Mankato, Minn. --- Strong first period play lifted the Minnesota State Mavericks over the visiting American International Yellow Jackets for a 5-2 win and a non-conference series sweep.
The Mavericks got off to an early lead when junior Justin Jokinen scored from right out in front on a pass by sophomore Eli Zuck at 1:25 in the first period. Senior defenseman Kurt Davis banked a shot off a AIC defenseman's skate past goaltender Ben Meisner 6:25 to give MSU its second goal of the night. AIC freshman Blake Peake put his team on the board by tapping in a puck that had popped loose from a scrum in front of MSU junior goaltender Austin Lee at 9:15. MSU answered back at 12:49 when a shot from the top of the right circle gave freshman forward John McInnis his first career goal.
AIC sophomore Jeff Ceccacci scored the only goal of the second period, unassisted and on the power play at 15:39.
Third period scoring was started off by MSU freshman Chase Grant, whose shot was initially stopped by Meisner, but then popped out of the goaltender's pads and into the net at 9:22. MSU junior Michael Dorr got the empty-netter at 19:50 with an assist from sophomore Eriah Hayes.
Lee had 23 saves against the Yellow Jackets and Meisner stopped 38 Maverick shots. Jokinen had one goal and two assists in tonight's game, while Zuck tallied two assists as well. Kurt Davis continued his stay atop the MSU scoring charts and now has 7-10--17 on the year. His 19-67--86 for his four-year MSU career stands 13th on MSU's career scoring for the Division I era and he ranks seventh all-time at MSU in scoring by defenseman.
Winners of eight out of their last ten games, the Mavericks now improve to 10-8-4 on the season. WCHA action will return to Mankato next weekend when the MSU hosts Denver Friday at 7:37 PM (CST) in the Verizon Wireless Center.