The guys came out to play tonight. The boys had some jump in their steps and they came out fired up. But an early penalty to Justin Woods early in the first deflated some of that energy a bit.
MSU had a quick flurry of shots in front of the goal that Davis Jones had some trouble containing. Woods covered the back door and took the Maverick forward off the play. And his skates. It was a good play to prevent a high percentage scoring chance and about half the time does that get called.
But the Nanooks did a good job killing the advantage though, allowing a few shots but from the outside.
The Nanooks had a power play of their own about 7 minutes in, but couldn't capitalize. The power play unit did not look very sharp, struggling on the entry and finding open ice were big issues. Plus when you get called for icing and you're on the power play, you're gonna have a bad time.
But the offensive unit was back on the horse late by halfway through the opening frame as Tyler Morley made a great heads up play at the blue line to steal the puck with the glove and make the pass to Huysmans breaking down the right wing. Huysmans took the shot, Morley got the stick on it for the tip in and the 1-0 lead to finish the period.
Into the second, the refs didn't take too kindly to 3 blind mice being played as their entrance music, and I think it showed a bit. A bunch of fluky calls early, including a 5 and a game called on Atkinson, when a Maverick player hopped on and speared our goaltender (by my count) 3 times (I heard 5). Which didn't get even a minor. But they got Atkinson's reaction sadly.
During the major, Cody Kunyk drew a hooking call to even it up 4 on 4 but a bounce in MSU's favor put it right on the stick of Matt Leitner to tie it up.
Into the 3rd, some back and forth, but the Nanooks punched through midway through as Cody Kunyk dialed up another highlight reel dangle to find Tyler Morley for his second of the game and the 2-1 lead. Then Kunyk does it again with the read at center ice to force the turnover and a 3 on 2 chance as he wills the defense to open the back door. Kunyk to Basara to Beck for the 3-1 lead late in the 3rd
Then with 3:44 to go, the Mavericks pulled their goaltender to close the gap, and they did. 23 seconds later they close the gap to 3-2 on a flurry in front of the net.
But a minute later off a faceoff Cody Kunyk gets a clean break to put the icing on the cake as the Nanooks get the 4-2 win over the Mavericks despite being outshot 39-18.
What a game by Davis Jones tonight. He's really putting it together especially from the last Saturday win over Bemidji State before the break, he's emerging as the starter here coming down the stretch.
Should be another hard fought game tomorrow. Hopefully we'll see Jared Larson's return, who knows.