In a game filled with penalties, including three majors against Colorado College, Minnesota State finally found the cord to its power play and rebounded from Friday's loss.
The Mavericks scored five second-period goals, including three in the final 63 seconds of the period during the third of those majors, to get themselves back on track.
They're now in a tie for fourth place in the WCHA standings and moved back up to a more-comfortable eighth place spot in the Pairwise Rankings.
Matt Leitner had a hat trick, including two goals in the quick rally. The last came with just 13 seconds left in the period. He now has 15 goals and 40 points, becoming the first 40-point scorer for MSU since David Backes and Travis Morin each had 42 in 2005-06.
"In my opinion, he's all in," coach Mike Hastings said of the sophomore center.
Josh Nelson had a goal and three assists for his first four-point game. Brett Knowles, Zach Lehrke and Johnny McInnis had the other MSU goals.
The Mavs finished 4 for 13 on the power play, while CC was 1 for 8. They also outshot the Tigers 45-28.
There were so many penalties that only the last two goals were 5x5 goals. The Mavericks scored 4x4, 4x4 with an extra attacker during a delayed penalty, and three 5x4 power-play goals. Early in the second period when the game was still scoreless, MSU failed to score during an extended 5x3 with two Tigers serving majors. When CC killed that, Hastings thought the Tigers had the momentum. But the Mavericks quelled that when a Nelson floater toward the net was tipped in by Knowles for the game's first goal.
More in The Free Press here and in the Colorado Springs Gazette here.
Other notes: The win was the 21st of the season, tying a Division 1-era record. ... The Mavericks are 11-5-2 away from Mankato. ... Dylan Margonari did not play due to an upper-body injury. ... With Margonari out, the Mavericks did some line shuffling, and sophomore forwrd Charlie Thauwald saw his first action of the season. He saw action in seven games last season. Thauwald's brother, Scott, was a captain at CC, playing there 2003-2008. ... There were 81 minutes worth of penalties called in the game, including 55 on CC.
Around the WCHA: Minnesota Duluth 4, Alabama Huntsville 0 ... Bemidji State 2, North Dakota 2 (OT) ... Minnesota 5, Denver 1 ... Michigan Tech 5, St. Cloud State 1 ... Wisconsin 6, Nebraska Omaha 2 ... Alaska 3, Alaska Anchorage 1
1. St. Cloud State (35 points)
2. Minnesota (33)
North Dakota (33)
4. Minnesota State (31)
6. Nebraska Omaha (30)
7. Denver (29)
8. Colorado College (24)
9. Minnesota Duluth (21)
10. Michigan Tech (18)
11. Bemidji State (17)
12. Alaska Anchorage (10)