Mankato, Minn. --- Minnesota State fell behind 3-0, battled back to make it a one-goal game, but could not totally erase the deficit, eventually falling 4-3 to third-rated Denver in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game in Mankato Friday.
Defenseman Nolan Zajac tallied on a backhand at 10:18 of the first period to get things rolling for the Pioneers.
Then, in the second period, goals by defenseman Joey LeLeggia at 1:23 and Shawn Ostrow at 3:28 chased MSU netminder Phil Cook. The Mavericks responded at 15:43 on a wraparound attempt from sophomore Jean-Paul Lafontaine that bounced in off a defenseman's skate past Sam Brittain. Senior forward Eriah Hayes made it a one-goal game less than two minutes later on a rebound and it score stood 3-2 at the end of two.
Daniel Doremus got DU's fourth goal of the game, and the eventual game-winner, with a shot from the slot at 13:43 of the third period. Then, with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Lafontaine took a pass from sophomore forward Matt Leitner and wristed a shot past Brittain at 18:09 for the final goal of the game.
The Mavericks, now 3-4-3 overall and 1-4-0 WCHA, owned a 36-20 advantage in shots on goal in the game. Lafontaine, who was +2 in the game, had a three-point night for MSU on his two goals and assist and now has 3-3--6 in the last three games.
The two teams conclude the two-game league series tomorrow night with a 7:07 p.m. face-off scheduled for Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato.