MARQUETTE, MICH. — Said Geravis of Leitner: "He's such a good playmaker."
Gervais was strong on the penalty kill throughout the game, using his quickness at both ends of the ice to disrupt the Wildcats' power play.
“That one’s an answer,” Hastings said of Gervais’ goal. “I think it’s justice when you have someone put in the effort that he put in tonight and be rewarded. That’s a heck of a play.”
It was just the second short-handed goal of the season for the Mavericks. Grant scored the team's third with 6:45 left in the game.
The Mavericks fell 5-2 on Friday night, and, as they did in the series opener, they scored first.
McInnis redirected a point shot by Zach Lehrke with 1:45 remaining in the first period.
Unlike Friday, Minnesota State built on the lead.
The Mavericks went up 3-0 in the second period. McInnis scored at 7:08, just seconds after a power play ended, and Leitner put back a rebound at 15:31 after goalie Mathias Dahlstrom made a diving save on Jean-Paul LaFontaine.
“(Leitner) answered the bell,” Hastings said. “Matt Leitner was good. Johnny McInnis, the leadership group, the veterans, they all did a really good job of having a bounce-back game.”
The Mavericks outshot the Wildcats 30-17. Huggins stopped 16 shots for his 11th win of the season.
The Mavericks (15-13-0, 13-7-0 in WCHA) will return to Mankato and face Bemidji State Friday and Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center.
Minnesota State 1-2-2—5
Northern Michigan 0-1-0—1
Scoring: 1. MSU-McInnis 14 (Lehrke 13, Leitner 18) ppg 18:15
Penalties: LaFontaine, MSU (holding) 1:34; Kaib, NMU (holding) 7:37; Grant, MSU (hooking) 14:29; Siemer, NMU (charging) 17:54; Gaede, MSU (charging) 18:29; Jones, NMU (roughing) 18:29.
Scoring: 2. MSU-McInnis 15 (LaFontaine 15, Leitner 19) 7:08; 3. MSU-Leitner 9 (LaFontaine 15, Palmquist 13) ppg 15:32; 4. NMU-Higby (penalty shot) 18:23
Penalties: Thompson, MSU (cross-checking) 2:05; Lindores, NMU, major (boarding) 2:05; Seckel, NMU (elbowing) 7:45; Stepan, MSU (slashing) 9:30; Shine, NMU (hooking) 13:53; Blueger, MSU (interference) 16:20; Vigier, NMU (cross-checking) 17:32; Palmquist, MSU (tripping-penalty shot awarded) 18:23
Scoring: 5. MSU-Gervais 7 (Leitner 20, Foguth 2) shg 3:30; 6. MSU-Grant 5 (Flanagan 7) shg 13:15
Penalties: Flanagan, MSU (hooking) 2:04; Stern, MSU (roughing) 12:02; Gervais, MSU (holding) 14:06; Higby, NMU (roughing) 14:06; Shine, NMU (tripping) 17:55
Shots on goal: MSU 9-12-9—30. NMU 7-5-5—17. Penalties: MSU 11 for 22 minutes; NMU 9 for 21 minutes. Power-play opportunities. MSU 2 for 7; NMU 0 for 7. Goalie saves: MSU Huggins 7-4-5—16 (1 GA); NMU Dahlstrom 8-10-7—25 (5 GA)
Referees: Pete Friesema, Kevin Longseth. Linesmen: Paul Tunison, Dan Juopperi.