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.
Stars of the Game: #1 Mikey Eyssimont (SCSU) #2 Patrick Russell (SCSU) #3 Charlie Lindgren (SCSU)
NCHC FROZEN FACEOFF ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM:
Mikey Eyssimont -MVP (SCSU) | Ethan Prow (SCSU) | Charlie Lindgren (SCSU) | Willie Raskob (UMD)
Dominic Toninato (UMD) Nick Schmaltz (UND)