MANKATO — Now that’s a hat trick!
Minnesota State forward Zach Harrison did something only five other players have done in NCAA Division I hockey history Friday, scoring three short-handed goals, in a 5-1 victory over No. 13 North Dakota.
“That’s not really something you even dream about,” Harrison said.
With his first career hat trick, Harrison lifted the 15th-ranked Mavericks to their first win over North Dakota in their last 11 meetings and to their first 3-0-0 start since 1998.
It was also a breakout game for Harrison, a junior from Flint, Mich.
Harrison scored just nine goals in his first two season at Minnesota State, but he’s maturing as a player, coach Troy Jutting said.
“He was a kid straight out of high school; now he’s a junior who’s played a ton of hockey,” Jutting said. “He’s killed penalties since the day he got here, and he’s finally coming into his own and is an important player for us.”
Harrison agreed: “I think experience has a lot to do with it,” he said.
The Mavericks led 2-1 when Harrison scored his first goal midway through the second period. Junior forward Jerad Stewart, playing for the first time this season after a bout with mono, started the play, and Harrison finished with a shot over the glove of goalie Aaron Walski (17 saves).
“Jerad Stewart made a great play,” Harrison said. “He took away two guys and did all the work.”
Harrison jumped a pass deep in the Mavericks’ offensive zone for his second goal, which came just 53 seconds into the third period. His final goal, with 1:41 to play, was an empty-netter with the Mavericks facing a 6-on-3 situation. Harrison backhanded a loose puck out of the zone, and it slid down the middle of the rink and into the goal.
The last time a player had a short-handed hat trick was Feb. 14, 1998, when St. Cloud State’s George Awada did it.
Harrison said he’s not necessarily looking to score goals when he’s killing penalties.
“When you’re killing, it’s all about hard work and getting the puck out of the zone,” Harrison said. “The puck needs to be away from your net. As long as you do that, you’ll have a successful penalty kill.”
In all, the Mavericks killed off eight power plays, including nearly two full minutes of 5-on-3 time in the game’s opening minutes.
Besides Harrison and Stewart, junior Trevor Bruess is also in his third season on the kill.
“They’ve been there and done a lot,” Jutting said. “We have some kids that have done it before.”
The Mavericks also have goaltender Mike Zacharias, who stopped 34 shots, including 10 on the penalty kill and 13 total in the second period.
The Sioux, who are 0-3 for the first time since the 1994-95 season, led 1-0 when Matt Watkins ripped a bad giveaway by MSU defenseman Ben Youds into the upper corner of the goal at 4:36.
Minnesota State came right back and took the lead as two more junior forwards, Geoff Irwin and Kael Mouillierat scored goals just 67 seconds apart.
Irwin picked up his third goal of the season at 6:16 during a delayed penalty, and Mouillierat, playing in his first game after being suspended for the first two games, scored a power-play goal at 7:23.
Senior Mick Berge assisted on both goals to match last season’s total of six (he had 20 goals).
“It’s a good start,” Harrison said. “We’ve got to keep it going.”
North Dakota 1-0-0—1
Minnesota State 2-1-2—5
Scoring: 1. UND 1 (unassited) 4:36; 2. MSU-Irwin 3 (Berge 5, Kilburg 1) ex 6:16; 3. MSU-Mouillierat 1 (Davis 4, Berge 6) ppg 7:23
Penalties: Youds, MSU (obstruction-tripping) 1:10; Boe, MSU (interference) 1:13; VandeVelde (holding) 7:52; Trupp, UND (interference) 16:13; LaPoint, UND (roughing) 16:42; Bruess, MSU (roughing) 16:42; Harrison, MSU (goaltender interference) 18:11
Scoring: 4. MSU-Harrison 2 (Stewart 1) shg 8:25
Penalties: UND bench (too many on ice) :52; Sackrison, MSU (kneeing) 2:10; Irwin, MSU (hooking) 7:01; Gregoire, UND (slashing) 17:31; Harrison, MSU (interference) 17:31
Scoring: 5. MSU-Harrison 3 (unassisted) shg :53; 6. MSU-Harrison 4 (unassisted) shg eng
Penalties: Fienhage, UND (roughing) 5:52; Watkins, UND (roughing) 7:35; Louwerse, MSU (instigating, roughing) 7:35; Genoway, UND (cross-checking, unsportsmanlike conduct) 15:54; Youds, MSU (cross-checking, unsportsmanlike conduct) 15:54; Irwin, MSU (hooking) 16:53; Bruess, MSU (high-sticking) 17:48
Shots on goal: UND 11-13-11—35; MSU 10-4-8—0. Penalties: UND 0 for 0 minutes; MSU 0 for 0 minutes. Power-play opportunities: UND 0 for 0; MSU 0 for 0. Goalie saves: MSU-Walski 8-3-0—0 (4 GA); MSU-Zacharias 10-13-0—0 (1 GA)
Referees Marco Hunt, Derek Sepherd. Linesmen: Jonathan Morrison, Tony CzechChris Olson, Jarod Moen.
UND called its timeout at 17:48 of the third period.
MSU junior scores short-handed hat trick to pace MSU
MANKATO — Now that’s a hat trick!