Mankato, Minn. --- Three different players contributed goals as Minnesota State earned a trip to St. Paul for the WCHA Final Five as the Mavericks clinched the best-of-three series with a 3-1 victory over Nebraska Omaha Sunday in Mankato.
MSU, which won Friday 4-3 in overtime and lost 2-1 to UNO Saturday, will make its third trip to the Final Five and first since 2002-03 with this weekend's series victory.
MSU got off two a 2-0 first-period lead and never trailed in Sunday's contest.
Freshman forward Bryce Gervais took a pass from sophomore forward Chase Grant and beat Nebraska Omaha senior goaltender John Faulkner high over the glove side at 08:23 of the first to get things started. It became a 2-0 lead when sophomore forward Max Gaede slipped a shot past Faulkner at 13:45 for his first goal of the year. The goal scored by Gaede eventually proved to be his first career game winning goal as a Maverick.
UNO got on the board in the second period on a goal scored by sophomore forward Dominic Zombo, who tipped the puck off a shot by sophomore forward Josh Archibald, that bounced in low between the pads of MSU freshman Goaltender Stephon Williams at 18:43.
The dagger came at 4:30 in the third period on a power play goal scored by sophomore forward Matt Leitner. Leitner, MSU's top point-producer this year and one of the top power play performers in the country, now has 17-28--45 on the year.
Minnesota State, now 24-12-3 overall. MSU outshot Nebraska 34-27 in the game. MSU was one-for-three on the power play, while Nebraska Omaha went zero-for-two on power play chances and the game was played in front of 2,405 fans at the Verizon Wireless Center.
The Mavericks advance to Xcel Energy Center for the 2013 WCHA Final Five, which is slated to begin Thursday. Ticket packages will be available from MSU Athletics (507.38.6111) Monday morning.