Huskies Top #1 North Dakota At Frozen Faceoff
The St. Cloud State Huskies took on top-ranked North Dakota Friday afternoon in a National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff semifinal. SCSU likely punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 3-1 win.
North Dakota struck first on a Keaton Thompson slap shot from the blue line at 15:02 of the first period. Thompson's third goal of the year made the score 1-0 and was assisted by Tucker Poolman and Johnny Simonson.
UND controlled play for a majority of the first period, but SCSU wrangled the momentum at the end of the period in a big way with a pair of late goals.
David Morley tied the game with his 17th goal of the season with just :25 left in the opening frame. Morley was assisted by Jonny Brodzinski, who made a nice pass from behind the net, and Ethan Prow.
Just :19 later, Joey Benik gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead when he corralled a Patrick Russell pass on the doorstep and beat UND goalie Zane McIntyre, who was out of position. Shots on goal favored SCSU 12-6 at the first intermission.
Neither team scored in the second period, with UND out-shooting SCSU 7-5. The Huskies led in total shots after two periods by a 17-13 margin.
The Huskies killed off a crucial penalty that was called against Niklas Nevalainen halfway through the third period. The penalty was called after a bizarre sequence that saw a player from each team fall through an open door in the corner of the rink and out of play.
In the third period, the Huskies played strong defense and blocked a number of shots to hold off UND before Joe Rehkamp iced the win with an empty net goal at 18:55 to give SCSU a 3-1 lead.
SCSU advances to the championship game Saturday night against the winner of Miami University and Denver.