Mavericks face minor setback in series split with Tommies

This past weekend, the No. 14 Minnesota State, Mankato Men’s Hockey team settled for a series split with the unranked University of St. Thomas. With their split, the Mavericks now own a 19-10-1 overall record and 14-7-1 in conference play.

Junior Tommie forward, Mack Byers, tallied the game-winning goal to end Friday-night’s game, leaving Maverick fans in anger and frustration at the officials. The script was flipped during Saturday’s contest as sophomore forward, Brenden Olson, picked up his first collegiate goal in the Mavericks’ 5-2 win over the Tommies.

The Tommies got on the board first in Friday-night’s contest just under six minutes into the game. Freshman forward, Luc Laylin, picked up the powerplay goal for the Tommies that put the Mavericks down early in the first once again this season.

Despite two powerplay chances for the Mavericks in the second, the 1-0 lead for the Tommies stayed on the board until the third period. At the 12:40 mark of the third period, senior defenseman, Andy Carroll, ignited the seemingly-antsy Mankato crowd to knot the game up at 1-1.

With the Mavericks owning momentum and a powerplay following the Carroll goal, freshman forward, Christian Fitzgerald, fired home the go-ahead goal from the slot to give the Mavericks the 2-1 lead.

“I liked our game after the six minute mark,” said Mavericks Head Coach, Mike Hastings. “I thought we stayed with it and were rewarded for our effort getting up 2-1.”

With St. Thomas on a 5-on-3 powerplay and 2:29 remaining in the game, Laylin tied the game for the Tommies after junior Maverick defenseman, Jake Livingstone, was held up behind the net leaving him irate at the officials.

It wouldn’t take long for the game to end in overtime, as Byers stole the puck from Livingstone and ripped the game-winner past sophomore goaltender, Keenan Rancier, to give St. Thomas the 3-2 overtime win against Minnesota State. The two teams then traveled to St. Thomas for the back-half of their home-and-home series.

Once again, the Mavericks found themselves down early in the game as Laylin ripped home a powerplay goal under five minutes into game two. The Tommies held onto the lead for six minutes until Olson tapped in his first collegiate goal to tie the game up at 1-1.

The Mavericks quickly found themselves with a 2-1 lead when sophomore forward, Zach Krajnik, deflected home his second of the season just over a minute later. With the floodgates open, Fitzgerald picked up his second of the weekend just over two minutes later to improve the lead to 3-1 heading into the first intermission.

St. Thomas was able to cut the lead to 3-2 at the 10:27 mark of the second period, but not for long. Just over six minutes later, Carroll would reestablish the Mavericks’ two-goal lead with his second goal of the weekend.

The Mavericks owned a 4-2 lead for the majority of the closing frame until senior forward, Brendan Furry, tallied an insurance marker to finish off the scoring. After taking four out of a possible six points this past weekend against St. Thomas, Minnesota State holds a narrow lead over Michigan Tech in the CCHA standings by just one point.

Minnesota State is off for a weekend before they travel to Bemidji State for a date with the Beavers Feb. 17 and 18.

Header Photo: MSU Men’s Hockey split the home and home series against St. Thomas with an overtime 3-2 loss Friday, Feb. 3 and 5-2 win Saturday, Feb. 4. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Karson Buelow at

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