SCSU BURIED 7-2 BY TOP-RANKED DENVER
Denver, CO – The #1 ranked Denver Pioneers exploded for four second period goals and first-year forward Liam Finlay had a career game with a hat trick as the Pioneers buried the Huskies at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. After a disappointing overtime loss on Friday, the Huskies where schooled by college hockey’s top-ranked team getting swept and falling further in the NCHC standings. With Omaha picking up a road win at North Dakota, the Huskies slipped to 6th place one point behind both the Mavericks and Fighting Hawks for the battle for fourth place. The win by Denver was their ninth straight and added to their lead over the UMD Bulldogs in the standings and the race for the Penrose Cup.
In a rather sloppy first period of play, the Huskies were contained by the Pioneers and found themselves down by two goals at the end of period. Liam Finlay began his big offensive night with his first goal of the game at 9:33 beating Jeff Smith with a tap-in goal at the doorstep. DU added to their lead at 18:13 on a play that had to be reviewed twice before being awarded the goal. Tariq Hammond tossed the puck towards the SCSU net from the sidewall and it deflected off the upper body of Matt Marcinew for his 9th goal of the season. The Huskies did outshoot the Pioneers 9 to 8 in period one but were stunted on two man-advantage opportunities.
The Pioneers increased their lead to 3-0 on a highlight reel goal by Florida Panthers first-rounder Henrik Borgstrom at 4:38 of period two. Borgstrom undressed SCSU defenseman Will Borgen with some slick stick work and then beat SCSU's Smith top shelf blocker side with a wrist shot. The Huskies finally responded with a goal of their own at 9:20 with a power play goal by Colorado native Mikey Eyssimont (Jackson | Nevalainen). Eyssimont beat Jaillet with a sharp wrist shot from a bad angle to narrow Denver’s lead to 3-1. This was Eyssimont’s 14th goal of the season. The goal seemed to give the Huskies some spark and despite beginning to carry the play Denver added another goal from Finlay for a 4-1 lead. A shot by Dylan Gambrell rebounded off the right post and Finlay was positioned perfectly to bury the puck for his second goal of the game at 12:41. A mere 23 seconds later the Pioneers struck again with a goal by Emil Romig for his sixth of the year. Romig charged into the SCSU zone and beat Zach Driscoll with a wrist shot from the right dot for a 5-1 Denver advantage. The Pioneers added yet another as Finlay capped off his hat trick with a goal at 18:17. This time a shot by Adam Plant bounced off the back wall and once again Finlay was perfectly stationed to place the puck past an out of position Zach Driscoll Smith for a 6-1 lead. Surprisingly, despite the explosion of four goals, the Pioneers only outshot the Huskies 13 to 9 in the period.
With the contest clearly out of reach both teams changed goaltenders. Zach Driscoll came in to relieve Jeff Smith late in period two and Evan Cowley replaced Denver starter Tanner Jaillet at the start of the third. Both were victimized in the third period with Driscoll getting beat on a breakaway by Colin Staub at 10:51 and Cowley getting beat on a wrist shot by Blake Winiecki ( J Poehling | J Ahcan) at 15:48 for the final goal of the contest. This was Winiecki’s 12th goal of the season. The teams both traded 11 shots on goal in the final period.
Denver outshot the Huskies 32 to 29 for the game with Tanner Jaillet stopping 17 of 18 shots to earn his 22nd win of the season. Backup Evan Cowley faced 11 shots allowing one goal. SCSU’s Jeff Smith stopped 13 of 17 shots on goal and Zach Driscoll allowed three goals on 15 shots. The Huskies were 1 for 3 on the power play while Denver was shut out on their two attempts.
The loss dropped the Huskies record to under .500 at 15-16-1. Surprisingly, their Pairwise ranking improved from 15th to 14th despite the loss. The Huskies close out the regular season next weekend hosting the Colorado College Tigers.
Stars of the Game: Liam Finlay (DU) Dylan Gambrell (DU) Henrik Borgstrom (DU)
HUSKIES COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN 4-3 OT LOSS TO #1 DENVER
Denver, CO – Overtime sessions have not been kind to the St. Cloud State Huskies this season. They are 1-5-1 including a heart breaker of a loss vs #1 Denver on Friday, February 24 at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. After staging a late third period comeback to tie the contest, the Huskies lost an opportunity to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the NCHC standings and improve their Pairwise position with the OT loss. A goal by the Pioneers Henrik Borgstrom 3:44 into overtime gave the Pioneers the win and a one-point lead over the UMD Bulldogs in the tight NCHC battle for the Penrose Cup. The loss dropped SCSU to fifth place one point behind North Dakota who defeated Omaha 6-4.
The Pioneers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first period as Troy Terry buried a shot from the left slot at 3:08 off a feed by Henrik Borgstrom for a 1-0 DU lead. But, give credit to the Huskies who responded less than two minutes later on Mikey Eyssimont’s (Newell | R Poehling) 13th goal of the season. Eyssimont beat Tanner Jaillet glove side with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle to knot the game at 1-1. SCSU then added another at 8:20 off a shot by Jon Lizotte (Eyssimont | R Poehling) from the point that appeared to have been deflected by a DU stick on the way to the net and past Jaillet. But, another of Denvers high-end players, Dylan Gambrell tied the contest once again with his 11th goal of the season at 12:05. Evan Janssen fed Gambrell who hit a wedge shot that lofted over Jeff Smith for a 2-2 game. In a highly competitive period of hockey, the Huskies had good energy despite the altitude of Denver and appeared to get stronger as the period progressed. SCSU was outshot 11-6 by the Pioneers in period one.
The Pioneers Dylan Gambrell added his second goal of the evening on a strong individual play a mere 2:09 into period two. An errant SCSU pass in the neutral zone ended up on Gambrell’s stick and he charged the SCSU zone beating Jack Ahcan wide and sliding the puck under the five-hole of SCSU netminder Smith for a 3-2 Denver advantage. That was the extent of the scoring for period two even though the Huskies had some grade A opportunities of their own. Patrick Newell lost the handle on the puck one on one with Jaillet with 10:40 remaining in the period and Jimmy Schuldt missed the net with a shot from between the dots at 9:45. The Huskies also failed to convert on the only two man-advantage opportunities in the period. In another close period of hockey, SCSU outshot the Pioneers 9 to 8.
With Denver clinging to a one-goal lead in the third period the Huskies Judd Peterson finally broke his 15 game scoring drought with a goal at 17:38 of the period to tie the game. Jake Wahlin made a nice backhand pass off the back wall that ended up in the crease and Peterson out muscled the DU defense to push the puck past Jaillet to tie the game at 3-3. This was Peterson’s first goal since December 10 vs Omaha. Denver outshot the Huskies 16-7 in the period.
But, first-year forward, Henrik Borgstrom who showcased his skills all game ended it at 3:44 into the overtime with a shot from about 10 feet out that beat Smith stick side low handing the Huskies their fifth overtime loss since January 6th. This was Borgstrom’s 16th goal of the season.
Denver outshot the Huskies 38 to 23 for the game and the Huskies Jeff Smith stopped 34 of 38 shots on goal. DU’s Tanner Jaillet stopped 20 of 23 shots on goal in the win to see his record improve to 21-4-4. In a game with few penalties, the Huskies were 0/2 on the man-advantage while Denver was 0 for 1. Mikey Eyssimont led the Huskies with a goal and an assist along with Ryan Poehling who picked up two assists in the game.
The loss not only dampened the Huskies chances for home ice for the first-round of the NCHC playoffs but also dropped them in the Pairwise from 12th to 15th, a precarious position at this point in the season. The teams complete the series on Saturday with the puck drop at 8:07 PM CT.
Stars of the Game : Dylan Gambrell (DU) Henrik Borgstrom (DU) Troy Terry (DU)
HUSKIES HIT THE ROAD TO FACE LEAGUE LEADER AND #1 DENVER
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (15-14-1 | 9-10-1 ) travel to Denver, CO to face the Denver University Pioneers (22-6-4 | 14-3-3) in a challenging NCHC conference series Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25 at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. MORE HERE
SCSU HOCKEY UPDATES FROM THE VIEW
Two future SCSU Huskies and standout Minnesota High School hockey players have been named finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award to be announced on March 12th at the St. Paul River Center.MORE HERE
SCSU HUSKIES GET DEFENSIVE ABOUT THEIR GAME
St. Cloud, MN – What a difference a year makes. The Huskies hit a high watermark in 2015-16 scoring an average of 4.27 goals per game and having a success rate on the power play of 29.5%. Entering the 2016-17 season, the Huskies saw the loss of 219 points of offense from the departure of a senior laden team with strong offensive leaders such as Kalle Kossila (14-40-54), Joey Benik (23-25-48) and sophomore, Patrick Russell (20-21-41), an early departure to the pros. Add to that the signing of an NHL contract by 30 game winner and goaltender Charlie Lindgren who posted a 2.12 GAA and .925 SV% and the team had a lot of rebuilding to do. MORE HERE
WAHLIN, HUSKIES EARN 3-1 WIN AND SWEEP OVER THE REDHAWKS
St. Cloud, MN- The Huskies could not have picked a better time to nail down a Saturday night win and a sweep. Their last win on a Saturday was on December 31st vs Arizona State in the Desert Classic. Their last sweep was on November 11 and 12 vs Colorado College in Colorado Springs. On Saturday, it appeared the Huskies were on a mission from the drop of the puck as they dominated the first period, attempted 66 shots on goal in the game and defeated the Miami RedHawks 3-1 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. In the process, they earned their fourth sweep of the season and got some payback for a sweep at the hands of the RedHawks in Oxford, OH on January 6 and 7. The win solidified their position in the Pairwise at #12 and moved them to within a point of third place Western Michigan who was defeated by Omaha 6-3 on Saturday. And, despite playing two more conference games than idle North Dakota they moved past them in the league standings for sole possession of fourth place. If anything, it’ll put pressure on the Fighting Hawks next weekend as they travel to Western Michigan while SCSU has the weekend off. MORE HERE
THIRD PERIOD RALLY LIFTS SCSU OVER MIAMI 4-2
St. Cloud, MN – It’s pretty simple. If the Huskies are to host the first round of the NCHC playoffs they need wins with little margin for error. On Friday, February 10 they methodically got the job done with a 4-2 win over the Miami RedHawks at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Entering the contest scoring less than three goals per game, the Huskies exceeded that and in the process leapfrogged Omaha who lost to Western Michigan to take hold of fifth place in the NCHC standings – one point behind idle North Dakota and four points behind third-place Western Michigan. MORE HERE
HUSKIES FACE REDHAWKS IN ST. CLOUD THIS WEEKEND
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (13-14-1 | 7-10-1 NCHC) host the Miami University RedHawks (9-11-6 | 5-7-4 NCHC ) in another key NCHC series this weekend at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Friday’s game is scheduled for a 7:37 PM CT puck drop and Saturday’s start at 7:07 PM CT. MORE HERE
UND COMEBACK NETS A 2-1 OVERTIME WIN OVER SCSU
Grand Forks, ND – Unlikely heroes emerge all the time in sports. On Saturday, a desperate North Dakota team got a lift from the most unlikely of candidates to earn a comeback win and split of the series with the SCSU Huskies. Mike Gornall, a little used forward from Irwin, PA saw action in just 11 games over the past two years barely denting the score sheet with one goal and one assist. Yet, in the critical rematch with the Huskies he became the go to player scoring twice including the tying goal in the second period and game-winner in overtime to salvage the weekend series with the Huskies with the 2-1 win.
SCSU VS UND FRIDAY THOUGHTS
Grand Forks, ND – The University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks are a frustrated bunch right now. You can see it in their body language and you can hear it in their post game interviews. A 2-7-2 record at home since November will do it to you. After winning the national championship in 2015-16 amidst the euphoria it’s easy for fans to have lofty expectations. It holds true for the SCSU Huskies as well. After a watermark 31 wins in 2015-16 it’s easy for fans to assume that you pick up where you left off. Common sense dictates that the Fighting Hawks would have a drop off after losing nine players and 217 points of offense from last years team. The Huskies surrendered 220 points of offense from last years team plus a certain All-American goaltender in Charlie Lindgren who signed early with Montreal of the NHL.
SCSU SNAGS KEY ROAD WIN AT NORTH DAKOTA
Grand Forks, ND – The Huskies have been good on Friday lately and it was no different on Friday, February 3 as they upended host North Dakota 3-1 at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND. Sophomore netminder Jeff Smith got the job done once again stopping 96% of the shots thrown at him in this crucial league win. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO FACE ANOTHER CHALLENGE IN #13 UND THIS WEEKEND
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (12-13-1 | 6-9-1) travel to Grand Forks, ND to face #13 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks (14-10-3 | 7-8-1) in a key NCHC series Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, ND. Game times are 7:37 PM CT Friday and 7:07 PM CT Saturday. MORE HERE
NORTH STAR COLLEGE CUP PART III
By now, all the fans that really care are aware the North Star College Cup experiment is no more. After four years of trying, the tournament will be discontinued. There are certainly valid arguments for doing so. I don’t have the inside scoop but unquestionably, the attendance was not near what was expected for this tourney. Last years combined two-day attendance was 23,584 and this years event has published two-day combined attendance at 23,265. The Xcel Energy Center is an expensive venue to operate a tournament at and if the fans aren’t showing up in sufficient numbers it’s hard to build a case that the event should continue. I’m not sure what the break-even point for profitability is but apparently it’s not attendance at these levels. MORE HERE
BULLDOGS CAPTURE NORTH STAR CUP WITH 2-1 OT WIN OVER SCSU
St. Paul, MN – Should the Huskies and Bulldogs meet again before the end of the 2016-17 season there is one player the Huskies need to handcuff. Two weeks ago, Kyle Osterberg scored the game-winner in the Saturday rematch between the two teams to salvage a weekend series with the Huskies in Duluth. Once again on Saturday, January 28 in the championship game of the North Star College Cup Osterberg was the hero scoring the overtime goal six minutes into the session to capture the tournament championship. With the tournament on its last legs it finally gave the Bulldogs a piece of the North Star Cup history and validated the strength of the NCHC with its two members in the title game. MORE HERE
NCHC RULES: SCSU AND UMD ADVANCE TO NORTH STAR CUP FINAL
St. Paul, MN – The St. Cloud State University Huskies advanced to defend their North Star College Cup Championship after edging the Bemidji State University Beavers 2-1 at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday, January 27. The Huskies will face NCHC league rival UMD for the fifth time this season on Saturday at 7:00 PM CT. The Bulldogs advanced after posting a 3-2 win over the University of Minnesota in the nightcap. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO DEFEND TITLE IN NORTH STAR COLLEGE CUP
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (11-12-1 | 6-9-1 ) face the Bemidji State University Beavers (16-9-3 | 16-4-2) of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in the first game of the North Star College Cup in non-conference play on Friday, January 27 at 4:00 PM at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The nightcap will have the host team, University of Minnesota of the BIG 10 facing off against University of MInnesota-Duluth of the NCHC at 7:00 PM CT. Saturday’s schedule will be determined based on results of Friday’s play. SCSU could either face the University of Minnesota or University of Minnesota-Duluth at 4:00 PM or 7:00 PM CT. MORE HERE
PIONEERS REBOUND FOR 3-1 WIN OVER HUSKIES
St. Cloud, MN – The margin between wins and losses has been ever so slight lately for the Huskies. Three of their last six games have been decided in overtime and with an extra goal here and another save there their standing in the NCHC could be quite different. On Saturday, A two-goal rally by Denver in the second period was all it took for the Pioneers to capture a split of the weekend series with a 3-1 win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. MORE HERE
POEHLINGS LEAD SCSU TO 3-2 OT WIN OVER TOP-RANKED DENVER
St. Cloud, MN – When you work as hard on the ice as the Poehling brothers do good things are bound to happen. On Friday, Jack scored a key goal to tie the game late in the second period and Ryan netted the game-winner in overtime as the Huskies upset #1/2 Denver University at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. MORE HERE
HUSKIES FACE ANOTHER CHALLENGE IN TOP-RANKED DENVER
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (10-11-1 | 5-8-1 ) host the #1/2 University of Denver Pioneers (15-5-4 | 7-2-3) in a challenging NCHC conference series Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, MN. MORE HERE
SCSU VS UMD PART III
After a disappointing stretch of road games losing three of four the Huskies needed a strong weekend facing the #3 ranked UMD Bulldogs. Although the Huskies dropped off the USCHO top twenty ranking, they were still hanging on the fringe of the NCAA bubble with a #17 Pairwise ranking. Upcoming NCHC games vs UMD, Denver and North Dakota would continue to prop the Pairwise assuming some on-ice success vs these opponents. Additional contests in the North Star Cup the end of the month would also be beneficial to the Huskies cause. MORE HERE
BULLDOGS RALLY FOR 4-3 OVERTIME WIN OVER SCSU
Duluth, MN – Perhaps the Huskies had no business carrying Saturday’s game into overtime. But, there they were knocking on the door of a weekend sweep after a three-goal rally in the second period to tie the game at 3-3. On the verge of a disastrous weekend, the home squad’s Kyle Osterberg scored 2:33 into the overtime session to salvage a weekend split for the #3 ranked Bulldogs. MORE HERE
SMITH, HUSKIES GAIN KEY ROAD WIN 2-1 OVER #3 UMD
Duluth, MN – Jeff Smith stopped 41 of 42 UMD shots on goal, Jack Ahcan scored twice and the SCSU penalty kill was perfect as the Huskies picked up a key road win vs #3 UMD at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, MN on Friday, January 14. MORE HERE
SCSU FACES #3 UMD IN DULUTH THIS WEEKEND
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (4-7-1 | 9-10-1 ) return to conference play with a road series vs #3 University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs ( 8-3-1 | 12-4-4 ) on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14. Game times are 7:07 PM CT each night. Both games are at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, MN. MORE HERE
SCSU VS MIAMI PART III
St. Cloud, MN – After getting swept by Miami this past weekend it’s probably time for the team to take a deep breath, sit back and do some self-evaluation. Granted, things have not hit the “critical” point but after completing half the conference schedule they’ve got a lot of work ahead of them. Currently tied for fifth in the conference standings with Miami, the Huskies have played two more games than everyone in the league with the exception of this weeks opponent, UMD. Currently in the bottom half of the NCHC standings, the Huskies would be on the road to face the North Dakota Fighting Hawks in Grand Forks in the NCHC playoffs if the regular season ended today. MORE HERE
POWER PLAY FIZZLES AS HUSKIES ARE SWEPT 4-1 BY MIAMI
Oxford, OH – SCSU coach Bob Motzko experienced the pinnacle of his coaching experience on Thursday winning the Gold Medal vs Canada in the World Junior Championships. On Saturday, he returned to the bench of the SCSU Huskies to witness the end result of perhaps the most disappointing series of the season for his SCSU squad. After a frustrating 3-2 loss on Friday getting beat by Miami’s power play, the Huskies could not conjure up any success in six man-advantage chances in the rematch and fell to unranked Miami 4-1. The sweep by Miami lifted the RedHawks into a tie for fifth place in the NCHC standings with the Huskies pending the outcome of the UND vs Omaha Saturday night game. The weekend losses dropped the Huskies extended road trip record that began on December 29th to 1-3-0. They now return home for a quick week of practice before meeting up with #1 ranked UMD in Duluth next weekend.
FIVE MINUTE MAJOR SINKS HUSKIES 3-2 IN OVERTIME LOSS TO MIAMI
Oxford, OH – This was not the kind of way you want to lose a hockey game. Up 2-1 with 2:15 left in regulation, the Huskies Jacob Benson was whistled for a five-minute major for contact to the head. Clearly a judgment call by the officials, it steered the outcome of a game that appeared to be well in hand by SCSU to the RedHawks. Subsequently, Miami’s Josh Melnick scored with 56 seconds remaining in regulation and then 1:23 into overtime to give Miami an improbable win over the Huskies at the Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, OH. MORE HERE
PREVIEW: HUSKIES RETURN TO NCHC PLAY VS MIAMI REDHAWKS
The #20 ranked St. Cloud State University Huskies (9-8-1 | 4-5-1 NCHC) travel to Oxford, OH for a key NCHC series vs the Miami University RedHawks (5-8-5 | 1-4-3 NCHC ) this weekend at the Goggin Ice Center. Friday’s game is scheduled for a 6:37 PM CT puck drop and Saturday’s start at 6:07 PM CT.
ASU DESERT CLASSIC PART III
Prescott Valley, AZ – The Huskies closed out calendar year 2016 participating in the Arizona State University Desert Classic on December 30 and 31. Why in Prescott Valley which is about 90 miles from Phoenix or 100 miles from Tempe? The best I could gather is they’ve had a decent alumni following in the area in the past and a decent size facility (about 5,000) available for the tournament in the Prescott Valley Events Center. This was the previous home to the Arizona Sun Dogs of the Central Hockey League who departed Prescott Valley in August of 2014 after the merger of the ECHL and the CHL. MORE HERE
HUSKIES EDGE SUN DEVILS 4-2 IN DESERT CLASSIC
Prescott Valley, AZ – It’s been an adventure following the Huskies this season. A perfect example was Saturday vs host Arizona State University in the third place game of the Desert Classic Hockey Tournament. After forging a 3-0 lead and seemingly cruising along to victory, the Huskies allowed two goals in a span of less than two minutes and then held on for a 4-2 win at the Prescott Valley Events Center in Arizona on New Years Eve. MORE HERE
SCSU DROPS DESERT CLASSIC OPENER TO UCONN 4-3
Prescott Valley, AZ – SCSU started the second half of the 2016-17 season on a sour note dropping the opening game of the ASU Desert Classic Hockey Tournament to unranked Connecticut 4-3 at the Prescott Valley Events Center on Friday, December 30th. UCONN jumped to an early lead in the contest and the Huskies had to play catch-up the entire game in the one-goal loss. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HEAD WEST TO THE ASU DESERT CLASSIC TOURNAMENT
The #18 St. Cloud State University Huskies (8-5-3 | 4-5-1 ) face the University of Connecticut Huskies (6-6-6 | 4-3-2) of Hockey East in the first game of the Arizona Desert Classic in non-conference play on Friday, December 30 at the Prescott Valley Events Center in Prescott Valley, AZ. The nightcap will have the host team, Arizona State University Sun Devils facing off against Brown University Brown Bears of the ECAC at 9:00 PM CT. Saturday’s schedule will be determined based on results of Friday’s play. SCSU could either face ASU at 9:00 PM CT or Brown University at 6:00 PM CT. MORE HERE
SCSU'S AHCAN SELECTED TO FINAL TEAM USA WJC ROSTER
St. Cloud, MN – USA Hockey announced on December 24 the inclusion of St. Cloud State University first-year defenseman, Jack Ahcan to the final roster for the Team USA World Junior Championship squad. This years IIHF World Junior championship takes place from December 26 through December 31 at two venues – the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Team USA Roster
Ahcan, from Savage, MN was named the USHL’s Defenseman of the Year following the 2015-16 season and currently is tied for second in points with 3-10-13 after 15 games with the St. Cloud State University Huskies of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). Ahcan will join SCSU coach Bob Motzko who will be skippering the 2017 Team USA squad. In announcing the 23 man roster, Team USA General Manager Jim Johanssen commented “We’re excited about this group of players and the way in which they will maximize the style of hockey that head coach Bob Motzko wants the team to play,”
The inclusion of Ahcan to the team certainly does not surprise me as he is form-fit to the style of North/South hockey coach Motzko likes his teams to play. Ahcan brings an element of great skating, skill, grit and a high level of competitiveness to his game. This is just another example of the growth in this overachieving, dynamic 5’7″ 180 pound defenseman’s game – a position typically dominated by big men these days. MORE HERE
SCSU'S JENSEN MAKES NHL DEBUT
St. Cloud, MN- For an aspiring NHLer, the road to the “bigs” can be an arduous one. For former SCSU All-American defenseman, Nick Jensen, who played 119 games over three seasons it took exactly 225 minor league games. And then, for one of the final cuts out of Red Wings training camp, it nearly didn’t happen. Jensen was called up to the Red Wings after an undisclosed injury to defenseman Mike Green. To compound things, another Red Wings defenseman, Brian Lashoff took a puck to the mouth during a team skate the morning of 12/20 to put the planets in perfect alignment for Jensen. Ready to be inserted into the lineup for the game with the Carolina Hurricanes on December 20th, the cooling system at PNC Arena malfunctioned causing the game to be postponed. MORE HERE
SCSU RECRUIT BLAKE LIZOTTE QUIETLY CLIMBING THE CHARTS
St. Cloud, MN – If you do an internet search of Division I college hockey players from Lindstrom, MN you’ll get none (correct me if I’m wrong). By this time next year there will be precisely one – Blake Lizotte. But, as the old saying goes, it’s quality not quantity and in this case it’s another high quality Division I recruit for St. Cloud State University and coach Bob Motzko. Lizotte is currently competing for Team USA in the 2016 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta making this a good time to do an update on this future Husky. A year ago, the Huskies had three players in this tournament – Jake Wahlin and Jack Ahcan for Team USA and Dennis Cholowski for Canada West. Not bad company if grouping only by association. However, in this case, the recognition Lizotte is getting not only in the USHL but on the International stage is well deserved for the time and hard work he’s put in on the ice and the impression he leaves everywhere he plays. MORE HERE
BRODZINSKI GETS UNTRACKED IN MADISON
St. Cloud, MN – SCSU recruit Easton Brodzinski is a goal scorer. He’s proven it at every level he’s played at. At Blaine (MN) High School he amassed 52 goals and 34 assists for 86 points in 92 games. Moving on to the British Columbia Junior Hockey League powerhouse Penticton Vees, he piled up 36 goals and 40 assists for 76 points in 65 games playing alongside NHL first-round draft choices Tyson Jost (UND) and Dante Fabbro (BU). So, after being taken in the fourth round of the USHL’s Phase 2 Draft in 2016 by Fargo he was positioned to light it up for the Force correct? Not so fast. To the surprise of many, he chugged along for eight games without a single point and was subsequently traded by the Fargo Force to the Madison Capitals on October 25. Without digging too deeply into the lack of production in Fargo or the politics of being uprooted from one team and sent to another let’s just say some times things work out for the best. After all, his brother Jonny Brodzinski had a paltry 22 points in 58 games for Fargo in 2011-12 and then exploded for 112 points over three years at SCSU. MORE HERE
SCSU REBOUNDS FOR 4-2 WIN AND WEEKEND SPLIT WITH OMAHA
St. Cloud, MN – The frustrations of playing at home came to an end on Saturday as the Huskies outshot the Mavericks 36 to 24 and defeated #20 Omaha 4-2 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Several streaks were snapped as the Huskies won for the first time at home in six outings and Judd Peterson scored his first goals since November 11 vs Colorado College. The win allowed the Huskies to jump back into fourth place in the NCHC standings – one point ahead of the Mavericks. MORE HERE
WENINGER AND MAVERICKS EDGE HUSKIES 3-1
St. Cloud, MN – After stopping 47 of 50 shots vs Wisconsin last weekend, Evan Weninger was named goaltender of the week in the NCHC. He likely made a play for the honor again this week as he turned aside 40 of 41 shots on goal in a 3-1 Omaha win Friday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, MN. The win improved the Mavericks road record to 7-0-2 and allowed Omaha to move two points ahead of the Huskies into third place in the NCHC standings. The Huskies on the other hand suffered their 5th straight loss on home ice and continued their scoring drought with only one goal in the last 180 minutes at the Brooks Center. MORE HERE
HUSKIES BACK HOME FOR WEEKEND SERIES WITH #20 OMAHA
The #17 St. Cloud State University Huskies (7-6-1 | 3-4-1 ) host the #20 Omaha Mavericks (8-5-3 | 3-3-0) in another key NCHC series Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, MN. Game times are 7:37 PM CT Friday and 7:07 PM CT Saturday. This will be the final home conference series of 2016. The Huskies do not return to home ice until January 20th vs the Denver Pioneers. MORE HERE
SCSU HUSKIES VS WMU BRONCOS PART III
Kalamazoo, MI – If you talk with the SCSU coaching staff they accomplished much this weekend in their NCHC conference road trip to Western Michigan University. Foremost, they nailed down 4 of 6 league points against a pretty darn good team that had been undefeated on their home ice thus far this season. Additionally, the special teams got back on track negating all WMU man-advantage opportunities over the weekend and scoring 3 of 5 times (60%) the Huskies had the advantage. Certainly this was a pretty big accomplishment considering the Broncos entered the weekend scoring four goals per game, converting 24% of the power play opportunities and killing 83.3% of their opponents power plays. Beyond that, the youthful Huskies continued their “growth” process with first-year players constantly placed in key roles in nearly every conceivable game condition. As they approach the midway point of the 2016-17 season, the coaching staff can only be patient and hope the experience these youngsters are gaining early in the season pays off as they complete the second half of the season full of conference games. MORE HERE
HUSKIES SKATE TO 5-5 OVERTIME ROAD TIE WITH WMU
Kalamazoo, MI – In a game that was the polar opposite to the night before, the Huskies rallied from an early two goal deficit to skate to a 5-5 tie with #13/16 Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI on December 3rd. MORE HERE
DRISCOLL GETS ROAD SHUTOUT OF WMU BRONCOS 3-0
Kalamazoo, MI – The SCSU Huskies dominance of the Western Michigan Broncos continued on the road Friday with a 3-0 shut out at Lawson Ice Rink in Kalamazoo, MI. The win continued a streak of seven straight wins over WMU and handed the #13/16 Broncos their first defeat on home ice this season. The win improved the Huskies NCHC conference record to 3-4-0 and placed them in a tie for third place with Omaha and Western Michigan. SCSU’s overall record now stands at 7-6-0. MORE HERE
SCSU HUSKIES FACE RESURGENT WMU BRONCOS
The #18 (USCHO) #19 (US College Hockey|USA Today) St. Cloud State University Huskies (6-6-0 | 2-4-0 ) face the #16 (USCHO) #13 (US College Hockey|USA Today) Western Michigan University Broncos (7-3-2 | 3-3-0) in a key NCHC series Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 at the Lawson Ice Rink in Kalamazoo, MI. Game times are 6:00 PM CT Friday and 6:00 PM CT Saturday. MORE HERE
SCSU HUSKIES VS UND FIGHTING HAWKS PART III
The North Dakota Fighting Hawks made the trip to St. Cloud limping a bit after a six-game winless streak – something they hadn’t experienced for 14 years. They also were winless in the conference – another rarity for this program. But after a nearly perfect weekend of hockey they placed themselves in the SCSU record books. You see, the Huskies had never been shutout twice at home in a weekend series in the Division I era but that was now etched in the record books with 4-0 and 3-0 losses to UND. MORE HERE
SCSU SHUTOUT 3-0 AND NORTH DAKOTA SWEEPS WEEKEND
St. Cloud, MN – Another workmanlike effort by North Dakota including some timely goals and another 60 minutes of shutout hockey by Cam Johnson delivered a 3-0 win and sweep of the Huskies Saturday at the Brooks Center in St. Cloud. The weekend continued the trend of sweeping or being swept as the young Huskies try to find themselves in the 2016-17 season. Shane Gersich scored his fourth goal of the weekend and Cam Johnson completed 120 minutes of shutout hockey as the Fighting Hawks improved their record to 2-3-1 in the NCHC. The Huskies were swept for the second time in three weekends on their home ice and saw their record fall to 2-5-0 in the conference. MORE HERE
NORTH DAKOTA SHUTS OUT THE HUSKIES 4-0
St. Cloud, MN – You can put the North Dakota six-game winless streak in the rearview mirror. Maybe it was desperation with a side of intensity, confidence and high energy as the River Hawks made a statement that they are back after a 4-0 drubbing of #12 SCSU on Friday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. North Dakota broke open a close game scoring three goals in the last eleven and a half minutes of the second period to put the game out of reach and earn their first conference win. The loss dropped SCSU’s record to 6-5-0 overall and 2-3-0 in the conference while UND improved to 6-4-2 | 1-3-1. MORE HERE
SCSU HUSKIES VS CC TIGERS PART III
It was a nearly perfect road trip to Colorado Springs. The weather was outstanding with cloudless sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 60’s. On the ice, the Huskies outscored the Tigers 11-4 over the series and left Colorado with their 11th consecutive win at the Broadmoor World Arena. They improved their overall record to 6-4-0 and evened their NCHC conference record to 2-2-0. MORE HERE
HUSKIES EARN NCHC SWEEP WITH 4-1 WIN OVER TIGERS
Colorado Springs, CO – Make that nine consecutive wins for the Huskies at the Broadmoor World Arena after a 4-1 win on Saturday, November 12 and weekend sweep of the Colorado College Tigers. Mikey Eyssimont scored twice including the game-winning goal and Zach Driscoll stopped 24 of 25 shots on goal in the conference win. MORE HERE
HUSKIES BURY THE TIGERS 7-3
Colorado Springs, CO – Despite an uncharacteristic undisciplined night of hockey, the Huskies buried the Colorado College Tigers with a seven goal outburst in a 7-3 win at the Broadmoor World Arena on Friday, November 11. Entering the series as the least penalized team in college hockey, the Huskies racked up 13 penalties for 40 minutes but withstood the consequences allowing only one goal in eight opportunities in the win. The victory improved the Huskies overall record to 5-4-0 and NCHC conference record to 1-2-0.
SCSU HUSKIES VS UMD BULLDOGS PART III
The UMD Bulldogs entered this past weekends series with SCSU as the top ranked team in college hockey. After a two-game sweep of the #8 ranked Huskies they’ll remain in that position this week in the USCHO poll. I’m not going to dispute that ranking regardless as to how subjective they can be this early in the season. The fans love polls and someone has to be there. Will they have the staying power to remain there? Probably not – the NCHC is too tough a conference to allow the Bulldogs to breeze through the season unblemished enough to remain in their current position. But, if the Bulldogs are indeed the top team in the country currently, then the youthful SCSU Huskies are not that far off. MORE HERE
ANOTHER 5-3 BULLDOG WIN AND SWEEP OF THE HUSKIES
St. Cloud, MN – Make that six consecutive wins for the #1 ranked Bulldogs at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. If it was vindication the Bulldogs were looking for after losing to the Huskies in the Frozen Faceoff Championship game last March this weekend may have helped. After a comeback victory on Friday by a score of 5-3 UMD duplicated the effort coming from behind to post another 5-3 win in the rematch on Saturday. It most certainly solidified their hold of college hockey’s #1 ranking but most importantly improved their conference record to a perfect 4-0-0 and gave them early control of the NCHC standings. MORE HERE
BULLDOGS THIRD PERIOD RALLY EDGES SCSU 5-3
St. Cloud, MN – The #1 Bulldogs rallied for three goals in the third period to upend the #8 Huskies 5-3 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Friday, Nov.4. This was the 5th consecutive win by the Bulldogs at the Brooks Center and improved their conference start to 3-0-0. The Bulldogs top line did most of the damage with 4 of the 5 goals including the game winner by first-year winger Joey Anderson at 13:48 of the third period to turn back the Huskies who had won four straight. MORE HERE
SCSU VS UAH CHARGERS PART III
The Huskies probably had a few of their fans fidgeting in their seats this past weekend vs The University of Alabama-Huntsville in a non-conference series at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. After all, the #10 Huskies were highly favored against a team that was 0-11-0 vs the Huskies in their Division I history. However, it wasn’t easy and the Huskies needed rallies in both games to defeat the stubborn Chargers of the WCHA. MORE HERE
ANOTHER RALLY AND 5-2 WIN AND SWEEP OF UAH
St.Cloud, MN – First-year defenseman Jack Ahcan scored his first collegiate goal and had a three-point game as the Huskies rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 for a sweep of the non-conference weekend series in St. Cloud. This was the Huskies fourth consecutive non-conference win and second sweep in as many weeks to improve their record to 4-2-0. MORE HERE
BIG THIRD PERIOD NETS 5-1 SCSU WIN OVER CHARGERS
St. Cloud, MN – For two periods, UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski seemed to be in one of those goaltending “zones” turning aside 31/32 shots on goal while his Charger teammates killed three SCSU power plays in a 1-1 game. But, the floodgates opened in the third period as the Huskies erupted for four goals in less than five minutes of play as SCSU smothered UAH 5-1 in non-conference play at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. MORE HERE
ANOTHER COMEBACK, ANOTHER WIN AND A SWEEP OF #7 MINNESOTA
St. Cloud, MN – According to coach Motzko, his team “grew up” a bit this weekend. After a wild comeback effort on Friday at Mariucci Arena the Huskies found themselves in a similar position on Saturday at the HBNHC. And, once again, his team clawed their way back to a 3-2 win and a sweep of the #7 University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. This was the fourth straight win over their in-state rival to the south and 5th win over the Gophers in their last 7 contests. The sweep also evened the Huskies early season record to 2-2-0 after being swept on the road by MSU Mankato last weekend. MORE HERE
CRAZY COMEBACK NETS 6-5 OVERTIME WIN OVER MINNESOTA
Minneapolis, MN – On an evening when the Minnesota Golden Gophers unveiled their 2015-16 Big 10 championship banner, the Huskies spoiled the celebration with an unlikely comeback and a 6-5 overtime win at Mariucci Arena. Despite falling behind by a score of 5-2 early in the third period and being outshot 31-20 at one point in the contest, the Huskies persevered and capped the game with an overtime goal by Jake Wahlin at 2:53 of the overtime session for a crazy but exciting win in the first game of the weekend series. MORE HERE
MAVERICKS DEFEAT HUSKIES 6-4 FOR WEEKEND SWEEP
Mankato, MN – In a game devoid at times of defense and goaltending, the Huskies and Mavericks racked up 10 goals and #14 Minnesota State outlasted the #7 Huskies with a 6-4 win and sweep of the weekend series at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, MN. The win continued the dominance of the Mavericks on their home ice winning 5 of the past 8 games since the 2007-08 season. It also improved MSU’s 2016-17 early season record to 4-0-0. The Huskies drop their first two games of the regular season to see their record fall to 0-2-0. MORE HERE
MAVERICKS SNAP STREAK WITH 4-1 WIN OVER #7 HUSKIES
Mankato, MN – The #14 ranked MSU Mankato Mavericks snapped a seven game losing streak to the #7 ranked Huskies with a solid 4-1 win on Friday, October 14 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, MN. The win was the first against SCSU since the 2011-12 season and improved the Mavericks early season record to 3-0-0. MORE HERE
KEEP AN EYE ON THESE NCHC ROOKIES IN 2016-17
The reloading of talent in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference continues this season with a new crop of outstanding first-year players that look to lead their teams to the promised land. Here’s an alphabetical look at ten impact rookies to keep an eye on in 2016-17. FULL STORY HERE
CENTERICEVIEW SCSU ROAD TRIP RANKING FOR 2016-17
I’ve been a St. Cloud State University hockey road warrior since 1986 and have literally been to nearly every hockey venue the team has visited since. As such, it probably gives me a bit of credibility to compile a list of the top destinations for SCSU hockey fans to attend during the 2016-17 season. Keeping in mind that fans have different travel budgets and tastes my list won’t be suited to every fan. However, logistically, this years schedule allows most fans to travel by vehicle to five of the destinations (excluding the Arizona trip) out of nine this season. And, with a little planning, all five of these road trips can be done reasonably without a lot of pain to your budget. So, with that said here’s my list of the top road trip destinations (with comments) for SCSU hockey fans for the 2016-17 season:
SCSU MENS HOCKEY SEASON PREVIEW 2016-17
” There is a great story that will be told about our senior class. They leave a great legacy for us. They’re not just hockey players. Everyone of them is on the All-Academic team, everyone of them were darn near 100 points. Ethan ends with 99 today. Jimmy Murray was knocking on the door with another one tonight. But that story has to be told. Back in our city it’ll be told to our fans. Four straight regions, three championships, there will be some banners hanging for those seniors. There is a whole lot of pride in that locker room. You can’t talk about it now because it’s a devastated locker room” – Bob Motzko March 27, 2016
A season so full of promise, success and accolades ended quickly in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament. A hungry and determined Ferris State squad took an early lead, watched the Huskies rally in the third period and then capitalized on an overtime miscue to defeat the tourneys #2 seeded Huskies 5-4. In the course of the 2015-16 season, this team tied a school record for wins with 31 and in the process won the Alaska Gold Pan, the North Star College Cup and the NCHC Frozen Faceoff Tournament. Individual awards are almost too numerous to recall but included a Hobey Baker Finalist, MIke Richter Goaltender Finalist, NCHC Player of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, Defenseman of the Year and First Team All-American. Career 100 point scorers punctuated the lineup and seniors contributed over 250 points during the season.
For the fans, players and coaching staff this one will hurt for a while. It’s not often you see such a well-rounded team that was strong offensively, defensively, on special teams and at the goaltender position. This was a senior-laden team that seemed to be a lock for the Frozen Four. But it was not to be. That’s the nature of college hockey. There’s always next year.
And now it’s the task of the SCSU coaching staff to put the 2015-16 season behind them and rebuild for the 2016-17 season. Here’s a look at the team along with coaches comments as they prepare for the new season: FULL STORY HERE
SCSU HUSKIES REBUILD WITH SKILLED RECRUITS IN 2016-17
It was a watermark season in 2015-16 for the SCSU Huskies as they racked up 31 wins tying a program record and making their 12th NCAA appearance. However, this success did not come without a toll as the Huskies lost seven seniors to graduation and two premier underclassmen to early signings with the NHL. The net result from an offensive standpoint was the loss of 257 points ( 92 goals and 165 assists) and a great deal of senior leadership. Defensively, the hit was nearly as severe losing the NCHC Player of the Year, Defenseman of the Year and Offensive Defenseman of the Year in Ethan Prow and NCHC Goalie of the Year and the leagues win leader in Charlie Lindgren. Prow and Lindgren piled up additional post-season awards including finalist for the Mike Richter Award and All Conference 1st Team (Lindgren) and top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker and First Team All-American (Prow).
Underclassmen, Lindgren and forward Patrick Russell opted to sign NHL contracts following the 2015-16 campaign with Lindgren signing an entry level deal with the Montreal Canadiens and Russell an entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Both, obviously would have been key components of the 2016-17 squad with Lindgren returning as the top goaltender and Russell looking to build on his 20 goals (2nd on the team) and 41 points (3rd on the team).
Glaring holes were left in the goaltender position and the scoring department as the Huskies head into the 2016-17 season. As a result, the SCSU coaching staff has added nine first-year players in an attempt to rebuild the offense and to solidify the netminder position. In addition, SCSU has added elite talent to the defense with the addition of a first-round NHL draft choice and the United States Hockey League’s Defensive Player of the Year. This could perhaps be college hockey’s deepest squad of defensemen and certainly the most depth ever on an SCSU squad.
Here’s a run-down of the Huskies first-year players for the 2016-17 season:
SCSU ANNOUNCES BROADCAST TEAM FOR MENS HOCKEY
St. Cloud State Sports Properties has announced the radio broadcast team for SCSU men’s hockey for the 2016-17 season and it will include veteran sports radio announcer Jim Erickson and long-time Husky hockey announcer Dave Reichel. Erickson, a native of Braham, MN will do play by play and has a sports resume that includes doing broadcasts for the past two seasons for the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament and play by play for the Memphis River Kings of the Central Hockey League from 2004 to 2007. He also spent one season as Director of Broadcasts for Iowa Stars hockey of the AHL. He is currently employed by KLCI-FM in Blaine, MN as an on-air radio personality. Erickson is joined by former SCSU hockey All-American, Dave Reichel who will continue in the color commentary role he has been doing since 1990.
“We conducted a comprehensive talent search to find the most qualified, best voice to work alongside Dave, and we are excited about finding Jim,” said Matt Rau, general manager for St. Cloud State Sports Properties. “His background, and obvious connections to the state of Minnesota and hockey, made him an easy choice for us to consider. We know it won’t take long for our fans to embrace Jim and appreciate what he’ll bring to the Huskies hockey broadcasts.”
Erickson was chosen over several other quality candidates including 2015-16 play by play announcer Dan Terhaar and former long-time play by play announcer Don Lyons.
The broadcasts will be moved to St. Cloud radio station Rev 96.7, a member station of Townsquare Media, a national media company operating 310 radio stations across the country primarily in small to mid-sized markets. Townsquare media includes 24 broadcast properties in the state of Minnesota including several in St. Cloud. St. Cloud State University Athletics and Learfield’s St. Cloud State Sports Properties, announced in April that a five-year agreement has been reached with Townsquare Media of St. Cloud and its stations REV 96.7 FM, AM 1240 WJON and The FAN 1390 AM. REV 96.7 FM, will air all SCSU men’s hockey broadcasts. Football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, coaches’ shows and a daily show will air on AM 1240 WJON and/or The FAN 1390 AM
Learfield Sports St. Cloud State Sports Properties is the university’s exclusive multimedia rights holder operating in areas such as event sponsorships and promotion, radio and TV and digital engagement. Learfield represents 120 colleges and universities throughout the country including the University of Minnesota and the University of North Dakota.
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