The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 13, 2012

Mavericks battle to tie with Alabama-Huntsville

— Minnesota State men’s hockey coach Mike Hastings thought his team deserved a little bit better than a 2-2 overtime tie on Saturday night at Alabama Huntsville.

The Mavericks put 53 shots on goal but had trouble shooting the puck past goaltender John Griggs.

Eriah Hayes’ goal with 2:14 remaining in the third period forced the overtime period. The MSU senior captain deflected in a shot by defenseman Zach Palmquist.

“For me, we still found a way to tie the game,” Hastings said in a phone interview afterward. “I’m going to look at the positive.”

The Mavericks put 21 shots on Griggs in the third period but just one in overtime. They also went 0 for 6 on the power play after scoring three times with the man advantage in Friday’s 4-1 win.

“We’ve got to focus on getting a little bit dirty, getting to the dirty areas and getting those second and third (scoring) opportunities,” Hastings said. “When you go oh-for on the power play, that can come back to bite you.”

Minnesota State freshman goaltender Stephon Williams made 22 saves, including four stops in overtime, in his collegiate debut.

“He probably wants that second (goal) back,” Hastings said. “But the guy went out and gave up two goals on 24 shot. ... I thought both guys made some timely saves.”

Griggs played both games of the series and finished with 90 saves.

The Chargers led 1-0 after one period on Curtis deBruyn’s goal 5:53 into the game.

Mavericks junior Johnny McInnis tied it at 2:57 of the second period, but Huntsville got the lead back exactly two minutes later on Craig Pierce’s second goal of the weekend.

For MSU, freshman forward Teddy Blueger and sophomore defenseman Brett Stern had assists on McInnis’ goal, while Evan Mosey had the second assist on Hayes’ goal.

The Mavericks (1-0-1) will open their home schedule on Friday night when they begin a nonconference series against Rensselaer.

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