They didn’t go quietly, but the Minnesota State Mavericks men’s hockey team’s season came to a close Sunday in the semifinal round of the WCHA playoffs. After defeating the Alaska Nanooks at home the previous weekend to advance to the semifinals, the Mavericks took to the road to take on the Michigan Tech Huskies in Houghton, Michigan.
The best of three series kicked off Friday with a tight contest that was tied 1-1 heading into the 3rd period. The Huskies, however, rattled off 4 goals in less than 12 minutes in the 3rd period to give Michigan Tech the 5-1 victory. Saturday was a much different narrative, as the only score in the contest came from Zeb Knutson at the 6:29 mark in the 2nd period. Maverick goalie Jason Pawloski turned in a 15 save shutout to force a game three, winner take all contest on Sunday. The Huskies got on the board first, but freshman defenseman Ian Scheid knotted it up at 1-1 all just 49 seconds later. The score would remain tied nearly halfway through the game, until Gavin Gould scored two times in 85 seconds to give himself a hat trick and push the Huskies ahead 3-1. A late tally for Michigan Tech would make the final score 4-1, with the Huskies advancing to the WCHA Championship game, hosting the Bowling Green Falcons this Saturday, March 18th for a chance to win the Broadmoor Trophy.
Sitting in 27th place in the Pairwise Rankings and lacking the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament that would accompany a WCHA tournament championship, the Mavericks will now settle into offseason mode. Minnesota State finishes the season with a 22-13-4 record, including 15-9-4 in WCHA conference play. Additionally, the Mavericks posted a 13-3-3 record at home this season, as they continue to maintain a solid home ice advantage at the Verizon Wireless Center.
- Intern Ryan