Huskies Fight off Bulldogs 5-3 in NCHC Opener

(Photo Prout)

St. Cloud, MN –  Give the UMD Bulldogs all the credit in the world. After a short week of practice following a trip to Orono, Maine they found themselves missing three top forwards and a defenseman yet pushed the Huskies deep into the third period before falling 5-3 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Special teams played a major role with a combined 17 penalties for 45 minutes including an odd five-minute major whistled on SCSU’s Will Borgen for interference. Yet, as the Huskies have done in nearly every game, they rallied late to tie down another victory and maintain their unblemished record at 6-0-0.

The officials took control of the first period whistling a combined seven penalties and disrupting any kind of flow for either squad. The Huskies outshot the Bulldogs 10-7 with neither team able to dent the scoreboard. Period two started in the same fashion with the Bulldog’s Parker MacKay penalized for interference less than two minutes into the period. However, rather than the Huskies capitalizing the Bulldogs captain, Karson Kuhlman skated the puck nearly rink length and scored a wraparound short-handed goal for a 1-0 UMD lead at 2:29. But, the Huskies responded quickly while on the power play with a goal by Jacob Benson ( Jackson | Schuldt ) 19 seconds later. A shot on goal by Jackson rebounded to Benson who was parked on the side of the goal and he whacked it in to tie the game at 1-1. Following the goal by Benson, another five penalties were called including the odd five-minute major on Borgen for interference. The Huskies weathered the storm killing off the major but found themselves back on the defensive after a hooking call to Judd Peterson. This time the Bulldogs capitalized with a man-advantage goal by Matt Anderson for another one-goal Bulldog lead. The Huskies then tied the game at 18:52  on a nice goal by Ryan Poehling (Borgen | Fitzgerald). On a delayed penalty to UMD, Will Borgen tossed the puck from just inside the blue line and Poehling tipped it past UMD’s Hunter Shepard to tie the game at 2-2. The Huskies had a slight edge of 12-11 in shots on goal for the period.

The third period found the Huskies rallying once again with two goals in the first nine minutes of the period. First, Kevin Fitzgerald ( R Poehling | Eyssimont) scored at 6:33 for a 3-2 SCSU lead. Ryan Poehling, who was amped up all game fed the puck to a trailing Fitzgerald who placed the puck off the mask of Shepard and then buried his own rebound for the one-goal lead. Next, Easton Brodzinski (Ahcan | Newell ) got into the act with his first career goal as a Husky on the power play. Ahcan took a shot from the blue line that was tipped at the goalmouth by Brodzinski for his first goal and a 4-2 SCSU lead. The resilient Bulldogs again narrowed the lead to one goal after Sammy Spurrell scored at 17:02. But, the Huskies nailed down the win with a 180 foot shot into an empty UMD goal by Jimmy Schuldt at 19:23 for the 5-3 final.

SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 34-28 for the contest and were 2/7 on the man-advantage while the Bulldogs were 1/4. UMD’s Hunter Shepard had a busy evening in goal stopping 29 of 33 SCSU shots. The Huskies Jeff Smith improved his record to 4-0-0 turning aside 25 of 28 shots on goal.

Jimmy Schuldt, Ryan Poehling, Jacob Benson and Kevin Fitzgerald all had a multiple point game for the Huskies.

Stars of the Game: #1 Kevin Fitzgerald (SCSU) #2 Ryan Poehling (SCSU) #3 Easton Brodzinski (SCSU)




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