MINNEAPOLIS – Needing an answer to a stunning loss to open the Mariucci Classic, Minnesota State-Mankato responded in a big way, defeating Bemidji State 2-0 on Sunday night to claim third place in the tournament.
Coming off a brutal 7-2 loss to St. Cloud State on Saturday, MSU came ready to play against their WCHA rivals. The Mavericks grabbed a quick 1-0 lead as all three players on the top line contributed. Lucas Sowder finished with a beautiful goal-mouth pass to Marc Michaelis on the doorstep. MSU added to their lead as Reggie Lutz buried a rebound late in the first to make it 2-0. They drew two power plays in the period and overwhelmed the Beavers with a dominant forecheck. They didn’t allow Bemidji State to get a shot on goal until under seven minutes remained, and they outshot them 15-4 in the first 20 minutes.
The Beavers played much better defensively over the final 40 minutes and held the Mavericks without a shot on goal in the third period, but just couldn’t sustain any pressure in the offensive zone as they came away winless in the Mariucci Classic after winning it in their last appearance in the 2010-11 season.
Dryden McKay made 18 saves for Minnesota State to pick up his fifth shutout of the season, a nice bounceback after being pulled early Saturday by giving up five goals to the Huskies. Henry Johnson made 22 saves for Bemidji State.
MSU goal at 3:10: Marc Michaelis (11). Assisted by Lucas Sowder (11) and Parker Tuomie (10).
MSU goal at 18:21: Reggie Lutz (7). Assisted by Nathan Smith (12) and Colby Bukes (1).
Power plays: BSU 0-3, MSU 0-3.
Shots on goal: BSU 18, MSU 24.