Mankato, Minn. --- Reggie Lutz had a goal and an assist in pacing #3 Minnesota State to a 4-2 win over Alaska Anchorage in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association first-round series contest Saturday.
With the win, the host Mavericks claim the best-of-three series, 2-0 and advance to next weekend's league semifinals.
It hasn't happened all that often this year, but the Mavericks found themselves trailing in the contest when UAA forward Marcus Mitchell opened the scoring when he fired a shot from the left dot that beat Dryden McKay on the short side at 10:58 of the second period. Junior forward Reggie Lutz's one-timer from the right circle with the Mavericks on the power play at 16:04 evened the score at 1-1. The goal is the 13th of the year for Lutz.
Then, with the Mavericks on the power play early in the third period, Marc Michaelis found Nathan Smith in front of the net where the freshman from Hudson, Fla., redirected the puck past Kris Carlson for his ninth goal of the season and gave Minnesota State a 2-1 lead. The Seawolves responded at 4:20 on a play where Corey Renwick took a pass from the side and put the puck into the net on the far side. But after taking a pass from Lutz, junior center Jake Jaremko found a seam in the offensive zone and put a backhander past Carlson at 14:42 to make it 3-2 in favor of Minnesota State. The goal is eighth of the season and turned into his second game-winner this year. Dallas Gerads added an insurance marker at 19:42 with his empty netter making it 4-2.
Minnesota State outshot UAA by a 52-14 margin in the contest and Maverick sophomore netminder Dryden McKay, who upped his record on the year to 30-4-2 with the win, finished with 12 stops. The 30 wins by McKay establishes a Minnesota State record for single-season victories, besting the 29 wins Steve Carroll had in 1979-80.
Now with a 31-5-1 record on the season, Minnesota State advances to the second round of the 2019-20 WCHA playoffs. The Mavericks will square-off against a to-be-determined opponent in the best-of-three series beginning next Friday.