MANKATO, Minn. - #3 Minnesota State got goals from four different players in skating past visiting Alaska Anchorage by a 4-1 margin in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game played in Mankato, Friday.
The Mavericks, who are 10-1-0 in their last 11 games, scored the game's first goal for the seventh time this year and never trailed in the contest.
After taking a pass from defenseman Andy Carroll, sophomore center Jared Spooner stepped into a wrist shot that beat UAA netminder Brody Claeys at 7:43 of the opening period. Spooner's fifth goal of the year gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of action.
Minnesota State took a 2-0 lead at 3:32 of the second period when senior forward Alec Vanko tapped in a rebound for his first goal of the year. The goal is the first for Vanko since he scored Oct. 29, 2016 in a home game vs. Ferris State. The Seawolves responded a short time later on a goal from Nils Rygaard in a scramble in front of the Minnesota State net and at the end of 40 minutes of play the scored stood 2-1 in favor of the Mavericks.
Minnesota State closed out the win with a pair of late goals. Junior center Josh French tallied an empty net goal on an assist from Dallas Gerads at 18:27. And sophomore winger Walker Duehr finished off a play after taking a pass from Nick Rivera at 19:36 for his third goal in the last three games.
Spooner had his sixth multi-point game of the year with a goal and an assist. Vanko's goal is his first career game-winning tally.
Freshman Dryden McKay, who made his seventh start of the year (and third in a row), turned aside 10 of 11 shots in the game. Tonight's victory ups his record for the season to 6-2-0.
With tonight's win the Mavericks are 13-2-0 (8-1-0 WCHA) on the season. And with the win, Minnesota State kept its home record perfect and now stand 8-0-0 in games played at Verizon Center.
Minnesota State and Alaska Anchorage close out the two-game WCHA series Saturday at Verizon Center with a 7:07 p.m. face-off scheduled.