Mankato, Minn. --- Freshman forward Brett Knowles scored in overtime in helping lift tenth-rated Minnesota State to a 2-1 win over fifth-rated North Dakota Saturday in Mankato.
The win by the Mavericks clinches a top-six position in the yet-to-be-determined Western Collegiate Hockey Association final standings and home ice in the first round of the league play-offs which begin next Friday.
North Dakota opened up the scoring in the first period on a goal scored by senior forward Danny Kristo, who collected a rebound in front of net off a shot by sophomore forward Brendan O'Donnell at the point and pushed the puck past MSU freshman goaltender Stephon Williams at 1:03.
MSU answered back in the second period when freshman forward Dylan Margonari skated into the offensive zone with the puck and fired a shot that beat North Dakota freshman goaltender Zane Gothberg at 19:35. The goal scored by Margonari was is his of the year.
After a scoreless third period, the Mavericks got the game-winning goal in overtime on a shot by freshman forward Brett Knowles, off a pass from sophomore forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine at 3:22. The goal for Knowles is his fifth of the year and his second game-winner of the season.
MSU outshot North Dakota 37-31 on the night and the Mavericks were zero-for-three on the power play. North Dakota was zero-for-two in power play chances.
The game was played in front of 5,088 fans at Verizon Wireless Center with crowd ranking as the seventh-highest all-time attendence figure for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks, who stand 22-11-3 overall, are currently tied for fourth in the WCHA standings. The University of Denver plays tomorrow vs. Alaska Anchorage and ff Denver loses or ties tomorrow then MSU is the #4 seed and will host Minnesota Duluth. If Denver wins tomorrow, MSU is the #6 seed and hosts UNO.
Tickets for the first round of the WCHA play-offs go on sale at the the Verizon Wireless Center Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets Monday at 10:00 a.m.