When Minnesota State’s opponents get their power play working against the Mavericks, the goals usually come in bunches.
Colorado College scored four times on its power play, three times in the second period, en route to a 4-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association victory over the Mavericks at the Alltel Center in front of a 4,797 people.
CC’s three power-play goals in the second marked the third time this season an opponent has scored three power-play goals in a period against MSU, all occurrences coming in the Mavericks’ three losses.
The Tigers overcame a 1-0 first-period deficit and third-period comeback by the Mavericks to get their first road win of the season and salvage a split in Mankato.
“It was a good character building type of game for us tonight,” said CC forward Eric Walsky. “Everyone showed up and played very hard.”
The Mavericks took the early lead, scoring just 16 seconds into the first period when Zach Harrison shot from the top of the right circle and Jerad Stewart tipped the puck past Richard Bachman for his second goal of the season.
The Mavericks seemed to take a 2-0 lead early in the second, but their goal was waved off due to contact with the goaltender before the puck reached the crease.
“Obviously we had a good break on the disallowed goal,” said CC head coach Scott Owens. “That was probably the turning point of the game. I think it deflated them more than it got us going but that’s a big part of the game. With these low-scoring games, that’s huge.”
Minutes after the disallowed goal, Jason Wiley was called for a tripping penalty to give CC its second power play of the game. Wiley’s penalty was the first of three for the Mavericks in the second period, and the Tigers converted on all of them.
Chad Rau took a pass in the slot from Walsky and beat Mike Zacharias over his left shoulder with a wrist shot to tie the game at 5:36, and Scott McCulloch fired a shot on net from just in front of the right dot that went through Zacharias’ pads at 9:39 for the 2-1 lead.
Bill Sweatt gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead when he tipped in Brian Connelly’s shot from the point at 19:08.
“That’s eight goals in the last three games [for our power play],” Owens said. “And we needed it because we didn’t score a five-on-five goal this weekend.”
Down two in the third, the Mavericks started chipping away. Mike Louwerse scored his sixth goal of the season on a five-on-three advantage at 7:29 when he one-timed a pass on the doorstep from Mick Berge.
Rylan Galiardi scored his first goal of the season minutes later to tie the game with 10:46 to play, but CC bounced one off Channing Boe’s skate and in for the game-winner, on yet another power play at 11:08. Walsky shot a centering pass from the side of the net, but the puck hit off Boe’s skate and went in before a CC player could put their stick on it.
“It wasn’t a matter of the kill not doing a good job,” said MSU head coach Troy Jutting. “They just got the bounce off Boe’s skate and they got two goals that we normally don’t give up. To give up that kind of a goal, it’s a tough way to lose.”
Bachman made 18 saves in the game, winning his sixth game of the season. Zacharias stopped 19 shots.
“Zacharias is a good goaltender and this is a good team,” Owens said. “I’m just happy to get away with two points.”
MSU (5-3-2, 3-3-2 WCHA) continues conference play next weekend in an away series against Michigan Tech, while CC (7-2-3, 5-2-1) will travel to Alaska-Anchorage.