St. Cloud, MN – When you work as hard on the ice as the Poehling brothers do good things are bound to happen. On Friday, Jack scored a key goal to tie the game late in the second period and Ryan netted the game-winner in overtime as the Huskies upset #1/2 Denver University at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
One of the keys to the game was being able to get some pucks past Denver’s Tanner Jaillet this past weeks reigning NCHC Goaltender of the Week. With Jaillet allowing only 1.92 goals per game entering the contest, the Huskies either had to throw a lot of rubber at Jaillet or make their shots count. They did both on Friday in the 3-2 win. The Huskies got an early break when DU’s Emil Romig was whistled for hooking just six seconds into the game. The Huskies wasted no time getting a puck past Jaillet on a shot by Robby Jackson (Ahcan | Eyssimont) 51 seconds into the period. Jackson fielded a blue line feed from Jack Ahcan and skated the puck to the top of the left circle where he beat Jaillet glove side with a wrist shot for a 1-0 SCSU lead. But, just two minutes later, DU’s first year phenom Henrik Borgstrom buried a deceptive wrist shot from between the top of the circles past Jeff Smith top corner glove side to tie the game at 1-1. The Huskies outshot the Pioneers 14 to 8 in period one and the damage could have been much worse with all three Poehling brothers placing shots off the post in period one.
The Pioneers responded with a goal at 2:48 of period two to take a 2-1 lead. Kevin Conley pushed a puck off the back wall to Liam Finlay who was standing all alone in front of the SCSU goal and he snapped off a wrist shot that beat Smith glove side for the Pioneer lead. After trading unsuccessful power play opportunities the Huskies scored a key goal with just 27 seconds remaining in period two to knot the game at 2-2. Blake Winiecki carried the puck over the DU blue line and fed Jack Poehling with a back hand pass and Poehling beat Jaillet with a low wrist shot that got under his left pad. Once again, the Huskies outshot Denver 16 to 10 in the period.
The Pioneers relieved Jaillet at the start of the third with Evan Cowley. Once again, the Huskies outshot the Pioneers 12 to 7 in the period but the teams skated to a scoreless tie at the end of regulation sending the game to overtime. Denver nearly ended it 26 seconds into the session on a shot from a bad angle by Liam Finlay that got by Smith but was swept out of the goalmouth by Will Borgen. The Huskies then ended the contest with a goal by Ryan Poehling (Eyssimont | Newell) at 2:27 of overtime with his fifth goal of the season. Patrick Newell lost control of the puck in traffic just over the Denver blue line but Mikey Eyssimont captured it and tossed it toward the Pioneers goal where it was deflected by Ryan Poehling past DU’s Evan Cowley for the game-winner.
SCSU outshot the top-ranked Pioneers 43 to 26 for the game and the Huskies Jeff Smith stopped 24 of 26 shots on goal in capturing his 5th win of the season and second win in the last three games. DU’s Tanner Jaillet turned aside 28 of 30 SCSU shots before being replaced by Evan Cowley at the start of period three. Cowley stopped 12 of 13 shots and was saddled with the overtime loss. SCSU killed all three Denver man-advantage opportunities while the Huskies were 1 for 3 on the power play.
The Huskies attempt to go for the sweep when the teams meet in the rematch on Saturday at 7:07 PM CT at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Stars of the Game: Ryan Poehling (SCSU) Jack Poehling (SCSU) Robby Jackson (SCSU)