St. Cloud, MN – The fans knew it and the team knew it. Never count a team out that has the skill and work ethic of this edition of the Huskies. A spirited rally in the last five minutes of the Saturday rematch with the Colorado College Tigers sent the 4700 fans in attendance bonkers and completed a three goal comeback to finish off the Tigers and capture five out of six conference points on the weekend. Maybe it should have never gotten to this point with the Huskies staking a 2-0 lead in period one. But it did and the #1 ranked Huskies had to deal with it. And did they ever with senior forward Patrick Newell having a hand in all three comeback goals including scoring the game-tying goal with 2:55 remaining in regulation and the game winner 3:53 into the overtime session. He left the ice Saturday with a four point game – two goals and two assists as the Huskies refused to yield their first loss on home ice this season. The win improved their home ice record to 13-0-1 and increased their lead over idle Minnesota-Duluth to 13 points in their chase for the NCHC’s Penrose Cup.
The Huskies got a quick start in this game scoring twice in the first 12:37 and appeared to be cruising along comfortably. Robby Jackson (Newell | Lizotte) started the scoring with a bad angle shot at 10:47 that beat CC’s Alex Leclerc from right circle for a 1-0 lead. Next, Sam Hentges (Brodzinski | Meier) scored his sixth goal of the year on an aggressive drive to the net punching it past Leclerc at 12:37 for a 2-0 SCSU lead. However, the Huskies first penalty of the contest to Brendan Bushy for hooking at 18:30 gave the Tigers an opportunity before periods end and they cashed in with 37 seconds remaining in the period. Grant Cruikshank beat an out of position Hrenak to narrow the SCSU lead to 2-1 by periods end. Even so, It was still a strong period for the Huskies outshooting the Tigers 15-9.
The wheels came off in period two with Colorado College scoring three times on four shots and grasping an unthinkable 4-2 lead while being outshot by the Huskies 14-4. Sam Hentges nearly had his second goal on the tail end of a SCSU power play and the Tigers turned it the other way with a goal by Kristian Blumenschein at 5:42 to knot the game at 2-2. Next, with Jimmy Schuldt whistled for cross-checking, the Tigers added another at 7:36 to take a one-goal lead at 3-2. Trey Bradley circled in the SCSU zone and fed Grant Cruikshank with a floating pass in the slot and he beat Hrenak for his 7th goal of the season. It wasn’t that the Huskies weren’t getting chances as Nick Perbix couldn’t convert a point-blank shot and shortly thereafter was stopped at the goal mouth. The Huskies also placed a shot from the point off the post as well. But, in a crazy period the Tigers weren’t finished adding another goal at 10:19 by Trevor Gooch, his second of the weekend to extend the CC lead to 4-2. The goal by Gooch ended the evening for Hrenak after 30:19 of play and allowing 4 goals on 13 shots. Jeff Smith who replaced Hrenak did not face a shot the balance of the period.
With the Huskies having rallied for at least a tie in each of the three contests between the teams this season there certaiinly was hope that this could be accomplished again considering the Huskies were dominating play despite the 4-2 deficit. And, they began the attack on Leclerc early and often with Ryan Poehling having a point-blank shot blocked at 11:53 and another stop by Leclerc after ripping a shot from the right circle. With the Tigers appearing to be unable to fend off the Huskies attack it appeared inevitable that the Huskies were going to convert. They placed a puck off the cross-bar at 10:16 and with the goal horn sounding it seemed to rev up the crowd. It was ruled no goal but it just seemed to intensify the Huskies attack. Another shot trickled about 6 inches wide of the post before Ryan Poehling crashed into the net. Surprisingly Poehling was called for interference at 16:09 and CC’s Ryan Yoon for roughing. Newell then began his magic show with a beautiful pass from the right circle that was chipped past Leclerc by Nick Perbix to make it a 4-3 game. The Huskies continued their aggressive attack and Newell (Ahcan | Schuldt) completed the comeback with his first goal of the night with 2:55 remaining. The Huskies nearly ended it in regulation with Leclerc barely making a stop on a shot by Ryan Poehling and a chest save on a point-blank shot by Newell before period end. The Huskies scored twice and outshot the Tigers 17-8 in the third period.
Newell (Jackson | Ahcan) then ended the night with an exclamation point burying a nice backhand feed from Robby Jackson 3:53 into overtime for a three-goal comeback and another win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Tigers outshot SCSU 3-2 in the overtime session.
SCSU outshot the Tigers 48-24 for the game with Alex Leclerc having an outstanding game in goal. Leclerc stopped 43 of 45 shots on goal. SCSU’s starter, David Hrenak had a rough night allowing 4 goals on 13 shots before being relieved by Jeff Smith. Smith stopped all eleven shots he faced in 33:24 of play. The Tigers were highly successful on their man-advantage scoring twice in three opportunities. The Huskies were unsuccessful in all six of their opportunities.
Robby Jackson (1-1-2), Jack Ahcan (0-3-3) and Patrick Newell (2-2-4) had a multi-point game for the Huskies.
Stars of the Game: #1 Newell (SCSU), #2 Blumenschein (CC), #3 Perbix (SCSU)