By Shane Frederick firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mankato Free Press
---- — Shelby Moteyunas flipped the puck out of the zone, sending it high into the air so she could go to the bench for a change.
Little did the Minnesota State junior defenseman know that she was starting the most important rush of the game for the Mavericks women’s hockey team, a 3-1 winner over Lindenwood on Wednesday afternoon at All Seasons Arena.
A Lindenwood player reached up over her head in hopes of knocking down the puck, but it bounced off her glove and onto the stick of Nicole Germaine, who suddenly found herself in a 2-on-1 rush with Tracy McCann.
“I honestly don’t know how I got it,” said Germaine, a senior center. “I heard Tracy yelling and just tossed it across.”
Said McCann, also a senior forward: “I was screaming as loud as I could.”
In one motion, McCann caught and fired Germaine’s pass, scoring a goal that broke a scoreless tie with 8:31 remaining in the third period of the nonconference game.
“That’s kind of us,” MSU coach Eric Means said. “We have to work awful hard to score goals. It took a long time but we finally got one. It was a nice play.”
That goal broke some of tension, too.
“A that point, we needed something — anything,” McCann said.
A little more than two minutes later, Germaine scored on a faceoff play from Kathleen Rogan, and the goal stood as the game-winner and helped the Mavericks sweep the two-game series. McCann added her second goal of the game with 3.1 seconds remaining.
“The thing is, both nights ... our seniors, who we need to produce, scored for us,” Means said.
In Tuesday’s 3-0 victory, Melissa Klippenstein had two goals and an assist and Kari Lundberg assisted on two goals.
The Mavericks outshot the Lions 31-14, including a 13-3 advantage in the first period. But Lions goalie Nicole Hensley proved tough to beat. She finished with 28 saves in the game and 73 in the two-game series.
Minnesota State goaltender Danielle Butters, finished with 13 saves. Her shutout bid was spoiled on Katie Erickson slap shot from the blue line after a Lions faceoff win with 61 seconds remaining in the game.
The Mavericks (8-12-0) wrapped up nonconference play with a 5-1-0 record, including four wins over Lindenwood (the teams played in St. Charles, Mo., Oct. 11-12). They will return to WCHA play on Saturday when they host the first of two games against Bemidji State. Gametime is 3:07 p.m.
The Mavericks are tied for sixth place in the WCHA, five points behind Bemidji. A sweep would move MSU ahead of the Beavers.
“(Wednesday’s win) was definitely a confidence boost,” McCann said.