MANKATO, Minn. - Tommy Novak scored his fourth goal of the year but it wasn't enough on Friday night at the Verizon Center as the No. 7 Gopher Hockey program fell 4-1 to No. 15 Minnesota State.
Nick Lehr made 10 saves on 10 shots in a relief appearance in the third period - his first action of the season.
Minnesota State (8-4-1 overall, 5-4-1-0 WCHA) jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period with an even-strength tally from Brad McClure at 12:26 and a power-play strike from C.J. Franklin at 16:32.
Novak brought the Gophers within one early in the second period when he found the net on a Minnesota power play. The sophomore forward was left all alone in front of the net and buried his shot at 2:16 off a nice feed from Tyler Sheehy and Mike Szmatula. The Maroon & Gold closed out the night 1-for-5 on the advantage.
Minnesota (4-3-2, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) wouldn't be able to best Jason Pawloski in goal again however, while the Mavericks added a pair of goals late in the period. Parker Tuomie scored a power-play goal at 15:04 while McClure netted his second even-strength goal of the game at 17:47.
Pawloski stopped 25 shots to pick up the win while Eric Schierhorn took the loss for Minnesota with 23 saves. Lehr made his season debut, playing an unblemished third period.
The Gophers close out the weekend on Saturday, Nov. 18 with an 8 p.m. matchup against Minnesota State at Mariucci Arena. Tickets for the 2016-17 season are available at MyGopherSports.com or by calling 1-800-U-Gopher.
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