Junior defenseman Zach Palmquist posts two assists for Mavericks

Mankato, Minn. --- It was a night for evaluation for both the U.S. National Junior Team and Minnesota State in a men's exhibition game played in Mankato Tuesday.

The U.S. National Junior Team, preparing for the World Junior Championship, need to cut six more players before beginning play in Sweden, Dec. 26.

For the Mavericks, it was a matter of getting more experience against a team which featured 20 NHL draft picks.

In the end, the USA won 3-2 in overtime on Hudson Fasching's goal with one minute, 46 seconds remaining in overtime.

MSU coach Mike Hastings, however, was far from disappointed after the game.

"No one got dinged," he said, a key part of the game as the Mavericks were without several injured players. "We played hard, we played for each other and, in the end, we didn't win the game but we did everything we wanted except win."

After a scoreless first period, the home team got on the scoreboard first when Jean-Paul Lafontaine picked up a rebound of a Matt Leitner shot and stuffed the puck behind USA goalie Jon Gillies 6:05 into the middle frame on the Mavericks' first power-play opportunity of the game.

Less than three minutes later, Quentin Shore tied the game when he took a Jacob Slavin pass along the right-wing board, skated into the Maverick zone and beat Stephon Williams over his glove.

The teams would then trade power-play goals in the third period to send the game into overtime.

MSU's tally came during a five-minute power play at Lafontaine got the puck behind the USA net and gave it to Johnny McInnis on the left side of the visitors' goal. McInnis then backhanded the puck up and over the shoulder of Anthony Stolarz to give the home team a one-goal lead once again.

Ian McCoshen got the equalizer for the USA when his shot from the outer edge of the right circle deflected off Zach Palmquist and snuck past Evan Karembelas with 10:57 to play in the third period.

USA's game winner came when Jacob Slavin moved the puck up to Fasching along the left wing. Fasching then used a burst of speed to get around the corner and tucked the puck under Karembelas' left pad for the winner.

"That was a special player who made a special play," Hastings said of Fasching after the game.

"I thought our competitive level was good tonight," the Maverick mentor added. "It was a good hockey game and we were able allow some guys to play different roles.

"A lot of teams are hoping to get healthy right now. Our guys got some valuable experience in this game and now that they gone through finals, seven weeks of travel, play and competition, they can get healthy both mentally and physically."

The 20th-rated Mavericks now begin a 17-day break from competition before heading north to Alaska, where they will face Alaska, Jan. 3-4 and then remain in state before facing Alaska-Anchorage, Jan. 10-11.