GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A third-period goal doomed seventh-rated Minnesota State in a 4-3 nonconference road loss at North Dakota Saturday.
The Mavericks trailed 2-0 to start the game, but battled back to even things up before the end of the first period and the game stood tied at 3-3 after 40 minutes of action, but the Fighting Hawks struck for the lone third-period tally in claiming the victory to split the two-game series
Saturday's script followed the script from Friday's contest with UND opening the scoring with an early power play goal. Grant Mismash bombed one from the point that found the back of the net at 5:59. It became a 2-0 Fighting Hawks' lead at 6:37 on a shot off the rush by Cole Smith. Freshman forward Julian Napravnik scored his first career goal after taking a nice cross ice pass from Max Coatta for a power play goal at 11:16 and the Mavericks tied it up at 13:22 when Coatta got his fourth goal of the weekend with a snapshot from the high slot.
North Dakota took a 3-2 lead at 2:10 of the second period when defenseman Gabe Bast jumped up on the play to push a puck during a scramble in front of the net past Maverick freshman netminder Dryden McKay. Junior forward Marc Michaelis scored Minnesota State's first shorthanded goal of the year on a breakaway that came with 00.4 left in the period. The goal is the sixth shorthanded goal of Michaelis' career.
Smith got his second of the game and the game-winning goal at 11:35 of the final period after grabbing a loose puck behind the net before scoring on a wraparound attempt.
Coatta finished the game with a goal and an assist and posted five points on the weekend (4 Gs, 1 A).
Dryden McKay, who made his fourth consecutive start in goal, stopped 18 shots in the tie and now stands 3-1-0 with tonight's decision.
The Mavericks begin Western Collegiate Hockey Association action next weekend with the University of Alaska visiting Verizon Center in downtown Mankato.