Kalamazoo, MI – Chalk this win up to senior leadership. Seniors Robby Jackson, Patrick Newell and Jimmy Schuldt scored four of the Huskies five goals in an exciting 5-4 road comeback win at Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo, MI on March 1st. A keyed up Western Michigan Bronco squad showcased their offense placing the Huskies on their heels and requiring another comeback effort by the #1 ranked Huskies. Statistics don’t lie and it was the Broncos defense, ranked 41st and their power play, ranked 30th that failed them in this game. Easton Brodzinski, who has been snake bitten in the scoring department lately, scored his first goal in 10 games going back to the last meeting with the Broncos on January 19th. The win improves the Huskies all-time record at Lawson Arena to 6-0-3. The teams return to action on Saturday in the series finale at 6:05 PM CT.
The Huskies converted quickly on a breakaway by Patrick Newell (B Lizotte | Jackson) just 1:18 into the contest. Blake Lizotte connected with Newell who was streaking up the middle lane and he beat Trevor Gorsuch top-shelf glove-side for a 1-0 SCSU advantage. The Huskies were treated to a man-advantage at 4:04 after a tripping call on Jared Kucharek but were unable to convert despite a great opportunity by Ryan Poehling with 39 seconds left in the advantage. Midway through the period, Wahlin was stopped by Gorsuch on a breakaway and SCSU spent several minutes peppering Gorsuch before WMU’s Austin Rueschoff was stoned by Hrenak on a shot from the right circle. A penalty to Mattius Samuelsson gave SCSU another opportunity at 12:17 but it nearly worked against the Huskies with a short-handed chance by Ethan Frank that was stopped by Hrenak. The latter stages of the period saw Hrenak making several more big saves – first on McGing, point blank at 15:24 then 19 seconds later on Frank. Rueschoff was also turned away on a clear opportunity by Hrenak at 17:13. WMU outshot the Huskies 13-11 for the period but trailed 1-0. SCSU was 0 for 2 on the man-advantage while the Broncos were 0 for 1.
The Huskies took a breather in period two and paid dearly getting outshot 18-6 and outscored 2-0. The Broncos struck first with a goal by Paul Washe, his third of the year on a nice drive to the net at 3:29. The ice was certainly tipped in favor of WMU as they outshot the Huskies 4-0 in the first five minutes of the period. They nearly stretched the lead by two at 11:29 but Washe missed the net on a three on one rush by WMU. The Huskies had one shot on goal until Blake Lizotte was stopped on a nice backhand in the slot at 10:27. But, Western continued their dominance of the period outshooting the Huskies by a 12-3 margin with seven minutes to play in the period. The final third of the period turned into “run and gun” and Jake Wahlin was stopped by Gorsuch on a breakway at 14:33. However, Western made no mistake on their next opportunity with Dawson Dipietro burying a wrist shot of a turnover from the left dot at 15:01 to give Western a 2-1 lead. A penalty to Blake Lizotte at 15:53 had SCSU back on the defensive but they survived to keep the margin to one goal.Josh Passolt placed a shot off the post with 30 seconds remaining in the period and fortunately the Huskies survived the period without any more damage. WMU was 0 for 2 on the man-advantage that period..
The floodgates opened in period three and things were not looking rosy for the Huskies as the Broncos extended their lead to 3-1 on a goal by Austin Rueschhoff 2:52 into the final session. Rueschhoff beat a screened David Hrenak with a wrist shot from the blue line for his 10th goal of the season. But, team leader, Jimmy Schuldt took things into his own hands and just nine seconds later off a two on one rush fired a shot from the left circle past Gorsuch to narrow the lead again, to one goal at 3-2. His unassisted goal was his 10th of the year. But, a determined WMU squad added another at 9:42 on a rebound goal by Drew Worrad to ratchet the lead by the Broncos to 4-2. Again, the Huskies responded in this back and forth battle with a tally by Easton Brodzinski (Miller | Hentges) who punched the puck past Gorsuch in traffic for his 11th goal and a 4-3 WMU lead. A delay due to a side panel of glass exploding after a hit along the boards with 7:44 remaining gave the Huskies additional time to regroup. And, that they did as Blake Lizotte forced a turnover in the WMU zone then gave Robby Jackson a short feed and he lifted it over Gorsuch to tie the game at 4-4 with 3:52 remaining. Then, with 14 seconds remaining, Patrick Newell skated the puck into the WMU zone and placed a precise lateral feed from the left circle to Jackson who one-timed the pass off one knee in the right circle past Gorsuch for the game-winning goal. This was Jackson’s second of the game and 14th of the season and competed another impressive comeback by the Huskies. The teams matched shots 9-9 in the period and WMU failed on the only power play opportunity of period three.
“It’s probably not what we wanted but it’s incredible on the bench just the way we keep playing the way we don’t quit” said Patrick Newell. ” I’ve never been a part of a team like this and the way we can keep fighting back. It will be huge in the playoffs.”
In untypical fashion, the Huskies were outshot in the contest 40-26. Both goaltenders were called upon to make numerous key saves throughout the game with Hrenak turning aside 36 of 40 WMU shots to improve his overall record to 19-3-2. The Broncos Trevor Gorsuch stopped 21 of 26 shots in the loss and saw his record fall to 18-8-1. Neither team had any success on the power play with SCSU 0 for 2 and WMU 0 for 4. Blocked shots were even at 11-10 SCSU and faceoffs were dead even at 29-29.
Robby Jackson 2-1-3, Blake Lizotte 0-2-2 and Patrick Newell 1-1-2 all had a multiple point game for SCSU.
Stars of the Game : #1 Jackson (SCSU) #2 Newell (SCSU) #3 Washe (WMU)