The Free Press, Mankato, MN


February 8, 2014

Freshman D-man finding form as MAVERICKS SWEEP

Flanagan scores game-winner against Bemidji State


“They’re a tough team to play,” Hastings said of the Beavers. “They’re well coached, and they came out and dominated the first period. Penalty killers, goaltending — those were the difference in the game.”

For the second night in a row, Bemidji State scored the first goal and led 1-0 after one period. Defenseman Graeme McCormack scored the goal on a wraparound shot after scooping up the rebound of a Brendan Harms shot.

The Mavericks came back in the second period with two goals during a major penalty on Ruslan Pedan for checking from behind.

McInnis fired a shot from the slot that hit the right post, caromed off the back of Wilkins and dribbled back into the net, tying the game 1-1 at 3:38.

Less than two minutes later, LaFontaine finished off a scramble in front of the net, skating in late and flipping a backhanded shot over the goalie.

Later in the period, however, the Mavericks found themselves killing off a similar predicament, as Carter Foguth was tossed from the game for checking from behind.

With additional minors at each end of Foguth’s major, the Mavericks killed off 7 ½ minutes of penalty time that included more than 90 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

“Guys were blocking shots; everybody was buying in,” said Matt Leitner, who “took a couple of bullets,” blocking shots during the penalty kill, Hastings said.

The Mavericks had another power play to work with early in the third period, but the Beavers ended up scoring short-handed to tie the game. Charlie O’Connor jumped a pass at his own blue line and was free on a breakaway with only Huggins to beat. The tying goal at 1:50 of the period was the seventh short-handed goal given up by the Mavericks this season.

A little more than seven minutes later, Flanagan gave MSU the lead again.

“It was a great pass by Lehrke off the wall,” Flanagan said. “(Bryce) Gervais went to the net to get a screen. I just threw it on net, and it found a way in.”

Said Hastings: “If you look, he had his head up and had some traffic. It’s hard to score goals 5 on 5, and we needed to find one.”

The Mavericks (17-13-0, 15-7-0 in WCHA) will host Alabama Huntsville Friday and Saturday.

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