MANKATO, Minn. -- Perhaps Friday night’s game between the University of North Dakota and Minnesota State-Mankato didn’t have a shorthanded natural hat trick, 13 goals or 65 penalty minutes like some others that these teams played in the Mankato Civic Center.
But the first meeting between the Fighting Hawks and Mavericks in Mankato in seven seasons featured just about every other element needed for a classic college hockey game: a raucous crowd, multiple lead changes, high-end skill plays and two teams that have the look of contenders.
It ultimately ended in a 4-4 tie.
“This is an experienced team that didn't lose hardly anything (from a team) that had success last year,” UND coach Brad Berry said. “They’re a fast, hard team and that’s what we are, too. We wanted to make sure we got to that level and I thought for parts of the game we did. It’s just a matter of learning from what we had tonight as far as how it got away from us a little bit and making sure we play a full 60 minutes.”
UND’s regret from this one will be that it let a pair of two-goal leads in the second period slip away. It also held a one-goal lead in the third period, but couldn’t finish it off.
Minnesota State defenseman Connor Mackey scored a sharp-angle goal with 13:45 left in the third for the eventual tying goal.
But the positives were aplenty, too.
UND ended MSU-Mankato’s 11-game home winning streak by getting the tie. The Mavericks entered Friday night’s game with a 23-1 mark at home since the start of last season.
UND also generated far more offense than opponents usually do in the Mankato Civic Center. Nobody had scored four goals against the Mavericks in the building in the last 25 games. The last team to do it was Michigan Tech on March 10, 2018. UND reached that mark thanks to tallies by Westin Michaud, Harrison Blaisdell, Jackson Keane and Dixon Bowen. Keane and Bowen each had two-point nights.
Nobody has exceeded four goals in the Mankato Civic Center since Alaska (Fairbanks) on Dec. 3, 2016 -- a span of 53 home games.
“We know how important it is for nonconference,” Berry said. “We keep talking about it all the time. It goes beyond just playing a rival in Mankato. It’s that every game is a do-or-die here to try to gain Pairwise points in the standings in the nonconference side of it. Coming out with a tie. . . it would have been better with a win. . . but we got a tie and we have to make sure we come out tomorrow.”
UND 4, MSU-Mankato 4, tie
First period -- 1. MSU, Lucas Sowder 3 (Nathan Smith 1, Walker Duehr 1) 2:38; 2. UND, Westin Michaud 2 (Shane Pinto 2, Gabe Bast 1) 19:39 (pp)
Second period -- 3. UND, Harrison Blaisdell 2 :16; 4. UND, Jackson Keane 1 (Andrew Peski 1, Dixon Bowen 1) 2:44; 5. MSU, Edwin Hookenson 1 (Sowder 3, Smith 2) 5:18; 6. UND, Bowen 3 (Keane 2) 13:37; 7. MSU, Smith 1 14:55
Third period -- 8. MSU, Connor Mackey 1 (Smith 3, Sowder 4) 6:15
Overtime -- No scoring.
Penalties -- Matt Kiersted, UND, roughing, 6:18 first; Duehr, MSU, roughing, 6:18 first; Gabe Bast, UND, interference, 16:41 first; Smith, MSU, tripping, 18:53 first; Duehr, MSU, interference, 6:37 second; Peski, UND, 9:09 second; Colton Poolman, UND, holding, 17:41; Jack McNeely, MSU, interference, 19:15 third; Bast, UND, tripping, 19:57 third
Goalie saves -- UND: Adam Scheel 10-4-4-2 -- 20; MSU: Dryden McKay 11-7-4-1 -- 23
Penalties-minutes -- UND 5-10, MSU 4-8
Power plays -- UND 1-3, MSU 0-4
Attendance -- 4,575
Referees -- Bobby Lukkason and Brady Johnson