Rancier’s first career shutout backstops Mavs to series sweep

This past weekend, unranked Arizona State University hosted No. 17 Minnesota State, Mankato for the Mavericks’ first trip to Mullett Arena in program history. Senior captain, Brendan Furry, potted the go-ahead goal for the Mavericks late in the third period of game, one which propelled them to a 3-1 win Friday night. 

On Saturday, five different Mavericks scored, and sophomore goaltender, Keenan Rancier, backstopped the Mavericks to a 5-0 shutout win. With their sweep against the Sun Devils, the Mavericks improved to 4-0 on the calendar year and picked up their second-straight road sweep on the year.

Friday night’s tilt started out strong for the Mavericks as they were able to pick up four powerplays in the first period alone. Unable to convert on the first three, the Sun Devils added insult to injury as graduate forward, Chris Grando, picked up a rebound and buried a shorthanded goal amidst the Mavericks’ fourth powerplay.

The Mavericks were able to tie the game up early in the second period as junior forward, Josh Groll, ripped a one-timer from the slot to tie the game up 1-1. The Mavericks were gifted two powerplays later in the second but were unable to convert once again.

The Sun Devils opened the third period on the powerplay as junior forward, Ondrej Pavel, was booked for interference. But much to the Mavericks’ avail, they were able to kill the penalty and gain momentum.

The momentum turned out in their favor as Furry buried a beautiful breakaway goal with just under six minutes left in the third period. A late penalty against Arizona State and an empty-net goal by senior forward, Ryan Sandelin, eliminated any hopes of a Sun Devil comeback as the Mavericks took game one by a score of 3-1.

The Mavericks picked up right where they left off Saturday night as senior forward, Cade Borchardt, deflected home his third goal of the season, 70 seconds into the game. The Mavericks were outshot during the opening frame, but were able to take a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.

In similar fashion, the Mavericks opened the period putting a goal on the board as Furry netted his second of the weekend. Nearly three minutes later, Sandelin would follow suit, picking up his second goal of the weekend and improving the Mavericks’ lead to 3-0.

Both teams would get their powerplay chances throughout the second period, but neither would be able to convert. The Mavericks were able to add another insurance tally late in the second when sophomore forward, Zach Krajnik, fired a backhander past the Sun Devil goalie, bringing the lead to 4-0.

Minnesota State added one more to the board in the third period when Akito Hirose wired a shot from the point for his first goal of the season. The Mavericks went on to win the game by a 5-0 final.

With his 26-save performance Saturday night, Rancier picked up his first collegiate career shutout. The Mavericks now improve to 14-9-1 on the season and remain 9-6-1 in conference play.

Minnesota State will be back home this weekend as they play host to unranked Lake Superior State. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday and 6:07 p.m. Saturday.

Write to Karson Buelow at Karson.Buelow@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: MSU Men’s Hockey team return triumphant after a two-game series against Arizona State at Mullett Arena. The Mavericks won 3-1 Friday, Jan. 13 and 5-0 Saturday, Jan. 14. Photos taken from the last home game on Dec. 16, 2022. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

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