Fairbanks, Alaska --- A four-goal second period keyed #4 Minnesota State's 6-1 win over Alaska in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday at Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
The Mavericks, who have racked up 62 points with a league mark of 20-4-1, clinched sole ownership of the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular-season champions (along with the #1 seed for the league's postseason tournament) as a result of tonight's victory. This year's title is the fourth for Minnesota State (all have which have come in the last five years).
The Mavericks took a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by junior defenseman Ian Scheid, who scored his fifth goal of the year at 6:09 after taking a pass from sophomore center Jared Spooner.
A feisty middle frame that saw a total of 100 penalty minutes assessed between the two teams, saw the Mavericks score four times, including three goals which came with the man advantage. Parker Tuomie got things rolling at 2:29 when his shot from the top of the slot that beat Gustavus Grigals high on the gloveside for a power play marker that is his 12th goal of the season. Sophomore winger Reggie Lutz got his fourth goal of the year when buried one with a shot from the left circle with the power play marker coming at 3:16. Junior captain Marc Michaelis scored on the power play at 4:14 for his 16th tally of the season in making it a 4-0 lead. Then, at the 11:10 mark, junior forward Josh French connected on a one-timer for his eighth goal of the season coming off of an offensive zone face-off win by Jared Spooner.
The host Nanooks got one back when Kyler Hope tallied a five-on-three power play marker at 00:37 of the third and final frame, but sophomore defenseman Connor Mackey put a capper in the win when he scored at 11:56 for his sixth of the year after taking a nice pass from Jack McNeely before beating Grigals on the stickside.
Freshman Dryden McKay, who started for the 15th straight time for the Mavericks, was credited with 23 saves and now stands 18-5-2 for the season. The Mavericks, who have now extended their unbeaten streak to a nation's best seven games during which they gone 6-0-1, outshot the Nanooks by a 30-24 margin in the contest. Ian Scheid enjoyed a three-point game with a goal and a pair of assist, while Parker Tuomie, Reggie Lutz and Josh French all had a goal and an assist. Jared Spooner and Jack McNeely both contributed two assists in the win.
The Mavericks, who have now gone 11-1-2 in their last 14 games, own a 25-6-2 overall record. Minnesota State and Alaska close out the two-game series Saturday evening.