If the new WCHA means new rivalries, Minnesota State might have one with Bowling Green.
For the second time in as many nights and third time in two weeks, the two teams needed overtime to decide the outcome. On Saturday, the Mavericks got the 3-2 victory to earn the weekend and season split with the Falcons.
“Well-earned,” MSU coach Mike Hastings said in a phone interview from Bowling Green, Ohio. “To be down 2-0 on the road after one period, that the guys banded together to find a way to score a couple of power-play goals, that says a lot.”
Bryce Gervais scored the game-winner 1:30 into overtime, ripping a shot from the slot behind goalie Tomas Sholl after a hard-working pass from Chase Grant. Grant hustled out of the corner and reached between two defenders to tap the puck to Gervais, who scored his fourth goal of the season.
“(Grant) did a great job willing it to Gervais,” Hastings said. “He battled and battled and battled. ... We needed someone to make an extra effort, and that’s what Chase gave us.”
The Mavericks trailed 2-0 after one period as the Falcons’ Mike Sullivan (power play) and Mark Cooper scored goals. For Cooper, who scored Friday night’s overtime winner, it was his fourth goal of the weekend.
Minnesota State starting goaltender Stephon Williams stopped 11 of 13 shots in the period, but Hastings opted to put Cole Huggins in to start the second. Huggins, who took the loss Friday, stopped all 21 shots he faced to get the win.
“We needed a little change,” Hastings said. “(Williams) had done a pretty decent job in there, but we needed something to change the momentum. Huggins did a good job coming in and making some saves.”
The Mavericks’ comeback began at 16:38 of the second period on a 5-on-3 power-play goal by Matt Leitner. It was Leitner’s first goal of the season. Jean-Paul LaFontaine assisted on the play.
Back on the power play in the third period., LaFontaine tied the game, tipping in a shot from the point by Zach Palmquist. Zach Lehrke also assisted on the goal.
Minnesota State finished 2 for 7 on the power play and avoided giving up a short-handed goal, as it did in Friday’s opener.
Bowling Green was 1 for 6 on the power play. The Falcons outshot the Mavericks 34-33. For the season, the two teams each had 10 goals, and the Falcons had a 117-115 edge in shots on goal.
“We wanted the sweep, but we won one in overtime and lost one in overtime,” Hastings said. “I thought that was a gut-check tonight.”
The Mavericks (5-7-0, 3-3-0 in WCHA) will host Alaska Anchorage on Friday and Saturday at the Verizon Wireless Center.