The Minnesota State University Mavericks traveled up north in an attempt to take away the trophy in the Ice Breaker Tournament, hosted by the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs.
With a dominant 5-2 win against Providence on Friday, the Mavericks went on to face Michigan in the championship game.
Unfortunately, the Mavs were not able to come out on top, dropping a close 3-2 contest to the Wolverines.
In the Mavericks first meeting against the Friars since the 2019 NCAA Regional, Reggie Lutz got the scoring started for Minnesota State.
Lucas Sowder exemplified some great forechecking in the Friars’ zone, taking away the puck from the Providence defender, and creating a scramble in front of the net. With David Silye nearby, Silye managed to get a hold of the loose puck, finding an open Lutz on the doorstep for the first goal of the game.
Providence answered back with a one-timer powerplay goal following a Tony Malinowski boarding penalty, tying the game at one with just under six minutes remaining in the first.
The Mavericks once again put on a clinic of forechecking against the Friars, when Brendan Furry grabbed the turnover from Providence, made a perfect pass out to Ryan Sandelin in front of the net, and took the 2-1 lead going into the second period.
Providence didn’t let it last too long, scoring just 1:38 into the second period, but it would not be enough for the Friars.
Minnesota State’s top two scorers in Nathan Smith and Julian Napravnik connected for Smith’s fourth goal of the year, and his team leading second game-winning goal.
Lutz went on to score with just over nine minutes remaining in the third period, along with an empty net goal, earning Lutz his first career hat trick.
Come Saturday, the Mavericks had a tougher matchup in the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines, who took down the No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs the day before in a 5-1 victory.
On paper, the Mavericks dominated every aspect of the game, except for the goals column.
Michigan got the scoring started early in the second period with a slap shot from the point of the stick of Nick Blankenburg, taking the 1-0 lead.
Minnesota State answered back with 6:05 remaining in the second, when the lethal combination of Napravnik and Smith struck again, this time with Napravnik putting the Mavs on the board with a top shelf shot from point blank.
The Mavs took advantage of the powerplay opportunity handed to them, taking the lead with just 49 seconds remaining in the second with Sandelin’s second goal of the weekend.
Though, that would be it for the Mavericks in scoring. Michigan put away two more goals in the third period, with the game winning being scored with just 4:20 remaining in the third period, and Michigan going back to Ann Arbor hoisting the Ice Breaker Tournament trophy.
The Mavericks lead the game in shots on goal with 29 to Michigan’s 19, while only taking two penalties to Michigan’s five.
Minnesota State was also better on the dot, winning 41 of the 68 faceoffs in the contest.
Dryden McKay made 34 saves across the weekend while facing 39 shots, and bringing his season record to 4-2-0.
Minnesota State will take a break in their action for the weekend, and come back to the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Event Center on Oct. 29-30 to begin CCHA play against Northern Michigan.
Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad/The Reporter