St. Cloud, MN – Through two periods, this was a typical Huskies vs RedHawks battle – close on the scoreboard, physical and lacking a lot of flow. The last meeting two months ago ended in a couple of ties and it appeared this game was trending in that direction. Enter Ryan Poehling, the 19 year-old junior who made a name for himself in the World Junior Tournament racking up the honors including tourney MVP who decided to take over the game. Poehling scored twice in the first eight minutes of period three and put the game out of reach leading the Huskies to a convincing 5-1 win over the struggling RedHawks, now winless in their last thirteen games and loser of .seven straight. Older brother Jack had a brief but effective outing scoring the game’s first goal to give SCSU the early lead and was then sent to the showers having been accessed a game misconduct at the expiration of period one. Jimmy Schuldt added his 19th career power play goal and Patrick Newell his team-leading 13th goal of the season. The win sets the Huskies for another twenty-win season if they can get the job done again in the Saturday rematch. Coupled with a 4-1 UMD loss to CC, the Huskies extended their conference lead to seven points over current second place Western Michigan who defeated Omaha 4-3.
It didn’t take the Huskies long to take an early lead as Jack Poehling (R Poehling) scored just 38 seconds into the first period. Ryan Poehling charged into the Miami zone in the left lane and made a lateral pass to brother Jack who one-timed a shot off his knee past Jordan Uhelski for a 1-0 SCSU advantage. Shortly thereafter it appeared the RedHawks tied the game on a wraparound by Gordie Green but upon review by the officials it was determined the puck did not cross the goal line. The Huskies outshot Miami 10-4 in period one and staked a 1-0 lead.
With the Huskies Nick Poehling whistled for tripping 42 seconds into period two the RedHawks tied the game on a goal by power play specialist Grant Hutton. Hutton (Melnick | Green) took a strong shot from the blueline that rang off the right post and behind David Hrenak to tie the contest 1-1. The tables were turned 29 seconds later when Monte Graham was penalized for cross-checking and Jimmy Schuldt (Jackson | Poehling) ripped a shot from the blueline that beat Uhelski glove side for his 19th career power play goal, a SCSU record for defensemen and a 2-1 SCSU lead. Miami outshot the Huskies 12-9 in period two.
Miami’s Monte Graham found himself in the penalty box for the second time in the game after he rocked Nolan Walker near the back wall with an elbow to the head 3:21 into the final period. SCSU quickly took advantage with a power play goal by Ryan Poehling at 4:04 of period three. On a nice give and go between Ryan Poehling and Blake Lizotte, Poehling tapped in a goal mouth pass from Lizotte for a 3-1 SCSU advantage. This was Poehling’s fourth goal of the season. Poehling quickly added another to stretch the SCSU lead to 4-1 at 7:45. He started the play with a stick jab to cause a Miami turnover in the SCSU zone and then blew by several Miami defenders and ended the play beating Uhelski with a high wrist shot glove side. The Huskies then put the game out of reach with Patrick Newell’s team leading thirteenth goal of the season at 18:44. Micah, Miller who has Blake LIzotte circled behind the Miami goal and then fed Newell who beat Uhelski with a spinning wrist shot from the right circle for the Huskies fifth goal. In a dominating period by the Huskies, they outshot the RedHawks 12-5.
“(Ryan Poehling) put a lot of pressure on himself as well as he’s been playing” said coach Larson.”He’s been making everyone around him better but he hadn’t scored in awhile and any top player feels that pressure so to me it was a big weight of his shoulder.”
“I didn’t think we played that well as a team in the first period. We got a little selfish and got off our game plan” said Larson.. ” We didn’t like how we were playing but I was happy with our response (after period one). But, give Miami credit. They were making a good push in the first period but our execution wasn’t good early. We need to come out and find a way to play stronger and better as a team tomorrow as Miami will be hungry again.”
Micah Miller, whose play has elevated greatly the second half had another strong play. Although he wasn’t on the score sheet has several bonafide scoring chances and led the team with eight shots on goal. He also laid a crunching check near the Huskies bench on Miami’s Christian Mohs in the third period. ” He played great” said Larson. ” He was fast, he was strong, first to pucks and won battles. He created a lot by how he played.”
For the game, SCSU outshot Miami 31-21 with the RedHawks Jordan Uhelski stopping 26 of 31 SCSU shots. David Hrenak turned aside 20 of 21 Miami shots to improve his record to 15-3-1. The Huskies had a productive evening on the man-advantage converting 2 of 5 while Miami was successful on 1 of 5 opportunities. SCSU blocked 11 shots while Miami blocked 5. SCSU attempted 53 shots in the game. Miami had the advantage in faceoffs 32-25.
Ryan Poehling had an outstanding game with two goals and two assists and six shots on goal. Blake Lizotte (0-2-2) and Jimmy Schuldt (1-1-2) also had a multi-point game for the Huskies.
Stars of the Game: R Poehling (SCSU) Jackson (SCSU) Schuldt (SCSU)