Mankato, Minn. --- #2/3 Minnesota State came from two goals down to defeat #13 Bowling Green 3-2 on overtime in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Championship game Saturday night at Verizon Center in downtown Mankato.
WCHA Championship Goal Highlights
Postgame Press Conference - Minnesota State
Postgame Press Conference - Bowling Green
The visiting Falcons, who outshot the Mavericks by a 10-5 margin to start the game, took 1-0 lead when Frederic Letourneau rifled a shot that beat a screened Dryden McKay high on the shortside at 14:56 of the opening period.
After a scoreless middle frame, it became a 2-0 BGSU lead at 2:18 of the third period on a power play goal by defenseman Alec Rauhauser. Rauhauser walked in from the blue line and beat McKay with a hard wrist shot on the far side.
It wasn't until late in the game, with McKay on the bench for an extra attacker, that the Mavericks were finally able to solve Ryan Bednard. Center Jake Jaremko took a pass from Riese Zmolek and found an opening on the short side at 18:16, allowing the Mavericks to pull within one goal. Less than a minute later, and with McKay still on the bench, Connor Mackey's shot from the point beat Bednard after the puck meandered its way through several bodies in front of the net at 19:04. The score stood 2-2 at the end of regulation, sending the game into sudden death overtime.
Then, at 1:37 of overtime, junior winger Nick Rivera found a deflected puck and made no mistake putting it into the net on Bednard's gloveside for the game-winning tally. The goal, Rivera's ninth of the season, is his eighth career game-winning tally.
Dryden McKay finished with 17 saves in the contest and now stands 24-6-2 on the year. Minnesota State, which went 21-1-0 in home games for the season, outshot BGSU by a 27-19 margin in the game.
The Mavericks will find out tomorrow night during the NCAA Division I selection where they will play next weekend in regional action.