timer on the backdoor. Andy Carroll and Reggie Lutz connected just 45 seconds later for a one-timer power play goal to take an early 2-0 lead.
The iconic duo of Jake Jaremko and Reggie Lutz combined for an early second period goal when Lutz fired a shot as he entered the zone, leaving a rebound for Jaremko’s first goal of the season.
Lutz tallied another assist after he skated the puck behind the net and to the faceoff dot, centering it for senior forward Dallas Gerads to grab his own rebound off a trickling puck in the crease.
Dryden McKay looked phenomenal per usual, stopping the 11 shots he faced, putting up his sixth shutout in nine games, and his 20th career shutout.
Sunday’s scoring got started after junior defenseman Wyatt Aamodt received a pass at the point from Duehr and fired a shot to the net, creating a loose rebound for Furry to bury it behind Ferris State goaltender Logan Stein.
The Mavericks power play unit, standing at 34% and best in the WCHA, struck again when the dominating line of Nathan Smith, Cade Borchardt and Juliian Napravnik played some tic-tac-toe, finding Napravnik his sixth goal of the year.
Ferris State was able to get their lone goal of the weekend on a powerplay that set up the bulldogs for a one-timer in front of the net late in the first period.
Another powerplay goal from Borchardt along with Duehr securing his own rebound from a tipped shot completed the sweep for the Mavericks, improving their record to 9-1-1 overall and 6-0-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs fall to 1-10-0.
The Mavericks defensive corps played a massive role in this weekend’s success, with Duehr leading the team on Friday with 6 blocked shots, including a shot to the face that broke his helmet.
“It’s a good thing about our helmets nowadays,” Aamodt said after the game, “you don’t really feel it too much.”
Hastings praised Aamodt after the game saying, “There aren’t too many ways you can show selflessness more than blocking a shot…and even though Dryden McKay gets credit for that shutout, I think Wyatt Aamodt should get a little bit of shouldering that responsibility.”
The upcoming non-conference series against Alabama Huntsville has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the Chargers program. The previously postponed game against Bemidji State from the first series of the season will take place on Friday at 4:07 p.m. at the Sanford Center.