Mankato, Minn. --- Minnesota State went toe-to-toe with Nebraska Omaha in earning a 5-4 overtime victory in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato Saturday night
Right winger Josh Archibald got things going for UNO in the opening period when he beat MSU's Phil Cook at 12:20 in finishing off at tic-tac-toe passing play. However, Minnesota State returned fire when junior Eriah Hayes beat Dayn Belfour from the slot when he one-timed a pass from sophomore forward Johnny McInnis at 16:55.
Archibald's got his second goal when his shot trickled through Cook's pads at 2:48 of the second period. MSU responded with a goal at 3:36 when Zach Lehrke collected the puck in UNO's defensive zone and beat Belfour from the wing.
The teams continued to trade goals in the third period. UNO defensemen Bryce Aneloski's shot from the slot got through Cook at 3:04, but Hayes scored his second goal with a slap shot from the wing at 9:09 to knot the score at three apiece. Hayes struck again at 17:46, giving Minnesota State its first lead. UNO pulled its goalie for an extra attacker with less than a minute remaining and forward Jayson Megna converted on a scramble in front of the net with 9.6 seconds left. Megna's goal sent the two teams into overtime for a second straight night.
Both teams had numerous scoring opportunities in the extra stanza but Minnesota State's McInnis wired a wrist shot into the back of the net at 3:05 into overtime to give the Mavericks the win.
UNO outshot MSU 43-42 margin in the contest. MSU was 1-for-2 on the power play and Nebraska Omaha went 0-for-2 in power play opportunities.
For Hayes, who now has ten goals on the season, it was his first career hat trick and the first hat trick by a MSU player since Nov. 26, 2010 when Justin Jokinen accomplished the feat in a nonconference road game at UMASS-Lowell.
Now 8-17-1 overall and 4-13-1 WCHA, MSU has gone 5-5-1 in its last 11 games. The Mavericks continue league action next weekend with games Friday and Saturday at Bemidji State .