St. Cloud, MN – The #4 ranked SCSU Huskies were so dominant on Saturday night they had the game-winning goal in hand by the 7:15 mark of period one. Further indication of their superiority in this 5-0 shutout was a 31-10 advantage in total shots on goal, having a success rate of 66% (2/3) on the power play and a shut down defense that allowed an average of 3 shots per period and yes, a shutout for senior goaltender Jeff Smith. Once again, it was scoring by committee with two power play goals, 5 different players scoring and 3 seperate lines scoring when even-strength. Expecting a much tougher battle from an experienced NMU squad on Saturday, the Huskies delighted their fans once again with quick transition, tape to tape passes and aggressive drives to the opponent’s goal. In the end, the Huskies placed 64 shots on 2017-18 WCHA First-Team Goaltender Atte Tolvanen over the two-game series beating him nine times in the weekend sweep.
Patrick Newell (Jaycox) started things off with his 4th goal of the early season at 7:15 of period one. A turnover by the Wildcats sent an errant puck down ice and Newell sped down ice to retrieve it and then beat Atte Tolvanen one-on-one stick side for a 1-0 SCSU lead. SCSU upped its lead to 2-0 with a power play goal by Jimmy Schuldt (R Poehling | Jackson) at 8:57. Blake Lizotte won the draw and Ryan Poehling controlled the puck and fed Schuldt who one-timed a heavy shot by Tolvanen for a 2-0 advantage. SCSU outshot the Wildcats 12-3 in period one.
The Huskies again outshot the Wildcats 11-5 in period two but were only able to garner one goal in the second frame. However, it was a great effort by Easton Brodzinski (Jackson | R Poehling) who captured the puck from a scrum along the back wall and carried it to the net and placed a goal-mouth pass to Robby Jackson who got a piece of it on goal. The rebound returned to Brodzinski who bought time with a toe-drag and waited for Tolvanen to go down before beating him upstairs for a 3-0 lead at 16:21 of the second.
Again, the third period was all SCSU limiting the Wildcats to two shots on goal and adding two more goals to put the game well out of reach. Kevin Fitzgerald (Ahcan | Smith) netted his second goal of the season at 1:36 carrying the puck wide to Tolvanen’s right and beating him with a bad angle shot that got by him short-side for a 4-0 lead. The Huskies then closed things out with their second power-play tally of the game at 7:51 by Jacob Benson ( Perbix | Walker), his second of the season. Perbix took a shot from the left point that was tipped past the NMU goaltender for the 5-0 final.
SCSU outshot Northern Michigan 31-10 with Jeff Smith stopping all ten shots sent his way to earn the shutout and improve his record to 2-0-0. NMU’s Tolvanen (1-3-0) had another busy night turning aside 28 of 33 shots on goal. The Wildcats were unsuccessful on their only man-advantage while SCSU were 2 of 3. NMU took 5 penalties for 10 minutes and the Huskies 3 for 6. NMU edged the Huskies in faceoffs 22 to 20 and in blocked shots 12 to 6.
Ryan Poehling and Robby Jackson both had a multiple-point game for SCSU each with 2 assists in the victory.
Stars of the Game: #1 Schuldt (SCSU) #2 Jeff Smith (SCSU) #3 Jackson (SCSU)