Mankato West, coming off a week in which it lost three Big 9 Conference games, got a confidence boost in the form of a 7-0 victory over previously undefeated Marshall on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at All Seasons Arena in Mankato.
“We really needed a win tonight to turn things around and get back on track," said Mankato West senior goaltender Zach Fox, who turned aside 35 shots en route to his second shutout of the season. "It was sort of a must-win game for us.”
Mankato West (3-3-1) wasted little time setting the tone. Just 33 seconds into the game, Tyler Mata fed junior forward Ryan Jutting with a pass in the slot, and Jutting one-timed a shot past Tigers goaltender Mason Campion.
Jutting’s early tally, his sixth goal of the season, would prove to be the game winner.
Jutting had only four goals and two assists in 20 games last year. He has six goals and five assists in season games this season, including five-point (one goal, four assists) performance against Marshall (5-1-0).
“We worked really hard this offseason,” Jutting said. “(Tyler) Mata and (Zach) Erickson do a great job getting me the puck. All I have to do is find the back of the net.”
Mata and Erickson each had four points.
The Scarlets went 4-for-8 on the power play, a big improvement from the rest of the season, when Mankato West was scoring on only 10 percent of its power-play chances.
The Scarlets killed off all 10 Marshall power plays.
“I could see the puck a lot tonight,” Fox said. “Our guys did a phenomenal job clearing guys out in front of the net. When I see the puck, it’s my job to make the save.”
The Scarlets now focus their attention on a 6 p.m. game Saturday at All Seasons Arena against Big 9 Conference foe Rochester John Marshall.