HUSKIES CAPTURE FROZEN FACEOFF TROPHY WITH 3-1 DEFEAT OF UMD
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The 2015-16 Huskies have accumulated some hardware for the trophy case this season. In October, it was the “Gold Pan” for winning the Kendall Classic in Anchorage, AK. In January it was the North Star Cup in St Paul crowning the top collegiate team in Minnesota. But, nothing so far could be more precious than the Trophy earned by the Huskies as champions of the Frozen Faceoff at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN. A 3-1 win over a solid UMD Bulldogs squad not only gave them some hardware but also solidified their position at #2 in the Pairwise and most likely a position in the NCAA West Regional in St. Paul next weekend.
On Saturday night, the Huskies relied on a rookie to lead the way as they topped UMD 3-1 and in the process snapped a seven game winning streak by the Bulldogs. This followed a 4-2 win the previous night vs Denver disrupting an eleven game winning streak further proving the legitimacy of the strength of this squad.
In the championship game, the Huskies were outshot and outscored in period one as the Bulldogs took an early lead in the contest. 6’4″ Carson Soucy tipped a shot from the point by Willie Raskob past Charlie Lindgren for a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs outshot SCSU 11 to 5 in the period and did a nice job containing the Huskies potent offense.
In the second period, tournament MVP Mikey Eyssimont went to work scoring two goals – his 11th and 12th of the season to give SCSU the two-goal lead. First, at 8:49 Ethan Prow slid a goal mouth pass to Eyssimont (Prow | Russell) who buried the puck from a bad angle to tie the game at 1-1. Eyssimont (Schuldt | Kossila) added another key goal with 36 seconds remaining in the period for a two-goal lead. Eyssimont took a feed from Jimmy Schuldt and while spinning and falling somehow got the puck past Kaskisuo for a 2-1 lead. Once again, the Huskies were outshot 14-8 but it was the Huskies who capitalized on their opportunities to take a one-goal lead heading into the final period.
In the third period, the Huskies added an insurance goal at 5:09 by Patrick Russell, his 20th goal of the season. On a three on one attack by the Huskies, Kalle Kossila fed Russell who made a behind the back pass trying to hit Mikey Eyssimont in the left slot. However, enroute, the puck deflected off a UMD player for a 3-1 SCSU advantage. With a two-goal lead, the Huskies clamped down their defense and despite being outshot 9 to 5 for the period rode out the balance of the period for a 3-1 win and possession of the Frozen Faceoff Trophy.
The Bulldogs outshot SCSU 34 to 18 for the game with Charlie Lindgren stopping 33 of 34 shots on goal to improve his record to 30-8-1. UMD’s Kasimir Kaskisuo turned aside 15 of 18 SCSU shots on goal in the loss and saw his record drop to 18-14-5. Both squads were 0/3 on the power play as the Huskies improved penalty kill has now allowed only two goals in 37 opportunities since February 1.
The Huskies now await their opponent next weekend in the first-round of the NCAA playoffs. The likely scenario is that the Huskies will be the #1 seed in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center facing Ferris State. Other participants could be conference member Denver University and Boston University of Hockey East.
All Tournament Team: Mikey Eyssimont (SCSU) Ethan Prow (SCSU) Charlie Lindgren (SCSU)
Willie Raskob (UMD) Dominic Toninato (UMD) Nick Schmaltz (UND)
Stars of the Game: #1 Eyssimont (SCSU) #2 Russell (SCSU) #3 Lindgren (SCSU)
HUSKIES SEASON ENDS WITH 5-4 OVERTIME LOSS TO FERRIS STATE
ST. PAUL, MN – St. Cloud State University’s hockey season came to an abrupt end Saturday afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN with a 5-4 overtime loss to Ferris State University. Despite falling behind 4-2, SCSU made a valiant third period comeback to tie the game at 4-4 but it ended quickly on a Jared VanWormer goal just 18 seconds into the extra session. The loss ended a record-breaking season and halted the program from advancing in the NCAA tournament and attaining a school record 32 wins. The Huskies finished the season 31-9-1 which tied the 2000-01 Huskies for most wins in a season. Ferris State, the #15 seed moves on to play Denver University in the West Region Championship game on Sunday.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to score as Mitch Maloney (Anselmin) buried a loose puck in front of the SCSU goal at 2:56 for a 1-0 lead. But, the Huskies responded quickly with Jacob Benson’s (Jackson | Winiecki) 4th goal of the season at 3:13 to tie the game at 1-1. Robby Jackson made a goalmouth pass to Benson who buried it from the backdoor to tie the game. In a period in which the Huskies could gain little traction in the FSU zone, they fell behind further on Jared VanWormer’s first of two goals of the game at 19:37 of period one. VanWormer got behind the SCSU defense and was slid a pass by Trevor Recktenwald for a 2-1 lead by periods end. Despite outshooting the Bulldogs 10 to 9 in period one, SCSU struggled to cope with the Ferris State defensive scheme which offered only three grade A opportunities at best in the period including one on the power play.
Once again, Ferris scored quickly in period two with a goal by Kenny Babinski (Robertson | Lowney) at 1:04. Carrying the puck down the right side wall Babinski beat Lindgren glove side with a long-range wrister for a 3-1 lead. The Huskies however responded with a power play goal by Mikey Eyssimont (Kossila | Prow), his 13th of the season to make it a one goal game at 3-2. Eyssimont took a feed from Kossila and while driving to the net and made a nice lateral move and beat FSU’s Smith with a shot while falling. But, once again the Bulldogs increased their lead to two goals on Gerald Mayhew’s 15th goal of the season at 12:01 of the period. VanWormer picked up his second point of the game feeding Mayhew from behind the net and Mayhew beat Lindgren from between the dots for a 4-2 FSU lead. SCSU outshot FSU 13-9 in period two but still struggled with the extremely structured Bulldog defense which only allowed two shots in the slot the entire period.
Behind 4-2 the Huskies mounted their comeback in period three finally getting some momentum in the FSU zone and scoring twice to tie the game. First, at 4:38 Eyssimont scored again, his second of the game on the power play with assists from Benik and Kossila. A shot by Benik went wide but a bounce off the back wall went to Eyssimont who scored from the right side of the goal for a 4-3 game. Next at 11:29, Joey Benik scored his 23rd of the season to complete the dramatic comeback and tie the game at 4-4. Jimmy Murray took a pass from Jimmy Schuldt and fanned on a pass to Benik but it still made it to Benik to flip the puck past Smith to tie the game at 4-4. The Huskies had two more opportunities down the stretch in regulation with Judd Peterson putting a backhand off the crossbar and Eyssimont missing a tip in for a hat trick. SCSU was outshot in the period 11-10 but finally put a dent in the FSU defense attempting 22 shots on goal and putting one off the pipe.
FSU ended the game and the Huskies season quickly in the overtime session on a rush slightly misplayed by the SCSU defense. On a rush up ice the Bulldog’s Mayhew was allowed to slide in front of Lindgren and throw a backhand that rebounded off his pad but ended up on Jared VanWormer’s stick for an easy goal to end the game.
SCSU outshot Ferris 33-31 in the contest with SCSU’s Lindgren stopping 26 of 31 shots on goal. The Bulldogs Darren Smith turned aside 29 of 33 SCSU shots on goal. SCSU was 2-4 on the power play while the Huskies penalty kill shutout FSU on their two opportunities. The Huskies had a 42-26 advantage on faceoffs and blocked 15 FSU shots.
Reflecting on the loss Coach Motzko summed things up as follows ” As it hurts, 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 one 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”.