Grand Rapids, Mich. --- 15th-rated Minnesota State downed #4 Ferris State 4-1 to claim the 2014 Western College Hockey Association Final Five in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Mavericks captured their first WCHA Final Five title with the win and as a result earn the league automatic bid to the NCAA postseason tournament.
The Mavericks scored twice in the first period in earning a quick 2-0 lead after the first period of action. Freshman Mike Huntebrinker chipped a shot over the left shoulder of C.J. Motte after taking a pass from Zach Lehrke at 9:13 for his second goal of the season. Then, at 13:50, sophomore center Teddy Blueger found junior defenseman Brett Stern, who was trailing on a MSU rush into the offensive zone, and Stern ripped a shot past Motte on the stickside for his first goal of 2013-14.
Ferris State cut Minnesota State's lead by one when Gerald Mayhew scored on a scramble in front of the MSU net at the 19:14 mark of the middle period and the two teams entered the second intermission with the Mavericks owning a 2-1 lead.
Minnesota State entered the final period of regulation with a mark of 17-0-0 when leading after two periods of action. And when MSU's third goal of the game came at the 8:38 mark after sophomore Brett Knowles scored following Teddy Blueger's nice play in the offensive zone, the championship became reality. Blueger added an empty-net tally at 19:58 to close out the game.
MSU's first three goal scorers in the game have now totalled four goals on the year with Hunterbrinker tallying two and Stern and Knowles both now with one.
Minnesota State freshman goaltender Cole Huggins, who has started 19 of the last 21 games for the Mavericks, had 25 saves in the win in upping his won-loss record on the year to 21-7-1.
Huggins was named tournament MVP, and along with Teddy Blueger, sophomore forward Bryce Gervais and Brett Stern, was named to the all-tournament team.
MSU ran it's unbeaten streak to 13 games with the win and now stands 26-13-1 on the year. Ferris State, which the Mavericks defeated all three times it faced, falls to 28-10-3.
Both teams will await tomorrow's announcement of the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament bracket with the 16-team field unveiled on ESPNU at noon EST (11:00 a.m. CST).