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.
The Huskies got their home crowd into it early with a goal a mere 34 seconds into the game by Robby Jackson (Ahcan), his first of the season. First-year defenseman, Jack Ahcan, who has been piling up the points early, led Jackson with a pass and Jackson unloaded a shot from the outside perimeter of the left circle that beat UMD’s Hunter Miska short side for a 1-0 lead. But, the lead was short-lived as UMD added an equalizer of their own at 5:06 by Dominic Toninato (Anderson | Wolff) who always seems to step up his play against the Huskies. Joey Anderson made a nice rink-wide pass to Toninato who was breaking into the zone and he beat Smith with a high shot from the left dot. This was Toninato’s first goal of the season and it knotted the score at 1-1. The Huskies persisted with some strong first period play and it paid off as Mikey Eyssimont (Newell | Winiecki) gave SCSU another lead with his third goal of the season at 11:36. Newly paired with Patrick Newell and Winiecki, the move paid off as Newell fed Eyssimont with a pretty backhand pass and Eyssimont lifted a close in shot to beat Miska blocker side for a 2-1 lead. Next, the Poehling brothers went to work to extend the lead to 3-1. First-year forward Ryan Poehling (N Poehling | Borgen) scored his third goal in three games at 18:14 on a highlight reel play. Jack Poehling fed Will Borgen at the point who slid the puck to Nick Poehling in the right circle who quickly found R Poehling attacking the left slot for an easy tap-in. But, again, the Bulldogs responded with Alex Iafallo’s 6th goal of the early season. Iafallo was given free rein to shoot from the left dot and beat Jeff Smith low to again make it a one-goal game at 3-2. SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 10 to 7 in period one and both teams were 0/1 on the man-advantage.
After the flurry of scoring five goals in period one, the second period went scoreless despite being another strong period for the Huskies who applied stretches of intense pressure in the UMD zone and as a result drawing three power play opportunities. They were unable to convert on two consecutive power plays early in the period and again at 17:15 after a hooking call to Parker Mackay which allowed the Bulldogs to hang within a goal. Shots on goal after two periods favored SCSU 20/18 as did faceoffs winning 21 of 40 and requiring the Bulldogs to block 8 shots.
The momentum began to change in the third period and the Bulldogs ultimately tied the game just as a holding penalty to Daniel Tedesco expired at 8:39. A shot from the point by Carson Soucy was blocked by a SCSU defenseman but the loose puck was captured by Kyle Osterberg (Soucy | Iafallo) who backhanded the puck past Smith to tie the game at 3-3. The game was then tied by an unfortunate defensive zone turnover by the Huskies. Jake Wahlin was attempting to clear the puck but pushed it forward to Joey Anderson who was positioned in front of the SCSU goal. Anderson (Iafallo | Toninato) beat Smith with the gift on a forehand shot that trickled into the goal. This was Anderson’s first goal of the year but third vs the Huskies in 2016 scoring twice while playing for the USA Development team last January. The Bulldogs then clinched things with an empty net goal at 18:56, again by Anderson (Kotyk | Toninato), after a turnover off a faceoff in the UMD zone sprung Anderson free for a shot on the open net.
UMD outshot the Huskies 31 to 28 and both squads were unable to convert on five man-advantage opportunities. Hunter Miska stopped 25 of 28 shots on goal while coounterpart Jeff Smith allowed 4 goals on 30 shots. The Huskies won 33 of 61 faceoffs in the game. The UMD first line had a big night offensively scoring 4 of the 5 UMD goals including the game-winner by Joey Anderson. Anderson had a three-point night including two goals. Both Alex Iafallo and Dominic Toninato added a goal and two assists in the contest. Defeseman Bredan Kotyk had a two-assist game.
SCSU’s record falls to 4-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the NCHC. UMD improves to 6-1-2 overall and 3-0-0 in the conference.
The two teams return for the series finale at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday at 7:00 PM CT.
Stars of the Game: Anderson (UMD), Iafallo (UMD), Jackson (SCSU)