Mavs win 3-1, sweep Minn. for first time

Sophomore goaltender Alex Kangas watched his first game of the season from the bench Friday night as the Gophers tied 2-2.

Paul Bangasser

Sophomore goaltender Alex Kangas watched his first game of the season from the bench Friday night as the Gophers tied 2-2.

Ryan Stoa and Nico Sacchetti were the latest members of the Minnesota menâÄôs hockey team to leave the ice early in SaturdayâÄôs rubber match with Minnesota State. The duo joined a suddenly large group of Gophers skaters who could only watch as the Mavericks skated to their first-ever sweep over Minnesota with a 3-1 win in the series finale. Kurt Davis popped in a rebound following an Aaron Ness penalty to make it 1-0 Mavericks, and James Gaulrapp made it 2-0 when he took the puck from Jake Hansen and slipped his attempt around Alex Kangas while shorthanded. The view from a 2-0 hole didnâÄôt improve any when Sacchetti and Stoa were both sent to the locker room within two minutes of each other. And the three-plus minutes of playing two skaters down following the ejections didnâÄôt help the energy of an already shallow Gophers lineup. âÄúâÄùWe couldnâÄôt get going offensively. We had to kill a boat load of penalties especially those majors. The guys did a terrific job doing that,âÄù Gophers coach Don Lucia said. âÄúBut I havenâÄôt seen too many teams win when you take back-to-back majors.âÄù Minnesota (12-7-5 overall, 9-6-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) managed to kill off Sacchetti and StoaâÄôs penalties, but couldnâÄôt capitalize on any momentum. âÄúTo the [our] kidsâÄô credit, they didnâÄôt let it get them down,âÄù Mavericks coach Troy Jutting said. âÄúThey kept battling and it wasnâÄôt a huge momentum changer like it definitely could have been.âÄù Sophomore forward Patrick White knocked in a rebound 5:09 into the third that cut the deficit to one, but Minnesota never got any closer. Zach Harrison tapped in an empty netter with 13 seconds left to finalize the win and bring the Mavericks back to .500 for the season (13-13-3, 9-11-2). âÄúIt wasnâÄôt the result we wanted, but I have no issue with the way our kids played tonight,âÄù Gophers coach Don Lucia said. As it stands, opponents have swept Minnesota in two of the last three series and in a span of six games, the Gophers have given up 28 goals. âÄúNo one likes getting swept especially against a rival like Minnesota State, but we have to come to the rink on Monday and get prepared for Wisconsin,âÄù junior forward Ryan Flynn said. âÄúThatâÄôs what weâÄôre going to do.âÄù Flynn, one of the teamâÄôs assistant captains, emphasized that the Gophers arenâÄôt in crisis control just yet. âÄúNobody is worried in the locker room,âÄù Flynn said. âÄúEverybody is on board.âÄù Series notes Freshman Grant Scott made his collegiate debut in SaturdayâÄôs loss and sophomore Drew Fisher picked up his first point of the year on WhiteâÄôs goal. Junior forward Tony Lucia, who was scratched Saturday after taking a check from behind Friday, is probably for next weekend against Wisconsin. MinnesotaâÄôs top-ranked penalty killing unit held Minnesota StateâÄôs power play to 1-of-5 on Saturday and 3-of-11 on the weekend, but the Gophers power play was shutout on six chances Saturday after converting 2-of-3 chances the night before.