ST. PAUL —
“That’s a tough island to put your goaltender on in his first WCHA Final Five game,” Hastings said.
Dahl’s first goal, scored from a bad angle along the goal line at 6:11, and Nic Kerdiles fired a clean shot from the right circle through Williams’ legs two minutes later.
“You don’t want to give them a head start, and we gave them a head start tonight,” Hastings said.
It was 3-0 after one period, and Dahl made it 4-0 at 8:50 of the second. The third-line center, who nearly had a short-handed hat trick after ringing another shot off the post, has seven goals this season, four against the Mavericks.
A John Ramage major penalty for charging MSU’s Teddy Blueger gave MSU a chance to get back in the game.
Zach Palmquist and Eriah Hayes scored goals for MSU. Jean-Paul LaFontaine and Matt Leitner had assists on both goals.
However, those scored sandwiched Barnes’ second goal, which game in a 4-on-4 situation after Grant negated two minutes of the major with a hitting-after-the-whistle penalty.
“At no point did we not believe we weren’t getting back in this game,” Hayes said.
Senior Phil Cook replaced Williams at the 12:24 mark of the second period and stopped six of eight shots the rest of the way. Both Wisconsin goals against him came in the third period, one each by Frankie Simonelli and Joseph LaBate, despite the Mavericks outshooting the Badgers 16-4.
For Cook, it was his first extended action since Williams’ five-minute major against Wisconsin on Jan. 11 in Mankato. He hadn’t finished a game since Nov. 3 when he beat Minnesota.
It was also a rough night for the MSU defensemen. Rookie Nick Buchanan couldn’t corral the puck leading to the game’s first score, and Palmquist finished with a minus-5 rating.