St.Cloud, MN – The Huskies played a nearly flawless game on Saturday defeating #5 ranked North Dakota 3-1 and in the process moved back into first-place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Huskies scored three consecutive goals in period two and first-year goaltender David Hrenak stopped 34/35 UND shots on goal to pick up his 5th win of the season. Mikey Eyssimont scored twice including the game winner as SCSU finished conference play for calendar year 2017.
A scoreless first period had North Dakota come out with some energy but the Huskies were up to the challenge evening the shots on goal at 9-9 and doing a nice job of controlling the puck in the UND zone. The second period produced all the goals in the contest starting with a tally by Robby Jackson (Brodzinski | J Lizotte) a mere 2:09 into the second period for his 7th goal of the season. Jon Lizotte tossed the puck towards the UND goal and Jackson steered it past Cam Johnson while on his knees for a 1-0 SCSU lead. Mikey Eyssimont (Fitzgerald | J Lizotte) scored his first of two on the evening at 7:33. Kevin Fitzgerald made a cross-ice pass to Eyssimont who beat Johnson with a shot while Blake Lizotte was checked into the goal. With UND’s Matt Kiersted whistled for hooking Mikey Eyssimont (Benson | Winiecki) scored again a minute after his previous goal at 8:33 on the man-advantage. Eyssimont captured the puck at the goal mouth and skated laterally across the crease beating Johnson with a nifty backhand shot for a 3-0 SCSU lead. With the game appearing totally under control by the Huskies things became a little more tenuous in the final seconds of period two. An icing call gave UND a faceoff in the SCSU zone and with .6 seconds remaining Cole Smith added his fourth goal of the year and narrowed the score to 3-1.Incredibly, despite being outscored 3-1 UND outshot the Huskies 15-6 in the period.
A highly entertaining and tense third period was full off rink length attacks by each squad and a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone. Hrenak stood tall stopping 11 shots in the period as the Huskies were once again outshot 11-3. UND was on the man-advantage twice in the first 8 minutes but the Huskies special teams were solid all night killing all three North Dakota power plays and scoring on 1 of 2 man-advantage opportunities of their own.
David Hrenak stopped 34 of 35 UND shots on goal to see his record improve to 5-1. UND’s Cam Johnson turned aside 15 of 18 SCSU shots and suffered his third loss of the season at 7-3-2.
The win gives the Huskies a three-point lead over North Dakota in the NCHC standings heading into the Holiday break.
Stars of the Game: #1 Eyssimont (SCSU) #2 Hrenak ( SCSU) #3 J Lizotte (SCSU)