St. Cloud, MN – Colorado College is perhaps the quickest team the Huskies have faced all season. They are no stranger to an Olympic size sheet of ice as the Broadmoor World Arena is also 200 x 100 feet in dimension. There were times in Friday’s game that the Tigers had the Huskies chasing them and the Huskies also found themselves losing more puck battles than they’re used to. In the end, it was the Huskies that had to rally just as they did in Colorado Springs in November to avoid losing to the sixth place Tigers. And, it was the Poehlings that did all the damage on the scoreboard for SCSU. Nick scored the lead off goal, Jack the game-tying goal and Ryan the second overtime goal for the extra league point. The two league points stretched the Huskies conference lead to 10 points over idle Minnesota-Duluth. It also continues the Huskies record of being undefeated on home ice – now 12-0-1 this season at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
It didn’t take the Huskies long to get on the scoreboard as Nick Poehling netted his third goal of the season with a lone assist to Jack Ahcan just 1:17 into period one. Poehling deflected a shot by Ahcan past Leclerc for the early 1-0 lead. However, the Tigers who are loaded with upperclassmen got back into the game with an unassisted goal by one of their seniors Trevor Gooch at 6:02 to knot the game at 1-1. Gooch scored an unassisted goal on the Tigers third shot off the game. He threw the puck from below the goal line off Hrenak’s pads that got behind him. Three and a half minutes later the Tigers struck again with a goal by Erik Middendorf who deflected a shot by Cole McCaskill for his sixth of the year at 9:38. Assists went to McCaskill and Ben Copeland. Despite being outshot 12-9 the Tigers carried a 2-1 lead at the end of one period.
An uneventful second period had both teams held off the scoreboard and the Tigers outshooting the Huskies 9-6 and having the advantage of play in the period. SCSU penalties to Blake Lizotte at 5:43 and Ryan Poehling 11:12 gave the Tigers the opportunity to extend their lead but the Huskies withstood both penalties sending the contest to the third period with Colorado College still maintaining a 2-1 advantage. It was one of the few times this season that the Huskies have not outscored their opponent in period two.
With their home undefeated record on the line, not surprisingly it was another Poehling, this time Jack, that finally tied the game for the Huskies. With assists to brother Ryan and Spencer Meier, Poehling beat CC goaltender Alex Leclerc with a shot from the slot and off the crossbar to tie the game at 2-2. This was Jack Poehling’s 7th goal of the season and 3rd point of the game for the Poehling brothers. The Huskies who pushed hard in the final period outshot the Tigers 13-6 but were unable to get the puck past Leclerc who put forth another strong game for Colorado College.
Neither squad dented the scoreboard in overtime with the Huskies carrying a 4-1 advantage in shots on goal. This mandated the extra three on three session to determine the extra league point. Unfortunately, a face-off penalty to the Tigers Westin Michaud (for covering the puck with his glove) placed the Huskies on a four on three advantage and Robby Jackson and Ryan Poehling combined to end the game quickly just a minute into the session. Jackson sent a back door pass to Poehling who was stationed in the left goalmouth and tapped it past Leclerc.
“CC is playing really hard and really well right now” said SCSU coach Brett Larson. “They play a fast, physical style and they come off an Olympic size sheet so there is no adjustment time. They made a strong push, their forecheck was hard and they were relentless all night. They made it tough on us out there.” Concerning David Hrenak’s play Larson commented “Hrenak got stronger as the game went on and he got better. When things didn’t go his way early it didn’t rattle him.”.
“I would be shocked if tomorrow’s game wasn’t just as hard.” said Larson.
The line of Ryan, Nick and Jack Poehling were the strongest and most dominant of the SCSU lines all night. In maybe a first, all three brothers were named as the “Three Stars of the Game”.
SCSU outshot the Tigers 35 to 25 for the contest. In a busy workout for CC’s Leclerc who lost possession of his stick several times in the game he stopped 33 of 35 shots on goal. David Hrenak turned aside 23 of 25 shots on goal to see his record go to 16-3-2. SCSU was penalized three times for six minutes and Colorado College twice for four minutes. Both teams were held scoreless on the power play. SCSU won 32 of 62 faceoffs.
Stars of the Game: R Poehling (SCSU), J Poehling (SCSU), Nick Poehling (SCSU)