Duluth, MN – Jeff Smith stopped 41 of 42 UMD shots on goal, Jack Ahcan scored twice and the SCSU penalty kill was perfect as the Huskies picked up a key road win vs #3 UMD at Amsoil Arena in Duluth, MN on Friday, January 14.
The Huskies who were swept last weekend by Miami seemed to be on a mission and had obvious jump right out of the gate with nearly every aspect of their game clicking in period one. The hard work paid off with Jack Ahcan’s (Jackson | Winiecki) first goal of the contest at 11:38 of period one. Ahcan fielded a feed from Robby Jackson and he fired a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Hunter Miska stick-side high for a 1-0 SCSU lead. This was Ahcan’s fourth goal of the season. SCSU was outshot 11 to 16 in period one.
Ahcan (Benson | Eyssimont) added the game-winning goal and his second of the game at 10:06 of the second period. Joining the rush into the UMD zone, Ahcan took a pass from Jacob Benson and placed a low back-hand shot that beat UMD netminder Miska for a 2-0 lead. Both teams traded penalties in the period with neither team capitalizing and SCSU outshooting the Bulldogs 12 to 10.
UMD finally solved SCSU’s Smith at 13:30 of the third period when Riley Tufte, the nephew of former SCSU coach Craig Dahl netted his first collegiate goal and second point of the season. Tufte, who was parked at the goalmouth slapped at the puck several times in the crease before finally getting it past Smith to narrow the SCSU lead to 2-1. However, Smith who clearly put forth his best game of the season stonewalled UMD the rest of the way including a number of grade A opportunities down the stretch and while the Bulldogs had Miska pulled for an extra attacker. UMD outshot the Huskies 16 to 6 in period three but Smith and the Huskies held on for a 2-1 road win.
The Bulldogs outshot SCSU 42-29 for the game and Jeff Smith turned aside 41 of 42 shots on goal to earn his fourth win of the season. UMD goaltender Hunter Miska stopped 27 of 29 SCSU shots on goal in the loss and saw his record fall to 11-4-2. The Huskies were perfect on the penalty kill stopping all five Bulldog power plays. The UMD penalty kill was flawless as well stopping all three SCSU man-advantage opportunities.
There were a number of strong performances on Friday including Jack Ahcan, Jeff Smith and Will Borgen who exerted his physical presence on defense all night against a strong offensive team in the Bulldogs.
The win evens the Huskies overall record to 10-10-1 and they maintain a tie for fifth place in the NCHC standings with Miami.
The Huskies and Bulldogs return for the rematch on Saturday at 7:05 PM CT at Amsoil Arena.
Stars of the Game: Ahcan (SCSU) Smith (SCSU) Tufte (UMD)