Tyler Thompson picked a pretty good time for his first career goal at Minnesota State.
With the No. 11 Mavericks and third ranked Colorado College deadlocked at one Friday night at the Alltel Center, Thompson got the puck in the slot after it bounced off a few sticks and shot it past CC goaltender Richard Bachman.
Bachman partially stopped the puck, but after hitting the post the puck bounced off Bachmanâ€™s skate and in, giving the Mavericks a 2-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory over the Tigers.
â€œIt hit the post and bounced off his skate and I couldnâ€™t tell if it went in until I saw the goal judge,â€ Thompson said. â€œAdrenaline started going from there, it felt good.â€
Thompson, a freshman, scored his first collegiate goal against an old friend, as he and Bachman were teammates two years ago in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of the United States Hockey League.
â€œHeâ€™s a tough, tough goalie to score on,â€ Thompson said. â€œI give everything to him, heâ€™s a great goalie and I have nothing but respect for him.â€
MSU had to score two unanswered goals to give CC its first road loss of the season, as Chad Rau put the Tigers up one just minutes into the first period.
After Jerad Stewart went to the penalty box in the opening minute of the game on a hooking penalty, MSU netminder Mike Zacharias gave up a long rebound off a Brian Connelly blast from the right circle. Rau took the puck at the left dot and beat Zacharias over his stick-side shoulder to give the Tigers the early lead at 2:27.
â€œIt was a one-timer and got to my toe and I kind of put it right to their guy,â€ Zacharias said. â€œOne of those bam-bam plays.â€
MSU answered midway through the second when Trevor Bruess took the puck along the left boards, circled behind the net and tried to stuff a backhanded shot past Bachman. The puck eventually hit off Geoff Irwinâ€™s stick, where Mick Berge finished the play in front of the net.
Bachman kept the game close in the last couple periods, stopping 27 shots in the second and third period combined, with many saves robbing MSU after good looks.
Stewart led the Mavericks with seven shots on goal and had a few good chances in the final period, but Bachman turned them all away.
â€œThat might have been the best game Jeradâ€™s had here,â€ said MSU head coach Troy Jutting. â€œI thought he played very well tonight.â€
The Mavericks finally got to Bachman again when Gabe Guentzel went to the box on a slashing call, giving the Mavericks their ninth power play of the game, leading to Thompsonâ€™s goal on last seasonâ€™s WCHA Player of the Year.
Though he wasnâ€™t tested as much as Bachman was throughout the game — and didnâ€™t make near as many spectacular saves — Zacharias made 25 saves and picked up his fifth win of the season.
CC went 1 for 7 on the power play while MSU went 1 for 9 against the best penalty-killing team in the conference.
â€œOn the road you sometimes have to generate some five-on-five goals and some hard-work goals and weâ€™re just not doing that,â€ CC head coach Scott Owens said. â€œZacharias played well but I donâ€™t even think we tested him that much.â€
Added Jutting of Zacharias: â€œI like my guy, heâ€™s played 40 in a row and thereâ€™s a reason for that.â€
The Mavericks (5-2-2, 3-2-2 WCHA) and Tigers (6-2-3, 4-2-1) play game two of the series at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at the Alltel Center.