Ninth-rated Minnesota State lost for the first time in 2016-17, coming up on the short end of a 4-2 decision at the University of Alaska in men’s college hockey Saturday.
The Mavericks got on the scoreboard first in the contest when senior defenseman Sean Flanagan, acting as the trailer on the play, wired a shot over the shoulder of Jesse Jenks at 6:31 of the opening period to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
The Nanooks scored three times in the middle frame, with Chad Staley lifting the puck over Jason Pawloski off of a rebound power play chance at the 28 second mark to get the ball rolling. Then, at 2:01, Ross Heidt scored on a rebound opportunity to give Alaska the lead for the first time this weekend. Colton Leiter deflected a shot from the point past Pawloski at 9:06, ending Pawloski’s night with Cole Huggins entering the Maverick net. Minnesota State senior center Jordan Nelson directed the puck toward the Nanook net at 14:32 where it bounced past Jenks off of the skates of freshman defenseman Ian Scheid as the Mavericks made it a one-goal game, but that was as close as it would get.
Minnesota State held an 11-5 shots on goal advantage in the third period, but could not close the gap and the Nanooks got an empty net tally from Josh Erickson at 19:18 to close out the scoring in the game.
The Mavericks, who were held scoreless in eight power play chances on the night, owned a 27-22 advantage in shots on goal in the game.
Now 5-1-0 overall (3-1-0 WCHA) for the season, the Mavericks head home for a two-game WCHA series vs. Ferris State next Friday and Saturday at Verizon Center in downtown Mankato in their next action.