Mankato, Minn. --- After the game stood tied 1-1 early in the first period, third-ranked Minnesota State scored seven unanswered goals en route to an 8-1 win over Alaska Anchorage in the first game of the best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round series being played in Mankato.
Senior center Marc Michaelis finished the game with four points on a goal and three assists, while freshman winger Lucas Sowder chipped in with four assists for the first four-point game of his college career.
At 4:41 of the first period, off an offensive zone face-off win by junior center Jake Jaremko, junior forward Reggie Lutz tallied his 12th goal of the season when his shot beat Kris Carlson on the shortside. The visiting Seawolves answered a short time later when a shot from the point was deflected by Luc Brown past Dryden McKay at 6:56. But the Mavericks re-took the lead at 16:48 when junior forward Dallas Gerads found a loose puck and put it into the net for his seventh goal of the season and from there, the host Mavericks never looked back. Senior captain Marc Michaelis took a pass from Parker Tuomie and tucked the puck between Carlson's pads for his 20th goal of the season near the end of the period and the host Mavericks headed into the locker room after 20 minutes of action owning a 3-1 lead.
Minnesota State struck for two unanswered goals in the middle frame in extending their lead to 5-1. At 12:59 freshman center Nathan Smith wired a shot from the slot that hit the post before bouncing in off the back of new UAA netminder Brandon Perrone. The goal is the eighth of the year for Smith. With the Mavericks on the power play, senior defenseman Ian Scheid fired a shot from just inside the blue line that Perrone never saw and at 16:43 the Mavericks owned a four-goal lead.
Senior forward Parker Tuomie took a pass from Lucas Sowder and put the puck into the net for a power play marker at 6:47 of the third in making it a 6-1 lead. And at 11:28, junior defenseman Connor Mackey beat Perrone on the stickside for his seventh goal of the year as the Mavericks extended its lead to six goals. Junior defenseman Jack McNeely found himself all alone at the side of the net at 16:29 and cashed in for his fourth goal of the year to close out the scoring in the contest.
Ian Scheid had a goal and an assist in the win and now has 97 points, which ranks as the most by a Maverick defenseman for Minnesota State's NCAA Division I-era.
Minnesota State outshot UAA by a 50-17 margin in the contest and Maverick sophomore netminder Dryden McKay, who upped his record on the year to 29-4-2 with the win, finished with 16 stops. The 29 wins by McKay ties the school single-season record originally established by Steve Carroll in 1979-80.
Now with a 30-5-1 record on the season, Minnesota State is the first team in the nation to hit the 30-win plateau for 2019-20. The Mavericks will look to close out the best-of-three series tomorrow night with a 6:07 p.m. face-off scheduled for the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center located in downtown Mankato.