MANKATO, Minn. – The Northern Michigan hockey team battled back from a 2-0 first period deficit, but was unable to pick up the win, falling to Minnesota State-Mankato 3-2 in WCHA hockey action Friday night at the Verizon Wireless Center.
The Wildcats move to 6-7-2 with a 4-4-1 league mark as Minnesota State-Mankato improves to 8-7-0 with a 6-3-0 WCHA mark.
Zach Stepan scored first for the Mavericks at the 6:11 mark of the first period before Dylan Margonari gave MSU a 2-0 lead at the 13:08 mark of the first.
Junior forward Reed Seckel cut the Mavericks lead to one, when he scored for the Wildcats off a feed from junior forward Ryan Daugherty and defender Mitch Jones at the 17:57 mark of the first. Freshman forward Shane Sooth scored a power play goal for NMU just 29-seconds into the third period to tie the contest at 2-2. Daughtry and Jones also assisted Sooth's goal.
Matt Leitner scored the third and final goal of the night for the Mavericks setting the final tally at 3-2 at the 11:52 mark of the third.
Minnesota State-Mankato outshot NMU 41-16 in the contest. Freshman goalie Mathias Dahlstrom made 38 saves in net for the Wildcats.
Seckel and senior forward Stephan Vigier led the Wildcats with four shots apiece while Sooth added two.
Penalties were even at 5-5, but NMU had 21 penalty minutes after sophomore Ryan Aynsley got 10 minutes for game misconduct. The Mavericks had 10 penalty minutes.
The Wildcats complete the series at Minnesota State – Mankato on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 8:07 (EST) at the Verizon Wireless Center.
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