St. Cloud, MN – Sure, it was just an exhibition to start the season but an important start for new SCSU head coach Brett Larson and his six first-year players . Although coach Larson admitted to the players “he too had butterflies” on the eve of his first game “he expected the first-year players to be nervous but thought they all did well and will just keep getting better.”
The 6-2 win doesn’t count in the pairwise nor the stats column but that’s not the point of these games. With only one full day of practice under their belt, the game allows the coaching staff to play it’s entire roster, do some experimenting and give the first-year players some valuable game experience. And, those first-year players took advantage of it with four of the six (Bushy, Walker, Perbix and Meier) garnering points in the contest. Larson said “they (the team) were shaking the rust off early but by the second period you could see the rust coming off and you could see how good this team could be.” He further stated ” I’m just really excited about where this group can get to. You saw small bits and pieces tonight. Once we shake the rust off and we get to know each other and build our identity together I’m excited about where this group can go.”
The Huskies wasted little time getting on the board with a man-advantage goal by Jacob Benson (Walker | Perbix) at 4:09 of the period. Nick Perbix fed fellow rookie Nolan Walker who threaded a pass from behind the net to senior Jacob Benson who one-timed it past the Cougar’s Colin Cooper for a 1-0 SCSU lead. The Huskies extended their lead to two goals on Nick Poehling’s (Fitzgerald | Meier) first of two on the night. Kevin Fitzgerald’s spin-o-rama move got a shot on net and Poehling buried the rebound at 13:59.
SCSU added another at 4:40 of the second period on a nice rush up ice and three-way pass between Easton Brodzinski, Ryan Poehling and Jimmy Schult who tipped it past Cooper for a 3-0 lead. But, the Cougars finally got one back on a nice goalmouth tally by Zach Henry at 10:17 to narrow the lead to 3-1. However, the Huskies weren’t finished in the period as Blake Lizotte fed Patrick Newell who wristed the puck on the ice towards the net and had it tipped in by Jack Ahcan for a 4-1 game.
SCSU added another at 6:16 of period three to increase the lead to 5-1. Ryan Poehling threaded a goal mouth pass that ultimately ended up on Blake Lizotte’s stick and he wristed it past Cooper for the Huskies 5th goal of the game. Less than a minute later, Nick Poehling added his second of the night off a pass from brother Jack who was stationed at the blue line. Poehling backhanded it past Cooper from in close for a 6-1 SCSU lead. Mount Royal cut the lead to 6-2 with a 5×3 power play goal by Rylan Lindgren at 17:35.
SCSU outshot the Cougars 40-17 for the contest. Mount Royal’s Colin Cooper stopped 31 of 37 SCSU shots on goal while the Huskies trio of David Hrenak (3/3), Jeff Smith (9/10) and David Zevnik (3/4) turned aside 15 of 17 SOG.
SCSU was 2/5 on the power play while the Cougars were 1/5. Faceoffs were 33/23 in favor of SCSU. Nick Poehling, Ryan Poehling and Blake Lizotte all added two points on the evening.
Stars of the Game: N Poehling (SCSU), R Poehling (SCSU), B Lizotte (SCSU)