After a tense, tight first period, Minnesota State got a pair of power play goals in the second period, and eventually pulled away in the third period with two more goals to take a decisive 4-0 victory in the first game of their weekend series hosting the WCHA’s other top team in Bowling Green.
Here was the final scoring:
12:45 Nathan Smith from Jake Livingstone and Julian Napravnik (power play) 1-0 Minnesota State
On a 3-on-2 rush, Livingstone made a cross ice pass to Smith coming down the left wing and Smith fired the one-timer into the net.
Nathan Smith finishes off a 3-on-2 rush for Minnesota State on the power play. MSU leads Bowling Green 1-0 in the second period. pic.twitter.com/NjamyKfdwd— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
18:00 Dallas Gerads from Riese Zmolek and Jake Livingstone (power play) 2-0 Minnesota State
During a major power play, Minnesota State worked the puck around the perimeter before Zmolek found a shooting lane and Gerads was able to get a tip in front of the net that eluded Dop.
Dallas Gerads tips one in on the major power play. Minnesota State leads Bowling Green 2-0 after two periods of play. pic.twitter.com/BHQJjSgTNs— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
8:46 Walker Duehr from Andy Carroll and Akito Hirose 3-0 Minnesota State
Hirose skated the puck deep into the Bowling Green zone and got the puck to Carroll at the left point. Carroll cycled the puck down below the goal line where Duehr picked it up, circled to the front of the net and scored.
Your weekly Akito Hirose highlight is this zone entry that ends up as the second assist on Walker Duehr's goal to make it 3-0 for Minnesota State. pic.twitter.com/98zTIDRGbz— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
11:51 Riese Zmolek from Julian Napravnik and Wyatt Aamodt 4-0 Minnesota State
Zmolek picked up the puck at the right point and weaved through the Bowling Green defense to beat Dop with a move to his backhand.
Riese Zmolek shows off some offensive flair to make it 4-0 Minnesota State on Bowling Green. pic.twitter.com/TF30AuMmva— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
Notes and Thoughts:
-The first period started with what I think a lot of people were hoping for out of this series, which was a really good, back-and-forth hockey game. After a quick early whistle, the two teams went eight straight minutes of play without a whistle.
The difference ultimately came down to special teams. The Mavericks were able to convert on two power play chances in the second period, and Bowling Green wasn’t able to make a push to get back into the game in the third period.
-As silly as this sounds on a night when Minnesota State goalie Dryden McKay moved into a tie for second place for most shutouts in NCAA history, I thought tonight was a really important opportunity for Minnesota State to prove how well they can defend. Of course the Mavericks have only allowed 15 goals in 13 games so far this season, but before tonight, I don’t think they had played anyone that had the talent to seriously pressure the Mavericks. Bowling Green is a legit tourney contender with a pretty strong offense. With no non-conference games this season, Minnesota State isn’t going to get many tests and they certainly passed it tonight with a very strong defensive effort.
-The second period was defined by a major penalties called on each team.
Here’s the first, where Minnesota State’s Reggie Lutz speared Sam Craggs:
Five minute major and game misconduct on Minnesota State's Reggie Lutz for this spear. pic.twitter.com/o6GRreqKv3— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
That is bad enough that the league may look at it for supplemental discipline for tomorrow’s games.
Here’s the second, where Bowling Green’s Alex Barber was tossed for checking from behind:
Here's the five-minute major called on Bowling Green for checking from behind. pic.twitter.com/o6OK0lL1H9— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) February 6, 2021
Definitely a check from behind. Maybe borderline as a major, but especially after one was called the other way, I wasn’t surprised it was upgraded to a five.