A furious third period rally by ninth-rated Minnesota State fell just short as Ferris State downed the Mavericks 4-3 Saturday in Mankato.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs scored three times in the second stanza in building a 3-0 lead.
Senior winger Gerald Mayhew, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason Player of the Year, got the ball rolling when he tallied at 4:22 of the middle frame and it became a 2-0 lead a minute later when Andrew Dorantes connected for his first goal of the year. Mitch Maloney beat Minnesota State senior goaltender Cole Huggins with a power play goal at 19:31 in making what at the time seemed to be an unsurmountable three-goal lead.
The Mavericks started their comeback a midway through the third period after sophomore defenseman Alec Vanko’s shot from near the blue line went through a couple of bodies to beat a screened Justin Kapelmaster. Then, late in the game with Huggins on the bench for an extra skater, senior forward Michael Huntebrinker pounced on a rebound for his second goal of the year at the 16:42 mark. Then, junior forward Brad McClure stole the puck from a FSU defender before wristing a shot past Kapelmaster for his third goal of the weekend at 17:38, knotting the score at 3-3. The Bulldogs responded shortly thereafter, however, with Mayhew nudging the puck past the goal line at 18:59 for his second goal of the game with what proved to be the game-winner.
Huggins stopped 18 shots in the contest and now stands 6-1-0 on the season. Minnesota State (6-2-0, 4-2-0-0 WCHA) failed to score on its six power play chances, while Ferris State (1-7-1, 1-4-1-1 WCHA) converted on one-of-three opportunities with the man advantage.
Next action for Minnesota State is next weekend when a road trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan where a two-game WCHA series with Lake Superior State is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.