MANKATO, Minn. - Minnesota State seniors Kari Lundberg and Tracy McCann each scored their seventh goal of the year, with Lundberg's being the game-winner, to carry the Mavericks to their third straight victory and a 2-1 win over Bemidji State in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action Saturday afternoon at All Seasons Arena.
MSU improves to 9-12-0 overall and gains sole possession of sixth-place in the league with a 4-11-0 ledger. Bemidji State drops to 7-10-2 on the year and 4-8-1 in conference play, two points ahead of the Mavericks in fifth position. Additionally, Minnesota State's three-game winning streak is the program's first since Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2011.
An up-and-down first period saw scoring chances for both teams with the Mavericks edging the Beavers in shots, 10-9. Nearly 30 seconds after a MSU power-play expired, the Mavericks lit the lamp at 14:56 on senior Tracy McCann's (Lakewood, Ohio) seventh goal of the season. Senior Lauren Barnes (Burnsville, Minn.) passed across the blue line to junior Shelby Moteyunas (Cicero, N.Y.) who had her shot re-directed in front by McCann and over the glove of BSU freshman Brittni Mowat giving MSU a one-goal lead after 20 minutes of play.
Bemidji State responded quickly in the second period when junior Alex Citrowske took a breakout pass from senior Kaitlyn Tougas, moved into the slot, and beat sophomore Erin Krichiver (Chicago, Ill.) high on the glove side just 43 seconds into the frame to knot the contest at 1-1. The Beavers used a sound defensive effort to outshoot MSU 8-3 but were held scoreless on three power-play opportunities in the period.
The Mavericks had three power-play chances of their own in the third period, but it was an even-strength marker that would prove decisive. Barnes picked up a loose puck in the defensive zone before hitting senior Kari Lundberg (Woodbury, Minn.) as she streaked into the Beaver zone. Then, Lundberg moved the puck to her forehand and snapped a wrist shot from the slot over Mowat's glove at 15:28 for what proved to be the game-winning goal, the first of her career.
Krichiver continued her outstanding play for the Mavericks in goal registering a game-high 24 saves and playing a key role in blanking BSU on its three power-play opportunities. She now stands 3-1-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and .954 saves percentage in four starts this season. MSU ended zero-of-five on the advantage and was outshot 25-20 on the afternoon. Mowat registered 18 saves for the Beavers.
Minnesota State and Bemidji State will conclude the conference series tomorrow afternoon at 2:07 p.m., back inside All Seasons Arena.