Senior forward Travis Oleksuk scores twice for Bulldogs

Travis Oleksuk scored two goals for the Bulldogs

Minnesota State fell short to third-ranked Minnesota Duluth, 4-2, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game played at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato Friday night.

Minnesota State took the lead in the opening period when second-year winger Johnny McInnis connected with a pass from senior Justin Jokinen and fired a shot from the slot that beat Aaron Caldwell at 8:11.

Center Travis Oleksuk scored twice in the second period to give UMD a 2-1 lead. The senior forward got his 18th of the year on a power play at 11:04 and his 19th came when he snapped a shot that tipped off of a defenseman's stick and beat Phil Cook over the shoulder at 19:59.

UMD's David Grun fired a rising shot past Cook high on the glove side at 10:51 of the third period to give the Bulldogs a two-goal cushion. Late in the third period, MSU pulled Cook to give the Mavericks an extra attacker and freshman forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine cashed in with his 13th goal coming at 19:30. UMD defenseman Brady Lamb banked the puck off the boards for a long empty net goal at 19:45, giving UMD the 4-2 victory.

The Bulldogs, who outshot the Mavericks by a 28-18 margin in the contest, went 1-for-4 on the power play.

Minnesota State was 0-for-3 in power play opportunities.

Now 12-20-1 overall and 8-16-1 WCHA, MSU closes out the two-game series with the Bulldogs Saturday with a 7:07 p.m., face-off scheduled.