Last-minute goal by Minnesota State ends No. 1 Minnesota's unbeaten string
MINNEAPOLIS -- Freshman forward Brett Knowles scored with less than 50 seconds left in the third period to lift 14th-rated Minnesota State to a 2-1 Western Collegiate road victory at No. 1 Minnesota on Friday, snapping the Gophers' 10-game unbeaten streak.
Following a conservatively played opening period were the Mavericks outshot the Gophers by a 12-8 margin, it took until the second period before either team was able to dent the twine.
Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt took a carom off of a stick from in front of the net and beat MSU freshman Stephon Williams blocker-side for the first goal of the game at 7:48 to open the scoring. The Mavericks responded before the end of the period, however, when junior forward Johnny McInnis took Matt Leitner's centering pass and tapped the puck past Minnesota freshman Adam Wilcox with MSU on the power play at 16:42. The goal is the 11th of the year for McInnis.
Minnesota, which failed to reach the four-goal plateau for the first time in the past 10 games, outshot the Mavericks by a 20-9 margin in the third period, but Minnesota State freshman forward Brett Knowles scored the decisive goal after a shot from the point by Zach Palmquist went to Eli Zuck and then was finished off by Knowles at the 19:16 mark of the final period. The goal, the second of the year by Knowles, is his first career game-winning tally.
Williams, who now owns a 13-6-2 mark on the year, finished with 37 saves in the game, while Wilcox (16-3-4) had 31, one off his career high.
The Mavericks are now 13-3-1 in their past 17 games and own a 16-8-3 mark on the season. MSU stands 10-8-1 in WCHA play. The Gophers, who lost for the first time since Nov. 30, 2012, dropped to 17-4-4 overall, 9-3-4 WCHA. The Mavericks are 7-4-0 in the past 11 games with Minnesota.
The two teams reconvene Sunday at Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, Minn., to close out the two-game series.
Minnesota Athletics contributed to this report.