The Mavericks outshot the Huskies 8-3 in the first period, keeping pucks away from Huggins. But it evened out after that with the teams getting 12 shots each in a second period that featured seven penalties.
Minnesota State also killed off five power plays, including a minute’s worth midway through the third period.
For awhile, it looked like the Mavericks didn’t have luck on their side either. In the second period, they botched a 3-on-1 rush, and with about four minutes left in the game, Zach Lehrke had a wide-open net but pushed a 2-on-1 pass from Grant just wide.
When Margonari finally scored, they Mavericks could relax right?
“I looked at the clock and there was 3:40 left,” Grant said. “That was a bit too much time for me. I kept saying, ‘Calm down. There’s too much time.’ It was good that we kept coming.”
Less than two minutes later, Grant made it 2-0, smacking in a perfect behind-the-net pass from Johnny McInnis, at the top of the crease.
Gervais added an empty-net goal with 1:09 remaining, and Huggins finished off his fifth shutout of the season and his third in four starts.
Minnesota State will close out the regular season against Michigan Tech at 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
In other WCHA games, Bowling Green defeated Bemidji State 5-3, and Northern Michigan defeated Alabama Huntsville 4-1. Alaska Anchorage and Alaska played late.
Michigan Tech 0-0-0—0
Minnesota State 0-0-3—3
Penalties: Hyland, MTU (interference) 4:39; Gaede, MSU, double-minor (elbowing, unsportsmanlike conduct) 15:20.
Penalties: Stern, MSU (interference) :56; Sweeney, MTU (high-sticking) 1:01; Gervais, MSU (interference) 1:01; Sweeney, MTU (tripping) 7:30; D. Johnstone, MTU (tripping) 14:54; Palmquist, MSU (slashing) 16:21; Petan, MTU (holding) 17:32.
Scoring: 1. MSU-Margonari 8 (Stern 6, LaFontaine 19) 16:18; 2. MSU-Grant 8 (McInnis 15, Blueger 16) 18:06; 3. MSU-Gervais 11 (unassisted) eng 18:51.
Penalties: Nelson, MSU (elbowing) 9:28; D. Johnstone, MTU (high-sticking) 10:24
Shots on goal: MTU 3-12-11—26. MSU 8-12-12—32. Penalties: MTU 6 for 12 minutes; MSU 6 for 12 minutes. Power-play opportunities. MTU 0 for 5; MSU 0 for 5. Goalie saves: MTU Copley 8-12-9—29 (2 GA); MSU Huggins 3-12-11—26 (0 GA)
MSU called its timeout at 3:06 of the third period. MTU called its timeout at 5:50 of the third period.
Referees: Pete Friesema, Butch Mousseaux. Linesemen: Rick Nelson, Matt Tyree.