As a UMD 5-on-3 situation ended, Lehrke exited the box just in time to get a pass from Zach Palmquist. With not a defender in sight, Lehrke walked in a put a soft touch on the puck to slip it between goalie Aaron Crandall’s feet.
A little more than three minutes later, however, Osterberg scored short-handed. He fired a shot into Huggins’ chest and the goalie dropped the puck likely a fraction of a second before a whistle would have stopped play. Osterberg swooped in, scooped up the puck and tucked it in behind the Huggins.
“That’s a tough one,” Hastings said. “Cole Huggins has pulled our bacon out of the fire multiple times this year. He thought he had it, it coughed out, they scored. I thought that was a bit of a momentum-changer.”
The Mavericks have allowed five short-handed goals this season, although that was the first given up since Nov. 22.
Bulldogs Scott Sandelin called Osterberg, a freshman, “a tenacious player.”
“That’s a great lesson for players,” Sandelin said. “We harp on it all the time. Shoot the puck and go to the net. Good things can happen. Obviously, that was a huge goal.”
Playing without regular forwards Teddy Blueger and Zach Stepan, who had to sit out one due to fighting penalties from the previous weekend, the Mavericks started slowly, getting outshot 11-5 in the first period. Still, they were able to come out of it with a 2-1 lead.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring on Andy Welinski’s shot from the blue line at 7:28 of the first period. The defenseman intercepted a clearing attempt by Bryce Gervais along the wall, and his shot appeared to deflect in off an MSU player’s leg.
McInnis tied the game midway through the period from an almost impossible angle. His shot out of the corner got through traffic and snuck behind Crandall (23 saves) at the right post at 10:24.