St. Cloud State still remembers the last time it played Minnesota State at the Alltel Center almost a year ago.
This time, the Huskies didnâ€™t lose their third-period lead, but added to it, topping the No. 11 Mavericks 4-2 in a WCHA matchup in downtown Mankato.
â€œHeartbreaker last year,â€ said sophomore forward Garrett Roe, of when the Mavericks scored five goals in the final nine minutes to top the Huskies 5-3. â€œIt was definitely in the back of my mind throughout the game tonight. It was good to get the monkey off my back.â€
The Mavericks took the early lead Friday when Zach Harrison dug the puck out of the corner and got it to Ben Youds on the blue line. Youds shot toward the net and Kael Mouillierat, playing in his first game after missing the previous five, deflected the puck over Jase Wesloskyâ€™s left shoulder at 6:26.
Roe had a chance to tie the game midway through the second when he gathered the puck in the slot, but he shot it into Mike Zachariasâ€™ midsection. Six minutes later, however, Roe got a second chance from an identical spot, and didnâ€™t miss.
â€œHeâ€™s a good goalie,â€ Roe said. â€œYouâ€™re going to hit him over and over again because he covers a lot of net even though heâ€™s small. You just have to keep shooting on him and hopefully oneâ€™s going to sneak through him.â€
Roe beat Zacharias on his blocker side at 14:26 to tie the game and minutes later scored again to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead when he one-timed a long rebound from the right circle off a Garrett Raboin slap shot at 16:50. Roeâ€™s second of the game and ninth of the season came on a power play, just the third power-play goal scored by the Huskies in WCHA play this season.
â€œWe got out there on the power play and popped one and started to roll,â€ Roe said. â€œI think it was just a couple shifts that set the tone for the rest of the game.â€
Moments after Roeâ€™s second goal, Mouillierat tied the game when Andy Sackrison got the puck in the slot from Mick Berge and hit Mouillierat on the doorstep for his second of the game at 17:51.
The Mavericks seemed to take the momentum back and into the third period, but the Huskies retook the lead when Roe nearly recorded a second-period hat trick, but instead clanked the puck off the post and back to the slot where Jordy Christian knocked in the rebound with just 26 seconds remaining.
â€œIt was a little deflating to give one up in the last minute,â€ Mouillierat said. â€œYou never want to do that.â€
Aaron Marvin added the only goal of the third period at 6:38 to secure the win. The Mavericks had a five-on-three power play for nearly a full two minutes midway through the third, but a Berge shot off the post was the closest they could get to finding the net.
Roe finished the game with three points and Ryan Lasch added two assists.
â€œRoe and Lasch played like a First Team All-WCHA player from last year and a Second-Team All-WCHA player,â€ said Huskies’ coach Bob Motzko, referring to their accolades from last season. â€œWe have not had those two on the same page much this year. It was welcome home Ryan Lasch. Heâ€™s had some struggles this year and heâ€™s been battling back. That was him like heâ€™s played for us the first two years.â€
â€œRoe and Lasch were beating us all night down low,â€ Mouillierat said. â€œThatâ€™s going to have to change [Saturday] if we want to turn it around.â€
The Huskies outshot the Mavericks 24-14 through two periods and 32-26 for the entire game. Weslosky made 24 saves and Zacharias made 28.
The Mavericks (8-4-3, 5-4-2 WCHA) and Huskies (9-6-0, 4-5-0 WCHA) complete the home-and-home series Saturday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, where the Huskies havenâ€™t beaten the Mavericks since Jan. 23, 2004.
â€œConsistencyâ€™s been our problem all year,â€ Mouillierat said. â€œWe havenâ€™t put two games together in a weekend that weâ€™ve played 120 minutes. Weâ€™ve had spurts every game but havenâ€™t put it all together yet.â€