Mavericks take down St. Thomas with ease in whopping 9-0 victory

It’s been over 20 years since these two teams have faced off, and boy was it a great one to reignite the rivalry with.

For the Mavericks, at least.

The Mavericks were able to take down the St. Thomas Tommies in a 9-0 contest, and pushed Minnesota State to a 10-3 record before traveling to St. Paul for Saturday’s match.

The first leg of the first period didn’t look the cleanest for the Mavericks, as they’ve struggled with slow starts throughout the year.

That being said, it didn’t take long for the Mavericks to get the first goal on the board.

Senior captain Wyatt Aamodt has not scored a point through all 12 games this season, up until the 3:14 mark in the first period tonight.

Aamodt took the one-timer pass from Ryan Sandelin at the point and ripped it to the back of the net for the game’s first goal. 

“I’m sure there’s been some ribbing, with him having goose eggs as far as goals and assists, so for him to come out and energize the crowd, he gives us a lead, he’s done so many unsung things for our team this year,” head coach Mike Hastings said. “For him to get that tonight is very special.”

10 minutes later, the Mavericks went on to score their fastest three goals of this season. Sandelin, Lucas Sowder, and Julian Napravnik went on to score three goals in 56 seconds, bringing it to a 4-0 game at the end of the first period.
Reggie Lutz tallied the assist on Lucas Sowder’s goal, giving Lutz his 100th career point with the Mavericks.

“It’s hard to do. To be able to put up that many points in a career,” Hastings said, while mentioning a lot of it has to do with Lutz’s character. “He’s a guy you love seeing at the rink everyday. If you asked around our locker room, the amount of respect that he has because of the human being and player [that Lutz is].”

Lutz, himself, wasn’t too focused on the milestone, but is still grateful for the opportunity.

“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, this year and past years, especially my linemates. I played with Jake Jaremko through a lot of my years here so probably at least half of them were assists to him,” Lutz joked about playing at Minnesota State with his childhood best friend from Elk River.

Going into the second period, the Mavericks were leading shots on goal 13-3, and forced a goaltender change for St. Thomas, putting Jacob Berger between the pipes, the former Minnesota State backup goaltender.

Berger went on to have just as much trouble as starter Peter Thome, with Smith scoring just 1:21 into the second period.

Smith grabbed the game’s next goal at the 8:54 mark for his second of the game, followed by Jake Livingstone making it a 7-0 game for Minnesota State.

By the end of the second period, the Mavericks took a commanding lead, while up in shots on goal 25-9 with 20 minutes still to go.

Bennett Zmolek, younger brother of former Maverick captain Riese Zmolek, tallied his first career goal as a Maverick, while grabbing an assist just a few minutes later on Ondrej Pavels goal, to make it a 9-0 game.

Bennett Zmolek is going to be a very important cog for us not just this year, but in the future here at MSU. We know the Zmolek name, we know the quality of the human being that left here and we’re fortunate to have Bennett slide into his own shoes now and start building his own career here after his big brother went through here,” Hastings said about Bennett Zmolek’s young career as a Maverick.

With just 26.1 seconds remaining in the third period, St. Thomas had briefly thought they spoiled Dryden McKay’s shutout with a tip-in, but after a challenge from Hastings, it was determined the play was offside, saving the shutout and giving the Mavericks the 9-0 win.

“St. Thomas brings a lot to the CCHA. …Rico [Blasi has] been a guy who’s helped build a program and help bring it to national prominence, and he’ll do the same thing at St. Thomas, so I think they make the CCHA better,” Hastings said about their first meeting with Tommies in over 20 years.

Feature photo by Mansoor Ahmad / The Reporter

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