Gothberg has 37 saves as UND nips MankatoMANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State Mankato jumped out to a lead, threw 40 shots on goal and received some sensational saves from goalie Stephon Williams.
By: Brad Schlossman, Forum News Service
MANKATO, Minn. — Minnesota State Mankato jumped out to a lead, threw 40 shots on goal and received some sensational saves from goalie Stephon Williams.
Even that wasn’t enough to break the hex.
Thanks to a terrific goaltending performance by Zane Gothberg, who had a career-high 37 saves, and a key third-period goal from fourth-liner Stephane Pattyn, the University of North Dakota won 4-3 on Friday night in the Verizon Wireless Center to continue its dominance over the Mavericks.
UND is now 19-1-1 in the last 21 games against MSU Mankato and has only lost once in this building in the last decade.
“We played some games earlier this year, where you walk away feeling like you deserve a heck of a lot better,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “Well, sometimes, things have a way of evening out. This is the first one that I can remember where we didn’t have our best for 60 minutes, where we were on our heels for a good part of the game, but had some good individual performances that gave us a chance to pull out two points.”
The two points were important in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, too.
UND locked up a top-three seed and will play either Michigan Tech or Bemidji State in the first round of the league playoffs next weekend.
The team also has a shot to grab a share of the MacNaughton Cup as league champs of it wins Saturday and Wisconsin beats St. Cloud State.
“We came in tonight, trying to give ourselves a good chance (at the league title) tomorrow,” said UND forward Carter Rowney, who had a goal and an assist. “We want to give ourselves that chance and that opportunity, so there’s a lot on the line for both teams.”
UND improved to 19-9-7 overall and 14-6-7 in league play, while jumping to No. 4 in the Pairwise Rankings, further solidifying its spot in the NCAA tournament.
Mark MacMillan and Rocco Grimaldi also scored goals in addition to Pattyn and Rowney to help UND overcome a sluggish performance.
MSU Mankato outshot UND 12-2 in the opening period and took a lead on a goal by Teddy Bluegar. But UND slowly found its way in the second period and scored back-to-back goals to take the lead.
Rowney re-directed a Dillon Simpson shot-pass at 10:04 and MacMillan stripped Williams of the puck behind the net and scored a shorthanded goal at 17:10. That lead only lasted 17 seconds as the Mavericks added a power-play tally — a re-direct by Eriah Hayes (goal, assist) on top of the crease.
The key goal came at 6:46 of the third period when Maverick defender Zach Palmquist tried to make a breakout pass, but Pattyn stole the puck, skated in alone and beat Williams clean for his first goal since Nov. 3 and second of the season.
“I saw he was giving me a bit (on the blocker side),” Pattyn said. “I thought if I shot it quick — it wasn’t hard, but it was quick — that I could beat him. It was big for our team, big for our season. But tomorrow is an even-bigger game.”
Grimaldi added an empty-net goal for a 4-2 lead, before the Mavericks got a rebound goal from Taylor Herndon with 20 seconds left for the final margin.
“We didn’t have our best in a lot of areas,” Hakstol said. “But we had some guys that stepped up and made a difference. It was a great goaltending performance from start to finish. And a guy like Steph Pattyn stepping up, his line playing well and scoring a big goal for us in the third. . . little things like that gave us an opportunity to pull out two points.”
UND has just one loss in the last 10 games, but knows it needs to play better than Friday night with the playoffs on the horizon.
“They came out hard,” Pattyn said. “I don’t know if we weren’t ready or if we just sat back and had to watch. It wasn’t pretty but it’s a good, greasy road win. We’ll take it.”
“We greased one out,” he said. “A win is a win and the boys are happy.”
Notes: Grimaldi extended his point streak to eight games with a goal and an assist. . . Brendan O’Donnell and Andrew Panzarella were the scratched players on the trip. . . UND moved Drake Caggiula to the top line with Corban Knight and Danny Kristo, while placing Grimaldi with Rowney and Michael Parks on the second line.