MANKATO, Minn. - #2/3 Minnesota State rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie #16 North Dakota, 4-4, in a nonconference men's college hockey match-up Friday in Mankato.
Freshman forward Nathan Smith, who had a goal and three assists in his college debut, helped the Mavericks (2-0-1) extend their home unbeaten streak to 11 games with tonight's tie.
The Mavericks were the first to get on the board as freshman winger Lucas Sowder finished a two-on-one opportunity 2:38 into the contest. Sowder took a pass from Smith and deked Fighting Hawks netminder Adam Scheel to his glove side for his second goal of the season. Then with UND playing with the man advantage, senior forward Westin Michaud gathered a missed shot off the boards and beat sophomore netminder Dryden McKay to his glove side at the 19:39 mark to tie the game and the score stood 1-1 at the end of 20 minutes.
A total of five goals were scored in a fast-paced middle period that saw the Fighting Hawks owning a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes. Sixteen seconds into the period, freshman winger Harrison Blaisdell picked up a loose puck for UND and put a backhander past McKayl from the middle of the ice. North Dakota further extended its lead at the 2:44 mark when junior forward Jackson Keane tipped in a shot in front of the crease on a shot from senior blueliner Andrew Peski. Minnesota State senior defenseman Edwin Hookenson's shot from the point glanced off a Fighting Hawk skater past Scheel at the 5:18 mark in giving the Lampman, Sask., his first goal of the year. UND took back its two-goal lead at the 13:37 mark when senior winger Dixon Bowen received a pass from behind the net and went top shelf past McKay. The final goal of the period came off the stick of Smith for his first career goal at the 14:55 mark. Smith stole the puck near center ice, split two UND skaters and fired a wrister to the top right corner of the net.
The game-tying goal came early in the third period as junior blueliner Connor Mackey scored his first of the season at the 6:15 mark. Mackey took a shot from a bad angle on the left side of the net and that found the top left corner over Scheel's shoulder.
Minnesota State sophomore Dryden McKay (2-0-1) had 23 saves in the game. The Mavericks were outshot by the Fighting Hawks by 27-24 margin in the contest with Minnesota State going zero-for-four on the power play and UND going one-for-three with the man advantage.
Sowder, Smith's freshman linemate, also had a multi-point game by scoring a goal and collecting two assists and now has two goals and four assists for six points in three games with the Mavericks.
The Mavericks and Fighting Hawks will be back in action tomorrow night with a 6:07 p.m. face-off scheduled for Mankato Civic Center.