Duluth, MN – The Huskies misery continued in Duluth on Friday getting throttled by a surging UMD Bulldogs squad by a 5-1 score. The defense which had been so reliable through the first half of the season hung a helpless David Hrenak out to dry repeatedly throughout the game in a spirited effort by the Bulldogs. Hrenak, who entered the contest with the nation’s top goals against average allowed 5 goals on 18 shots in suffering his 4th loss of the season. The Huskies have now allowed 10 goals in the past two games raising a huge concern about a defense that was remarkably solid through the first half of the season. Additionally, the Huskies who had the nations #1 offense entering Friday nights game has only produced 3 goals in the past two games raising another red flag. The power play too struggled going 0/3 and dipping to about 15% since the Minnesota series.
With the Huskies controlling play from the initial faceoff the Bulldogs scored on their very first shot of the game at 2:36. A rush into the SCSU zone culminated with a shot on goal by Louie Roehl from the point that was tipped by Karson Kuhlman past Hrenak for a 1-0 Bulldog lead. Again with the Huskies applying good pressure on the Bulldogs through the first 13 minutes of the period the Bulldogs struck again at 15:10 on a goal by Peter Krieger. A lack of presence by the Huskies defense had three Bulldogs slapping at the puck until Peter Krieger beat Hrenak on a rebound shot for a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs third goal was the first of several odd man rushes resulting in goals. This time it was Joey Anderson with his sixth goal of the year for a 3-0 UMD advantage. UMD scored three goals on seven shots in the first period and limited SCSU to just three shots on goal.
The second period again spelled disaster for the Huskies yielding two short-handed goals 2:30 apart to gain a commanding 5-0 lead. First, at 17:24 Parker Mackay finished off a short-handed 2×0 followed by another shortie at 19:54 by Karson Kuhlman for his 7th goal of the season. SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 9 to 6 for the period but failed on two man-advantage opportunities yielding two goals in the process.
As the Huskies have done all year, they’ve outscored and outshot their opponents in period three and they did so in this game with Ryan Poehling getting the lone goal of the period at 10:51. Robby Jackson fed Poehling at the goalmouth and he one-timed it past Hunter Shepard for the 5-1 final.
SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 25-18 for the game with UMD’s Hunter Shepard turning aside 24 of 25 shots on goal. David Hrenak was victim to some very porous play by the SCSU defense stopping 13 of 18 shots on goal. SCSU was 0 for 3 on the power play and UMD was shut out as well going 0 for 2.
The loss drops SCSU’s record to 14-6-3 overall and 8-4-1 in the NCHC. The loss combined with a Denver win has the Huskies 4 points behind the Pioneers and just one point ahead of UMD and Western Michigan in the NCHC standings.
Stars of the game: #1 Kuhlman (UMD) #2 J Anderson (UMD) #3 Swaney (UMD)