Mankato, Minn. --- In a meeting between two of the top men's hockey teams in the nation, Minnesota State handed eighth-rated Bowling Green a 4-0 loss in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game played in Mankato Friday.
The host Mavericks, who are rated fourth in this week's USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and sixth by USCHO, scored twice in the second and added two more goals in the third in picking up their fourth consecutive win over the Falcons.
After a scoreless opening frame, the Mavericks capitalized on a couple of power play chances to score twice in the second period to open up a 2-0 lead. The first goal of the game came at the 12:45 mark on a Nathan Smith one-timer from the left circle and the second was scored at the 18-minute mark on a deflection from Dallas Gerads in which the senior forward got his stick on a blast from the point by senior defenseman Riese Zmolek.
Senior forward Walker Duehr walked out from the corner to in front of the net and put a shot past Eric Dop for his third goal of the season at 8:46 of the third period. Zmolek scored his first goal of the year on a great individual effort at the12:05 mark, skating in from the blue line and making a nice backhanded move to beat Dop on the gloveside to close out the scoring.
Junior netminder Dryden McKay was named First Star of the Game after stopping all 30 shots for his seventh shutout of the year. The Downers Grove, Ill., native has moved into a tie for second on the NCAA career shutouts list with 21.
Junior forward Julian Napravnik and freshman defenseman Jake Livingstone both chipped in with two assists each.
The Mavericks stand 10-2-1 overall and sit atop the league standings with a 7-0-0 WCHA mark with tonight's win. Bowling Green goes to 16-5-0 overall, 5-2-0 WCHA.
The two teams square-off again tomorrow at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center with a 6:07 p.m. face-off scheduled.