St. Cloud, MN – With their back against the wall, the #1 ranked Huskies rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit to capture a thrilling 4-3 overtime win in the first round of the NCHC playoffs Sunday. Junior Mikey Eyssimont scored two key goals including the overtime winner and Jimmy Schuldt and Judd Peterson the others to lead the Huskies to a berth in the Frozen Faceoff next weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Although they are already a lock for the NCAA tournament as a number one seed, this is a nice reward for the team and it’s fans to compete in the Frozen Faceoff, a prestigious conference post-season tournament. The Huskies will face the #4 seed, North Dakota at 4:00 PM CT on Friday. The second game of the day will Feature #2 seed Denver University vs #3 seed UMD with the puck drop at 7:30 PM CT.
In a concerning pattern, the Huskies once again fell behind in game three by a 2-0 score. This is the third time in the past four games that the Huskies have fallen behind by the same score and have had to mount a rally. Despite heavy pressure by the Huskies for the first nine minutes of the game, Miami took an early lead at 9:33 of the first period behind a goal by Grant Hutton, his third goal and fifth point of the series. Hutton beat Hrenak with a hard shot that went off the cross-bar stick side for a 1-0 Miami advantage. They extended their lead after Mikey Eyssinont was whistled for tripping at 14:23. One second before the expiration of the penalty, Casey Gilling scored a rebound goal to put the RedHawks up by two goals. The Huskies continued to apply pressure and they nearly closed the gap to a goal when Jon Lizotte placed a puck off the post with 54 seconds left in the initial period. Despite outshooting (15-10) and out playing the RedHawks in period one, the Huskies found themselves down by two goals at 2-0. SCSU was 0/1 on the power play in period one.
Slightly over a minute into period two Miami’s Casey Gilling was penalized for slashing giving the Huskies their second power play of the game. The Huskies wasted little time converting scoring 12 seconds into the power play with a goal by Jimmy Schuldt (Jackson | Eyssimont) to narrow the lead to a goal at 2-1. Schuldt’s blast from the point beat Larkin for his 10th goal of the season. However, the comeback was short-circuited as the RedHawks scored just five seconds later with a goal by Karch Bachman and it was once again a two-goal lead by Miami. The Huskies assault on the Miami goaltender continued throughout period two with an additional 12 shots on goal in the first 18 minutes but they were unable to solve the RedHawk netminder. Finally, at 18:13 of the period, SCSU’s Eyssimont (Ahcan) gave the Huskies the boost they needed with his first goal of the game at 18:13. Ahcan fed Eyssimont and he circled clockwise in the Miami zone wristing it past Larkin for his 16th goal of the year and once again narrowing the Miami lead to one goal. A solid effort by the Huskies in period two had them out shooting the Redhawks by a 13-5 margin.
With Miami in a defensive posture, the Huskies continued to have difficulty getting to goaltender Larkin but finally found success at 14:08 of the period with a game-tying goal by Judd Peterson (J Lizotte | Borgen), his first goal in a month. Peterson tipped a shot by Jon Lizotte that trickled through Larkin to tie the contest at 3-3. This sent the game to overtime to decide who would be making an appearance at the Frozen Faceoff.
In a thrilling conclusion to the contest, Mikey Eyssimont (Newell|Ahcan) scored the game-winning goal at 8:14, his second of the game to edge the RedHawks in overtime and send them to the Frozen Faceoff next weekend. Newell carried the puck wide into the RedHawk zone and once parallel with the Miami goal dropped a pass back to Eyssimont who punched it past Larkin for the game-winner and 4-3 final.
SCSU badly outshot Miami 42-22 and edged them in facoffs 36-27. SCSU goaltender David Hrenak stopped 19 of 22 shots on goal in the win improving hs record to 13-5-2. Miami’s Larkin had a strong game in goal stopping 38 of 42 shots on goal. He ends the season with a record of 12-18-5. SCSU was 1/4 on the power play while the RedHawks were 1/1. Miami’s season ends with an overall record of 12-20-5.
Both Mikey Eyssimont (2-1-3) and Jack Ahcan (0-2-2) had a multiple point game for the Huskies.
Stars of the Game: 31 Eyssimont (SCSU) #2 Peterson (SCSU) #3 Schuldt (SCSU)