St. Cloud, MN – The gas tank was full and the engine was running on all cylinders as the #4 ranked SCSU Huskies posted an impressive 4-1 win over the Northern Michigan University Wildcats on Friday, October 20th at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Huskies peppered NMU goaltender Atte Tolvanen with 16 shots in the second period scoring twice including the game-winner by Easton Brodzinski as SCSU improved its record to 3-0 on the early season. Four different players netted goals on the evening and Blake Lizotte who seemingly was a part of every big play assisted on two of them. The only blemish on the evening was a five-minute major and game disqualification penalty to Jack Ahcan late in period two that led to the Wildcats only goal of the game.
The Huskies started quickly in this contest playing with energy and competing hard for every open puck and it paid off with a goal at 8:38 of the first period by Jake Wahlin ( J. Lizotte | Walker) his first of the year. A turnover by the Wildcats in their defensive zone placed the puck on the stick of Nolan Walker who slid a smart cross-ice backhand to Jon Lizotte who fired a low shot towards the net that was directed past NMU goaltender Tolvanen for a 1-0 SCSU lead. Despite only outshooting the Wildcats by an 8-5 margin, the Huskies dominated the period in puck possession and territorial advantage.
The Huskies continued where they left off in period one and again spent a great deal of the time controlling the puck and pressuring the Wildcats and they scored early with the game-winner by Easton Brodzinski ( Ahcan | Jackson ) a mere 2:25 into period two. Ryan Poehling sent a forehand pass to Robby Jackson who placed a shot on goal from the slot that was saved by Tolvanen. But Jack Ahcan followed it up with a second shot and Brodzinski who was positioned to the left of Tolvanen cleaned up the rebound for a 2-0 score. The Huskies added another at 8:05 on the power play as a result of some pin-point passing. Jimmy Schuldt fed Blake Lizotte who found Brodzinski between the dots who sent a hard shot that rebounded to Poehling who one-timed it from the left of the goal to extend the SCSU lead to 3-0. The Wildcats finally got on the board after a five-minute major was assessed to Ahcan with two minutes remaining in period two. A shot from the point by Ryan Black was tipped in by Griffin Loughran to draw the Wildcats to within two goals. SCSU outshot NMU 16-6 in the period but had to fend off two consecutives penalties and were essentially on the penalty kill the last four minutes of the period and three minutes to begin the third.
The Wildcats did try to bear down in the third period and actually outshot the Huskies 10-9. They had an opportunity to draw back into the contest when Easton Brodzinski was penalized for boarding at 8:36 but they withstood NMU’s man advantage and added another of their own 23 seconds after the expiration of Brodzinski’s penalty. On a breakaway into the NMU zone, Blake Lizotte sent a cross-ice pass to Sam Hentges who beat Tolvanen stick side with a quick wrist shot for his first collegiate goal. Patrick Newell was also credited with an assist on the play which completed the scoring in the 4-1 win for the Huskies.
The Huskies outshot NMU 33-21 in the contest with Atte Tolvanen turning aside 29 of 33 SCSU shots on goal. David Hrenak had 20 saves on 21 shots including two key saves on point-blank shots at 13:19 and 10:20 of the third period. SCSU was penalized 6 times for 23 minutes and the Wildcats 5 penalties for 10 minutes. The Huskies were 1 for 5 on the man-advantage and NMU was 1 for 6. SCSU had a 26 to 24 edge in faceoffs and Northern Michigan blocked 16 shots while the Huskies blocked 9.
The two teams face off again at 6:00 PM CT on Saturday in the series finale at the Brooks Center.
Stars of the Game: #1 Blake Lizotte (SCSU), #2 Ryan Pohling, #3 Easton Brodzinski