Boston- Friday night saw the Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks travel to Agganis Arena for their first-ever meeting with the Boston University Terriers. They took a physical style of play into Boston and beat the second best team in the nation 6-3. BU recouped after a disturbingly poor defensive showing and readied for the second tilt of the weekend on Saturday night. The second game was ultimately better. BU showed fight and kept the game close, but they did not avoid a Mavericks sweep.
The first period was scoreless but entertaining. The teams went five minutes without a whistle, demonstrating speedy and smooth hockey at its best. BU fired 12 shots on goal and got three power-play chances. Mankato goaltender Jason Pawloski made every save and kept the game scoreless. BU skated hard and won the first period, but they could not get a goal.
Mankato took control of the game in the second period for the second game in a row. The Mavericks got 14 shots on BU netminder Jake Oettinger while BU only got 4 shots in the second and not one of them was in the dashmarks. In addition to poor offense, BU also committed a critical mental error that gave the Mavericks a chance at the lead. The Terriers lost track of assignments and were called for too many men on the ice penalty. Nicolas Rivera got a shot from the right side of the crease and beat Oettinger. About a minute later, Clint Lewis beat Oettinger off the faceoff circle and made it 2-0. The goal was waved off when replay showed Oettinger had control of the puck before a whistle, but the Mavs did not relent. CJ Suess was rewarded for his efforts with a tap-in goal to make it 2-0 going to the third period.
BU turned on the offensive pressure, but could not beat Jason Pawloski. The junior made 10 saves in the period and 26 for the game for the Mavs’ first shutout of the season and Pawloski’s fourth of his career. Mankato got nine shots on Oettinger and burned time down to stop BU from getting more chances. BU pulled Oettinger around the two-minute mark, but that was to no avail. Marc Michaelis put home an empty net goal and the Mavericks walked out of Boston with a sweep of the second-ranked Boston University Terriers.
Mavericks head coach Mike Hastings was thrilled with his goaltending both nights and happy with his team’s efforts. Former Terrier Connor LaCouvee got the victory on Friday night and Pawloski got the shutout on Saturday night. He also thanked his strength and conditioning team for making sure the team was fit to play.
“I was concerned that we didn’t have enough gas after the first period. But we rallied ourselves and we’ve got some real resilience on this team.”
The Mavericks head to Bowling Green to play the Falcons in their WCHA season opener next weekend. Puck drops on Friday night at 6:37 pm and on Saturday night at 6 pm Central time.
Terrier head coach David Quinn was encouraged by his team’s fight after a poor effort on Friday night, but still disappointed with the loss.
“We played a man’s game tonight. We felt sorry for ourselves when dealing with midgame adversity and we can’t do that if we want to win.”
Quinn did keep a season-long perspective when considering the loss. “It’s October 14th. If we work we will be a special hockey team. But we’ve got a long way to go.” Captain Brandon Hickey and Alternate Captain Bobo Carpenter echoed their coach’s remarks.
“Anyone can win a puck battle if they want it hard enough and we got outworked tonight. We’ve gotta bear down, put this game behind us and get ready for next weekend.”
BU opens Hockey East play with a home and home against the Connecticut Huskies. Puck drops at Agganis Arena at 7:30 pm on Friday night and at 5 pm at the XL Center on Saturday night.