After beating Winona the team was looking forward to it's most recent series against Minnesota State - Mankato this past weekend. The Blugolds were 1-3 against WCCHA teams going into this weekend, so we were very excited to prove ourselves against another WCCHA member. With this excitement we were able to jump on on the Mavericks by two goals early in the first period and we never looked back. In front of our biggest crowd of the season we beat the Mavericks 10 to 3 in our first game of the series with freshman Andy Mlynar leading the scoring by recording a hat trick.
The second game of the series proved to be not quite as easy as the first game. The Mavericks jumped out to a 2 to 0 lead at the end of the first period. The Blugolds looked a little slow during the first period and needed to respond in a big way in the second period. After a hard fought second period the Blugolds managed to pull within one goal by the end of the period, after two the score was 3 to 2. The Blugolds continued to battle in the third period and with three minutes left to go we found ourselves up 4 to 3 against the Mavericks. However, after taking a ill-timed penalty, Mankato tied the game on the power-play with less than two minutes to go. Less than a minute later Mankato scored again to take the lead 5 to 4 with time dwindling down, but with less than 30 seconds left in the game sophomore Jon Roessler scored his team-leading 12th goal of the year to tie the game at 5 a piece and force an overtime period.
After an intense 5 minute overtime, with Eau Claire getting the better of the chances but failing to convert, the game was decided in a three man shootout. First for the Blugolds was Roessler, he was the only one to score for the team as Mankato converted on their first two tries to win the shootout. Dillon Barmore had a chance to keep the shootout going in the end, but as he slid the puck between the opposing goaltender's legs he was just a little wide and the puck deflected wide off the post to end the shootout, along with the Blugolds' chances.
This weekend the team travels back down to Winona to face-off against the St. Mary's JV team in our final two game weekend series of the series. The games will be played at St. Mary's University Ice Arena at 2pm both Saturday 2/11 and Sunday 2/12.