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.
In a crazy coincidence from the night before, Robby Jackson ( Borgen) scored another lead off goal 54 seconds into the first period on a wrist shot from the right circle beating UMD goaltender Hunter Miska short side for a 1-0 SCSU lead. But, as the Bulldogs did all weekend, they responded with a goal of their own four minutes later by Joey Anderson (unassisted) for his third goal of the weekend. Anderson stole the puck from a falling Nathan Widman along the wall and raced in on Driscoll beating him high glove short side from the right circle to tie the game at 1-1. Jacob Benson ( Cholowski | Tedesco) regained the SCSU one-goal lead on a great play at 18:41. Cholowski fed Benson at the back wall who took the puck to the front of the net and with great patience backhanded the puck past Miska for a 2-1 lead. SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 13 to 7 in period one and won 9 of 16 faceoffs. Both teams were 0/1 on the power play.
The Huskies stretched their lead to two goals at 15:43 of period two while on the power play. Blake Winiecki (Cholowski | Wahlin) deflected a wrist shot by Cholowski from the point past Miska for his fourth goal of the year and a 3-1 Husky lead. But again, the Bulldogs responded with a goal by Dominic Toninato (Kuhlman | Kotyk) at 18:23 for his second goal of the weekend. A shot on goal by Kuhlman was stopped by Driscoll but Toninato slapped the puck out of mid-air into the goal to narrow the SCSU lead to 3-2. SCSU was outshot in the period 16 to 12 and was successful on 1 of 2 man-advantage opportunities.
In a mirror image of the Friday game, the Huskies entered the third period with a 3-2 lead only to see it dissolve once again by three third period goals by the opportunistic Bulldogs. First, at 7:33 Carson Soucy (unassisted) made a great individual effort gloving a shot from the point in the UMD defensive zone and then racing the puck the length of the ice and beating Driscoll low glove side with a wrist shot from the left circle. Not to be outdone, Neal Pionk duplicated the effort carrying the puck the length of the rink to the goalmouth and attempting to stuff the puck past Driscoll. However, Driscoll made the initial stop but Parker MacKay (Pionk) was there to bury the loose puck for the game-winning goal at 14:42. Soucy finished off the UMD scoring with an empty net goal at 18:45 for another 5-3 win for UMD.
SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 34 to 32 in another highly entertaining and fast-paced game. Hunter MIska stopped 31 of 34 shots on goal to earn the win and improve his record to 6-0-0. SCSU’s Zach Driscoll turned aside 27 of 31 UMD shots on goal in a losing effort and saw his record drop to 3-2-0. The Huskies were 1 for 4 on the power play and 1 for 9 on the weekend while UMD was 0 for 1 on the man-advantage on Saturday and 0 for 5 on the weekend.
SCSU returns to the ice next weekend in Colorado Springs, CO where they will have a weekend series with the Colorado College Tigers.
Stars of the Game: MacKay (UMD) Soucy (UMD) Cholowski (SCSU)