Duluth, MN- Entering this weekends series with UMD the Huskies have outscored their opponents 37-22 in the third period. As such, the odds seemed to be in the Huskies favor entering the third period of the Saturday rematch tied 1-1. Sure enough, Patrick Newell scored the game-winning goal at 14:50 of the third period to give the Huskies an important road win and split of the weekend series. The victory also meant the Huskies won three of four games against the Bulldogs in conference play this season. A nice result after a troubling effort on Friday in a 5-1 loss.
Despite an energetic start to the game by the Huskies, the Bulldogs again struck first with NIck Swaney’s 4th goal of the season to take a 1-0 early lead. But the Huskies answered back a minute and a half later with a goal by Jake Wahlin, who was a scratch in Friday’s contest. A booming shot from the point by Will Borgen was tipped by Wahlin for his 4th goal of the season and most importantly a goal to knot the game at 1-1. However, the Huskies could have done more damage with nearly a two-minute five on three at 12:39 of the period. But the Huskies struggling power play was unable to capitalize on this golden opportunity to extend their lead. Another penalty to Karson Kuhlman for tripping at 16:31 handed the Huskies another opportunity but again they were unable to convert for the sixth consecutive time in the series. Nevertheless it was a solid period by SCSU outshooting the Bulldogs 7-4.
The second period again had the Huskies exerting good pressure on the Bulldogs outshooting them 13-4 but again failing on another power play opportunity a minute into the period. The Huskies also stunted the Bulldogs only power play of the night midway through the period. SCSU nearly extended their lead with 13 seconds remaining but the Bulldog’s Shepard was able to stop a point-blank shot by Robby Jackson from about 10 feet out.
The third period again found the Huskies with several good opportunities including a wrap around by Mikey Eyssimont and another puck off the post shortly thereafter. Finally, at 14:50 SCSU found some good fortune with a goal by Patrick Newell. A shot by Jon Lizotte ended up on Blake Winiecki’s stick who slid it across the goal mouth to Newell who fashioned it between Shepard and the post for the game-winner. UMD did pull their goalie for an extra attacker with 1:18 remaining but the Huskies survived a furious attack by the Bulldogs to earn a split of this key conference series.
SCSU outshot the Bulldogs 28 to 20 for the contest with Hunter Shepard stopping 26 of 28 SCSU shots on goal. SCSU’s David Hrenak who started both games of the series turned aside 19 of 20 UMD shots on goal. Hrenak’s record improved to 6-4-0 with the win. With the power play still struggling, the Huskies were 0 for 5 on the night and unsuccessful in eight consecutive power plays in the series. The Bulldogs were unsuccessful on their only opportunity of the game,
The win improves the Huskies overall record to 15-6-3 and 9-4-1 in the NCHC. They remain at #3 in the Pairwise and are three points behind Denver in the NCHC standings with two games in hand.
Stars of the Game: #1 Patrick Newell (SCSU) #2 Jake Wahlin (SCSU) #3 HUnter Shepard (UMD)