MANKATO, Minn. - Third-ranked Minnesota State got three goals from senior captain Nick Rivera in skating past Alabama Huntsville 8-0 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game played.
The game was the last regular-season home game of the year for the Mavericks and it didn't take long for the offense to get rolling.
Freshman forward Lucas Sowder got things going when he connected on a power play opportunity at 4:05 of the opening period for his sixth goal of the season. Senior captain Nick Rivera fired a shot from the left dot that beat UAH netminder Mark Sinclair on the shortside at 7:07 to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead. At 13:47, Sowder found senior center Marc Michaelis in from with a pass from the left wall and Michaelis make no mistake in putting the puck in to the net for his 18th goal of the season. The goal is the 69th career marker for Michaelis, surpassing the 68 goals scored by Shane Joseph (Minnesota State 1999-04) as the top Maverick goal scorer for the modern era. Right before the end of the first period, junior winger Reggie Lutz fired a shot from the right dot that leaked through Sinclair's pads, with Lutz's 11th goal of the season giving Minnesota State a 4-0 lead entering the locker room after 20 minutes of action.
Michaelis scored again at 10:09 of the second, with his 19th of the year making it a 5-0 lead. Then at 10:18, junior center Jake Jaremko registered his seventh of the year before a shot from the left circle by Nick Rivera that the netminder never saw made it a 7-0 lead at 18:45. River then completed his first career hat trick when he took a feed from Walker Duehr and deposited the puck into the net with 40 seconds remaining in the game.
With tonight's win sophomore netminder Dryden McKay, who finished with 19 stops, improves his record to 27-3-2. Tonight's shutout extends his single-season record to ten and his school career record to 14.
Minnesota State outshot UAH by a 47-19 margin in the contest and the game was played in front of 5,131 spectators at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in downtown Mankato.
The Mavericks, now with a 28-4-1 record (22-3-0 WCHA) record, close out the regular season with a road league series at Bemidji State.