A pair of first-period goals proved to be enough as #15 Minnesota State skated to a 2-1 victory over Bowling Green in WCHA Final Five semi-final action Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.Sophomore forward Brad McClure kept up his torrid post-season pace when he walked out from the corner before wiring a shot over the shoulder of BGSU netminder Chris Nell at 5:18 of the opening period for the game’s first goal. McClure, who had two goals and two assists in three games vs. Lake Superior State in last week’s WCHA first round play-off series, now has five goals and seven assists for 12 points this season. Junior defenseman Casey Nelson made it a 2-0 Minnesota State lead at the seven-minute mark on a wrister from the high slot for his sixth goal of the year.
The score stayed that way until late in the third period when Mitch McClain, who was parked in front of Minnesota State goaltender Cole Huggins, shoveled the puck into the net at 16:05 for the game’s lone power play goal.
Bowling Green owned a 24-23 advantage in shots on goal in the game, marking the first time since Dec. 5th that the Mavericks have been outshot in a game (vs. Bowling Green, 33-24).
Huggins stands 13-10-2 on the season with tonight’s decision and is 38-20-3 for his career.
The Mavericks went zero-for-six in power plays in the game, while Bowling Green finished with a one-for-for ledger with the man advantage.
Now 21-12-7 with Friday’s win, Minnesota State advances to tomorrow’s WCHA Final Five championship game and will play the winner of the other semi-final game between Michigan Tech vs. Ferris State. The Mavericks, who have won the last two Broadmoor Trophies as WCHA Final Five Champions, will be making their third straight appearance in the Final Five Championship Game.