Mankato, Minn. --- A three-goal surge in the third period gave Minnesota State a 3-0 victory over visiting Northern Michigan Saturday in Mankato.
The victory extended the Mavericks' winning streak to five games and is the second consecutive sweep over a league opponent.
While the puck spent the majority of first period on Northern Michigan's side of the rink, the Mavericks failed to slip the puck by Mathias Dahlstrom with a 13-5 shot-on-goal advantage.
After another scoreless frame, the 3,428 fans witnessed senior forward Zach Lehrke's first power play goal of the season with 9:43 left in regulation to put the Mavericks up 1-0. After junior forward Jean-Paul Lafontaine tried to tip the puck in front of the net, it ricocheted to the left where it found Lehrke's stick then the back of the net. Senior defenseman Josh Palmquist was also credited with the assist and the goal turned out to be the game-winner and marks Lehrke's second career game-winning tally. The goal also extended his point-scoring streak to six games, which happens to be the same number of games the Park Rapids, Minn., native, has been on the ice this season. Shortly thereafter, the Mavericks gave themselves a 2-0 edge when freshman forward Jordan Nelson pushed the puck past Dahlstrom at the 7:03 mark. The goal is the third of the year for Nelson. Junior forward Matt Leitner then added his third goal of the 2013-14 campaign when he scored into an empty net with 31 seconds left in regulation to close out the scoring in the game.
While freshman goaltender Cole Huggins stopped all 17 shots to earn his second career shutout, Minnesota State went two-for-four in power play chances on the night. The Mavericks also outshot the Wildcats 49-17.
The Mavericks, who have outscored their opponents by a 19-12 margin in the last five games, upped their record to 9-7-0, 7-3-0 WCHA with the win. MSU closes out league play for the first half of the season with a road series at Alabama-Huntsville next Friday and Saturday.