Lakers Withstand Mavericks 4-3 – Minnesota State University

MANKATO, Minn. – Faced with an early deficit, Minnesota State men’s hockey rallied but could not overcome Lake Superior State Friday falling 4-3 on Senior Night at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in front of 4,681 fans. The Mavericks outshot the Lakers 43-20 overall, including 17-3 in the final period.
The Lakers went ahead just 32 seconds into the game. Jordan Venegoni took a shot from the top of the right circle. Dawson Tritt pitched the rebound into the crease from behind the goal line and Jared Wescott shoveled in his 17th goal of the season.
At 7:43, John Herrington made it 2-0 after he wired a wrist shot from the right circle over Alex Tracy, including paint off the crossbar, his seventh of the year.
The Mavericks earned their first power play just past the midway point and converted. Sam Morton started the play from the corner. Brandon Koch swung it across the top of the zone and Adam Eisele found Lucas Sowder open in the middle for a one-timer and his 11th marker with a low shot through traffic.
The Lakers answered at 14:21 when Harrison Roy beat Alex Tracy on a sharp-angle shot. Backup goaltender Keenan Rancier entered the game following the goal and the Mavericks trailed 12-9 in shots after 20 minutes.
“I thought in the beginning of the game especially, we gave up a lot of space from the top of their circle to the top of our circle,” head coach Luke Strand commented. “The ramp speed coming at you, the shots, the rebounds, the seconds. To their credit, they should shoot. They have a lot of individual talent in that group. I know the shots got lopsided, but they still played a very structured, connected game.”
Ethan Langenegger gloved a partial breakaway to start the second period against MSU’s Brett Moravec moving in.
On the back door, Luc Wilson paused, then went top shelf on his sixth goal of the season. It came on the Mavericks’ second power play following a crossing pass from Brian Carrabes. Evan Murr also assisted at 8:42.
Minnesota State outshot LSSU 17-5 in the second stanza but trailed 3-2 into the locker room.
Both teams killed minor penalties to the midway point of the third period. While the Mavericks continued to control play, the Lakers effectively chipped pucks back to neutral ice. Tyler Williams made it 4-2 Lakers at 18:36 at even strength.
Murr scored a goal in the final minute of the contest with assists from Brandon Koch and Josh Groll but with an empty net, the Mavericks didn’t see the puck bounce their way one more time.
“We’re kind of shooting ourselves in the foot to start games on weekends,” Sowder said. “It’s almost like we have to get punched in the face first and then we get engaged in the game. It was a good ending and good momentum going into tomorrow night. We just have to get better starts.”
The Mavericks (15-12-4, 11-8-2 CCHA) fell into a tie for third place with Bowling Green (35 pts.). Lake Superior State (14-17-1, 10-11-1 CCHA) remained in sixth and Bemidji State (14-15-2, 12-7-2) picked up one point on the rest of the league at the top of the standings with an overtime victory over St. Thomas. They sit at 39 points.
“It’s a disappointing outcome, but we’re not here chasing outcomes,” Strand said. “We didn’t do enough work in the first 15-20 minutes of the game to expect something different. I loved our push. I loved all the things later, but we can’t get pinned to the floor early.”
Minnesota State and Lake Superior State meet again Saturday night at 6:07 p.m. Koch (0-2—2) and Murr (1-1—2) finished with multi-point games for MSU. Westcott tallied 1-1—2 for the Lakers while Evan Bush notched a pair of assists.
The Mavericks finished 2-3 on the power play while the Lakers went 0-1. Langenegger made 40 saves for LSSU. Both Rancier and Tracy finished with eight saves in the loss for MSU.
“Just as a group, you want to beat teams and it’s that time of year, you have to know your opponent,” Strand said. “We let their best player score the first goal of the game. It can’t happen.”

First appeared on

Leave a Comment