Mankato, Minn. --- #4 Minnesota State earned a 3-1 win over Alabama-Huntsville in the first game of a best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association first round series Friday night at Verizon Center.
Minnesota State (28-7-2) extended its winning streak over Alabama-Huntsville (8-27-2) to 29 wins by scoring a goal in each period and have run its home record on the season to 17-1-0.
Sophomore winger Walker Duehr put away his ninth goal of the season at the 5:09 mark of the opening period to start things for the Mavericks. The Sioux Falls, S.D., native collected the rebound from the initial shot of junior captain Nick Rivera and put it away on the left side of the net.
Minnesota State scored a power play goal at 4:48 of the second period, capitalizing on a five-minute major when junior winger Charlie Gerard found junior center Marc Michaelis sitting on the right dot and Michaelis rifled the puck on a one-timer past Mark Sinclair for his 17th goal of the season. Alabama-Huntsville cut into the 2-0 deficit with a goal off a rebound, right outside the crease by sophomore winger Connor Merkley at the 16:28 mark.
The Mavericks scored their second power play goal of the game, again coming on a five-minute major from the Chargers, in the third period. Michaelis scored his second of the game and 18th of the season on a one-timer right above the right face-off circle at the 5:26 mark.
Freshman netminder Dryden McKay made 12 saves in his first play-off start and improves his record to 20-6-2 on the season. The Mavericks led in shots on goal over the Chargers 35-13 in the contest.
Michaelis ended the night scoring two power play goals, having five shots on net and a blocked shot. Junior blueliner Ian Scheid assisted on both power play goals, had two blocked shots and a +1 rating.
Game two of the first-round play-off series is scheduled for 4:07 p.m., at Verizon Center.