MANKATO – The Gophers continue to be vexed by the other Division I men’s hockey programs in the state of Minnesota.
Brad McClure scored twice, Parker Tuomie had a goal and two assists and 15th-ranked Minnesota State Mankato chased goalie Eric Schierhorn after two periods on its way to a 4-1 victory over the seventh-ranked Gophers at Verizon Center on Friday night.
Jason Pawolski made 25 saves for the Mavericks, who will make the trip up to the Twin Cities to complete the home-and-home series Saturday night at Mariucci Arena.
Last November, the Gophers won their only trip to Mankato, beating the Mavericks 4-0. That marks the program’s only victory over an in-state program since November 2014. They are 1-15 in their past 16 games against in-state foes, including eight losses in a row.
In this one, Minnesota State Mankato (8-4-1) outshot the Gophers (4-3-2) 37-26 and controlled the tempo early.
In the first period, with the Gophers’ Ryan Collins and the Mavericks’ Michael Huntebrinker fighting for control in the corner, McClure skated in to retrieve the loose puck, skated between two Gophers to an open area and fired in a long shot that went in for the game’s first goal.
C.J. Franklin made it 2-0 on the power play by tipping in Ian Scheid’s shot at 16:31.
The Gophers cut into the lead early in the second period on the power play, when Tyler Sheehy found Tommy Novak right in front of the net and Novak one-timed it past Pawloski.
But the Mavericks restored their two-goal lead when Tuomie’s power-play shot from inside the blue line found its way into the net at 15:04 of the second.
Minnesota State made it 4-1 only 2:43 later. McClure was stopped on a backhanded shot, but Tuomie gathered the puck and fed Huntebrinker. His shot was stopped by Schierhorn, but the goalie lost track of the puck, and McClure stuffed it in.
When the third period began, Nick Lehr was in net for the Gophers.