St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud State University Huskies will face the Colorado College Tigers at 4:05 PM CT in the first game of the Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday, March 22. By virtue of winning the Penrose Cup and winning their quarterfinal series, the Huskies are the #1 seeded team for the tournament. Colorado College finished sixth in the final NCHC standings and is the #4 seed after defeating Western Michigan on Monday night in the NCHC quarterfinals by a score of 3-2.
The Huskies faced the Tigers four times during the 2018-19 season with the Huskies carrying a 3-0-1 record vs Colorado College. SCSU defeated the Tigers 5-3 and 2-1 in Colorado Springs on November 2-3 and earned a 2-2 tie and 5-4 overtime win on February 8-9. The tie on February 8th was the only game which the Huskies did not win this season at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
On the close games with Colorado College this season Jimmy Schuldt noted in Tuesday’s media conference “It’s a reminder how tough this league is. Anyone can win on a given night whoever executes the best and that’s the beauty of this conference and the Frozen Faceoff.” On playing the Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Energy Center he commented “I think it’s cool being near my home town playing in the Twin Cities. It’s a big stage to play and be part of. In the past when we’ve played there the atmosphere has been awesome with good fan support. There will be a little less green in the crowd than normal but it will still be fun.”
On playing Colorado College coach Brett Larson said ” I’d like to give their staff a lot of credit. They were picked to have a real good year and they had some bounces go against them early and things didn’t go well but they did a good job keeping them in the right direction and playing their best hockey. We know it’s going to be a huge challenge and we know what they’ve done the last few games. We know how tight the games were when we played them. With any challege it brings out your best. That is our goal on Friday to be executing on our highest level.”
Colorado College captain Mason Bergh commented ” It’s not an easy task to get here with the teams we compete with to be down here. To be in the Frozen Faceoff with a chance to win the championship It’s special and a honor to be there. I’m looking forward to getting to St. Paul and playing the number one team in St. Cloud.”
On playing St. Cloud coach Mike Haviland said “You’re talking about the best team in the country. They have been pretty much the entire year. They deserve it They are the best team. We played well against them and that’s a good thing for us and our confidence level. Knowing up there or at home we had a chance to close it out but we didn’t. We’ve learned in the last month with tough games on closing teams out. We are a different team from a few weeks ago. We need to just play the game and worry about how we play.”
As both team teams compete on an Olympic size sheet of ice (200′ x 100″) it’ll be a slight adjustment for both. But, according the Brett Larson it’s not a problem despite the Huskies going undefeated this season on their larger sheet. “We don’t have a problem with an NHL sized rink. We’ll get enough time to practice on it.” Having lost only four games all season it’s safe to say the Huskies have adjusted well to any size playing surface.
As the #1 seed the Huskies were allowed to choose their preference of game time on Friday with the TV Broadcast getting the final word on the matter. Generally teams will prefer the early game to provide them with a longer rest between the Friday and Saturday contests. The Huskies wrapped up their quarterfinal series with Miami on Saturday winning the first two games. Thus, they will have a six-day rest prior to their game on Friday. Colorado College on the other hand didn’t start their quarterfinal series with Western Michigan until Saturday due to weather and the series was extended to three games with the Tigers winning the deciding game on Monday night. As a result, they will only have a four day break until the Friday game vs St. Cloud State.
The second game on Friday will feature #2 seed UMD Bulldogs vs the #3 seed Denver Pioneers.
There will be a pre-game gathering at the Liffey Irish Pub on Friday starting at 2:30 PM. The Liffey is located across the street from the Xcel Energy Center at 175 7th Street West in St. Paul, MN.