Denver, CO – Overtime sessions have not been kind to the St. Cloud State Huskies this season. They are 1-5-1 including a heart breaker of a loss vs #1 Denver on Friday, February 24 at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. After staging a late third period comeback to tie the contest, the Huskies lost an opportunity to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the NCHC standings and improve their Pairwise position with the OT loss. A goal by the Pioneers Henrik Borgstrom 3:44 into overtime gave the Pioneers the win and a one-point lead over the UMD Bulldogs in the tight NCHC battle for the Penrose Cup. The loss dropped SCSU to fifth place one point behind North Dakota who defeated Omaha 6-4.
The Pioneers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first period as Troy Terry buried a shot from the left slot at 3:08 off a feed by Henrik Borgstrom for a 1-0 DU lead. But, give credit to the Huskies who responded less than two minutes later on Mikey Eyssimont’s (Newell | R Poehling) 13th goal of the season. Eyssimont beat Tanner Jaillet glove side with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle to knot the game at 1-1. SCSU then added another at 8:20 off a shot by Jon Lizotte (Eyssimont | R Poehling) from the point that appeared to have been deflected by a DU stick on the way to the net and past Jaillet. But, another of Denvers high-end players, Dylan Gambrell tied the contest once again with his 11th goal of the season at 12:05. Evan Janssen fed Gambrell who hit a wedge shot that lofted over Jeff Smith for a 2-2 game. In a highly competitive period of hockey, the Huskies had good energy despite the altitude of Denver and appeared to get stronger as the period progressed. SCSU was outshot 11-6 by the Pioneers in period one.
The Pioneers Dylan Gambrell added his second goal of the evening on a strong individual play a mere 2:09 into period two. An errant SCSU pass in the neutral zone ended up on Gambrell’s stick and he charged the SCSU zone beating Jack Ahcan wide and sliding the puck under the five-hole of SCSU netminder Smith for a 3-2 Denver advantage. That was the extent of the scoring for period two even though the Huskies had some grade A opportunities of their own. Patrick Newell lost the handle on the puck one on one with Jaillet with 10:40 remaining in the period and Jimmy Schuldt missed the net with a shot from between the dots at 9:45. The Huskies also failed to convert on the only two man-advantage opportunities in the period. In another close period of hockey, SCSU outshot the Pioneers 9 to 8.
With Denver clinging to a one-goal lead in the third period the Huskies Judd Peterson finally broke his 15 game scoring drought with a goal at 17:38 of the period to tie the game. Jake Wahlin made a nice backhand pass off the back wall that ended up in the crease and Peterson out muscled the DU defense to push the puck past Jaillet to tie the game at 3-3. This was Peterson’s first goal since December 10 vs Omaha. Denver outshot the Huskies 16-7 in the period.
But, first-year forward, Henrik Borgstrom who showcased his skills all game ended it at 3:44 into the overtime with a shot from about 10 feet out that beat Smith stick side low handing the Huskies their fifth overtime loss since January 6th. This was Borgstrom’s 16th goal of the season.
Denver outshot the Huskies 38 to 23 for the game and the Huskies Jeff Smith stopped 34 of 38 shots on goal. DU’s Tanner Jaillet stopped 20 of 23 shots on goal in the win to see his record improve to 21-4-4. In a game with few penalties, the Huskies were 0/2 on the man-advantage while Denver was 0 for 1. Mikey Eyssimont led the Huskies with a goal and an assist along with Ryan Poehling who picked up two assists in the game.
The loss not only dampened the Huskies chances for home ice for the first-round of the NCHC playoffs but also dropped them in the Pairwise from 12th to 15th, a precarious position at this point in the season. The teams complete the series on Saturday with the puck drop at 8:07 PM CT.
Stars of the Game : Dylan Gambrell (DU) Henrik Borgstrom (DU) Troy Terry (DU)