MANKATO, Minn. - #4 Minnesota State found itself trailing Bemidji State early, but scored twice before the end of the first period in eventually skating to a 4-1 win in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Friday night at Verizon Center in downtown Mankato.
The visiting Beavers got off to a quick start with a shot from Brendan Harris bouncing off of Dryden McKay's shoulder and into the net at 9:33 of the opening period. However, Minnesota State junior winger Nick Rivera took a nifty pass from Julian Napranik in the neutral zone and went in alone before sliding the puck under the pads of BSU netminder Zach Driscoll at the 15-minute mark to knot the score at 1-1 at the 15-minute mark. Senior captain Max Coatta, who had missed the last nine games due to injury, pounced on a rebound and buried the puck at 19:02 to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of action.
After successfully killing off a five-on-three Bemidji State power play, sophomore center Jared Spooner picked up his seventh goal of the season when he finished off a nice passing sequence with Rivera and Dallas Gerads at 16:08 of the second period. Then, with the Mavericks in the midst of a five-minute power play of their own, junior winger Parker Tuomie's wrister from the right circle bounced off of the right post into the net for his 12th goal of the year at 18:53 and after two periods of play, Minnesota State held a 4-1 advantage.
The Beavers outshot the Mavericks by an 11-7 margin in the final 20 minutes, but the score held up with Minnesota State skating to a 4-1 victory.
Nick Rivera finished with a goal and an assist and Max Coatta got his third career game-winning tally in the contest.
Freshman Dryden McKay, who got his second career assist in the game and started for the 17th straight time for the Mavericks, was credited with 31 saves and now stands 19-6-2 for the season. The Mavericks were outshot in the contest by a 32-28 margin in the contest.
The Mavericks own a 26-7-2 overall record and are 21-5-1 in WCHA contests. Minnesota State and Bemidji State close out the 2018-19 WCHA regular season with a 7:07 p.m. face-off scheduled.