Shane Joseph scored two goals and Grant Stevenson added three assists as the Minnesota State Mavericks defeated the Denver Pioneers in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play tonight at Magness Arena. The Mavericks are now unbeaten in nine straight games.
Minnesota State, which tied Denver last night 3-3, earns three WCHA points and improves its record to 10-7-7 overall and 8-5-5 in the WCHA (third place). Denver falls to 15-7-4 and 6-6-4 in conference play.
“We played much better tonight than we did last night,” said head coach George Gwozdecky . “The intensity and effort was there, but we were just not able to finish around the net. Mankato did not have a lot of chances, but they took full advantage of the ones they did have.”
Minnesota State scored first at 6:33 of the first period when Joseph received a beautiful behind-the-back pass from Dana Sorensen and surprised Denver senior goaltender Wade Dubielewicz with a quick wrist shot for his team-leading 19th goal.
Senior Kevin Doell tied the game for Denver at 11:45 of the first period with his seventh power-play goal of the season. Doell, the team’s leading scorer, extended his point streak to six games with his 13th goal of the season.
Denver took its only lead of the game at 2-1 when junior Max Bull scored on a four-on-four unassisted breakaway goal at 13:15 of the first period, but Minnesota State’s B.J. Abel quickly tied the score at 2-2 with a big blast from the left faceoff circle.
Minnesota State regained the lead just 1:25 into the second period when Cole Bassett scored on the power play from the low slot. Stevenson picked up his second assist of the game and 25th of the season on the play. Minnesota State added a late second period goal by Joseph to take a 4-2 lead. Stevenson earned his third assist of the game with a great pass to the high-scoring Joseph, who leads the WCHA in scoring.
MSU was outshot by a 42-21 margin in the game and Jensen, who is 2-0-2 in his last four starts, made several tough saves during the win. Joseph, who also drew an assist on Abel’s tally, extended his scoring streak to seven games. Stevenson, who assisted on both of Joseph’s goals and Bassett’s goal, owns a five-game scoring streak.
The Mavericks have not lost in more than a month with the last lost coming on Dec. 13 to Colorado College.