A History of St. Cloud State in the NCAA Hockey Tournament

SCSU defeats Notre Dame in OT on 3/29/2014 (Photo Prout)

St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud State University Huskies have appeared in 15 NCAA tournaments since the 1988-89 season. Their all-time record in the NCAA tournament is 8-16.

Here’s an illustrated history with  capsule summaries of games going back to their first appearance in 1988-89:

1988-89 (Independent) Record: 19-16-2
Coach: Craig Dahl
March 18-19, 1989 | Norris Center, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
NCAA 1st Round

Result: Lake Superior State University 6 SCSU 3 | Lake Superior State University 4 SCSU 2

Craig Dahl coaches the St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team against Lake Superior State University, March 1989 (University Archives)

The Huskies received an independent bid to the NCAA tournament and faced top-seed Lake Superior State University on their home ice in the best of three series.

Game Summaries:
In the series opener, SCSU fell behind 4-1 in the first period and 6-2 after two periods to the defending national champion Lakers. Special teams were prominent with LSSU scoring three times on the man-advantage and SCSU twice. Goals by SCSU were Jeff Saterdalen (PP), Tim Hanus (PP) and Brian Cook. Mike O’Hara and Craig Shermoen split time in goal as LSSU outshot the Huskies 48-27.

In a much closer game two, LSSU edged the Huskies 4-2 outshooting SCSU 24-18. Jim Dowd scored a short-handed goal 15:26 into period two to give LSSU the 4-2 lead. Goal scorers for the Huskies were Brian Cook and Vic Brodt. Craig Shermoen stopped 20 shots in the loss.

1999-2000 (WCHA) Record: 323-14-3
Coach: Craig Dahl
March 25, 2000 | Pepsi Center, Albany, NY
NCAA First Round

Result: Boston University 5 SCSU 3

1999-00 SCSU Huskies (University Archives

Game Summary:
Boston University took a 3-0 first period lead off goals by Carl Corazinni, John Sabo, and Jay Pandolpho. The Huskies shook off the unfortunate first period with a goal off a slap-shot by Pudlick that closed the gap to 3-1.  BU added another slightly over a minute later for a surmountable 4-1 advantage. Freshman, Ryan Malone beat Dipietro with a shot from the right circle on the power play to get the Huskies within reach at 4-2. The teams traded goals in period three with Chris Heron at 14:10 and Lee Brooks for the Huskies on a shot from the blue line at 18:34 in the 5-3 final.

2000-01 (WCHA) Record: 31-9-1
Coach: Craig Dahl
March 25, 2001 | Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
NCAA West Regional

Result: Michigan 4 SCSU 3

Game Summary:
The Huskies rolled into the NCAA tourney with a bye and a nine-game win streak to face Michigan. The Wolverines scored twice in period one off a deflection and a breakaway goal and the Huskies were unable to close the game to closer than a one-goal margin. Star defenseman, Duvie Westcott suffered a right elbow dislocation in period two. Goal scorers for SCSU were Brandon Sampair, Mark Hartigan and Keith Anderson. Scott Meyer had 29 saves in the loss.

2001-02 (WCHA) Record: 29-11-2
Coach: Craig Dahl
March 22, 2002 | Yost Ice Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
NCAA West Regional

Result: Michigan 4 SCSU 2

Game Summary:
The Huskies were placed in the unenviable position of facing the Michigan Wolverines on their home ice at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor. In a controversial and very physical game, the Huskies fell behind 3-1 but roared back and apeared to tie the game at 3-3 off a goal by Ryan Malone with 14 minutes remaining. However, a video review revealed the toe of a Huskies player was in the crease and it was waved off. Shortly thereafter, prolific scorer Mark Hartigan shot the puck wide after deking Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn out of position in one of the most painful misses in Husky history. SCSU goalscorers were Jeff Finger and Jon Cullen. Dean Weasler and Jake Moreland combined to stop 20 of 24 shots on goal.

2002-02 (WCHA) Record: 17-16-5
Coach: Craig Dahl
March 28, 2003 | Centrum Center, Worcester, MA
NCAA East Regional

Result: University of New Hampshire 5 SCSU 2

Game Summary: 
Colin Hemingway scored the fastest goal in NCAA tournament history only 10 seconds into the game and UNH goaltender Mike Ayers stopped 35 of 37 shots on goal in the 5-2 win. Ryan Malone tied the game at 8:11 of the first period but another Hemingway goal at 18:47 of the first gave UNH the lead they never relinquished. The Wildcats capitalized on the power play scoring three times in the win. Jeff Finger scored the other goal for the Huskies and Jake Moreland stopped 25 of 30 shots.

2006-07 (WCHA) Record: 22-11-7
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 23, 2007 | Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, NY
NCAA East Regional 

Result: University of Maine 4 SCSU 1

Garret Raboin and Bobby Goepfert vs Maine in 2007 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary: 
The Huskies fell to 0-7 all-time in the NCAA tournament in Bob Motzko’s second year as head coach with a 4-1 loss to the University of Maine. The Huskies grabbed an early lead with a goal by defenseman, Justin Fletcher just 3:39 into the contest but were unable to build on that and yielded three straight goals to the Black Bears falling behind 3-1 by the end of one. In the game, the Huskies failed to score on nine power-play opportunities as they placed 33 shots on Maine goaltender Ben Bishop. SCSU goaltender Bobby Goepfert yielded four goals on 21 shots.

2007-08 (WCHA) Record: 19-16-5
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 28, 2008 | Times Union Center, Albany, NY
NCAA East Regional

Result: Clarkson University  2 SCSU 1

Aaron Marvin and David Carlisle vs Clarkson Marc 2008 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
Despite an outstanding game and 38 save performance by goaltender Jase Weslosky, the Huskies lost their eighth straight NCAA contest. Garrett Raboin gave the Huskies an early lead with a goal at 4:08 of period two. But, the Golden Knights responded with a goal of their own at 14:15 to tie the game. The Knights took the lead at 4:58 of period three on a breakaway goal by Shea Guthrie who beat Weslosky with a backhand for the game-winning goal. High-scoring SCSU forwards Ryan Lasch and Andreas Nodl were kept in check the entire game by the Knights.

2009-10 (WCHA) Record: 24-14-5
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 26-27, 2010 – Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN
NCAA West Region Semi-final and Final

Semi-final: SCSU 4 Northern Michigan University 3 (ot)

SCSU celebrates a goal vs NMU in 2010 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary: 
The Huskies finally got the monkey off their back with a 4-3 double-overtime win over the Northern Michigan Wildcats in the semi-finals of the West Regional. This was the Huskies’ first-ever NCAA win. Travis Novak gave the Huskies an early 1-0 lead which grew to 2-0 after a Ryan Lasch power-play goal. Garret Roe extended the lead to 3-1 with a second period goal before the Wildcats rallied to tie the game at 3-3 with a goal at 16:11 of the third period. Tony Mosey was the hero scoring the overtime goal off a feed by Garrett Roe. The Huskies outshot NMU 54-45 with SCSU’s Mike Lee stopping 42 of 45 shots on goal.

Championship: University of Wisconsin 5 SCSU 3 (Championship)

Aaron Marvin and Blake Geoffrion face off in 2010 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
SCSU fell short in the championship game of the West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul losing to the Wisconsin Badgers by a 5-3 score. The Badgers scored three times in the first 16 minutes of the game to take a 3-1 and it was too much to overcome for the Huskies. The teams traded two goals apiece in period three as the Huskies fought to get back in the game. SCSU goal scorers were Jared Festler (2) and Tony Mosey. Mike Lee and Dan Dunn combined to stop 39 of 44 Badger shots on goal.

2012-13 (WCHA) Record: 25-16-1
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 30-31, 2013 | Huntington Center, Toledo, OH
NCAA Midwest Regional

April 1, 2013 | Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Frozen Four

Semifinal: SCSU 5 Notre Dame 1 

Ben Hanowski vs Notre Dame 2013 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
Joey Benik scored two power-play goals as the Huskies defeated the top seed, Notre Dame by a 5-1 score in the Midwest Regional. Ben Hanowski scored the lone first-period goal for a 1-0 SCSU lead. A three-goal outburst in period two with goals by Benik, Cory Thorson, and Jonny Brodzinski pretty much put the game out of reach. The Huskies sealed things with Benik’s second goal of the game again on the power play at 11:07 of period three. Ryan Farragher stopped 17 of 18 shots in the win.

Championship: SCSU 4 Miami 1  

Jonny Brodzinski vs Miami 2013 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
Cory Thorson and Joey Benik each scored two goals as the Huskies defeated Miami by a 4-1 score to advance to their first Frozen Four. Benik gave the Huskies a first period 1-0 lead with the only goal of the period. Benik added another to start period two and Thorson added his first goal of the game at 10:12 to give the Huskies a two-goal margin entering the final period. Thorson sealed things with an empty-net goal at 19:59 for a 4-1 win. Ryan Farragher stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win.

Frozen Four Semi-final: Quinnipiac University 4 SCSU 1

Drew LeBlanc faceoff vs Quinnipiac 2013 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
Top-ranked Quinnipiac scored three times in the first 11:19 of the contest and went on to defeat SCSU 4-1 in the semis of the Frozen Four. SCSU responded with a second-period goal by Joey Benik but that was the only puck they could get by QU goaltender Eric Hartzell as Quinnipiac moved on to the championship game. The Huskies outshot the Bobcats 34-28 and Ryan Farragher stopped 24 of 28 shots in the loss.

2013-14 (NCHC) Record: 22-11-5
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 29-30, 2014 | Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Mn
NCAA West Regional

Semi-final: SCSU 4 Notre Dame 3 (ot)

Jonny Brodzinski vs Notre Dame 2014 (Photo Prout)

A strong effort in goal by Ryan Farragher and an overtime goal by captain Nic Dowd propelled the Huskies to the championship game of the West regional with a 4-3 win over Notre Dame. The Huskies carried a 3-2 lead into the third period off of goals by Ryan Papa, Brooks Bertsch, and Jonny Brodzinski. But, a goal by Notre Dame at 9:35 of period three tied the game to send it to overtime. Nic Dowd finally scored the game winner 17: 21 into the session for the 4-3 win. Ryan Farragher was solid in goal stopping 39 of 42 shots for the win.

Championship: University of Minnesota 4 SCSU 0

Nic Dowd faces off against the University of Minnesota in 2014 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary: 
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers shut out the Huskies 4-0 in the championship game of the West Regional at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN. Justin Kloos scored the game-winning goal at 11:09 of the first period and that was all that was needed as the Gophers advanced to the Frozen Four. The Gophers scored twice in period two and added another in the final period as they outshot SCSU 35-24. Ryan Farragher, the starter, and Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 of 35 shots in the loss.

2014-15 (NCHC) Record: 20-19-1
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 27-28, 2015 | Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND
NCAA West Regional


Semi-final: SCSU 3 Michigan Tech University 2 (to)

Jarod Rabey vs Michigan Tech 2015 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:

The Huskies rallied from the brink of defeat to snatch a 3-2  overtime victory from the Michigan Tech Huskies in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Scheels Arena in Fargo, ND. Despite being outshot 29-9 after two periods, a stellar effort in goal by Charlie Lindgren allowed the Huskies to remain within striking distance in a game dominated early by the MTU Huskies. An extra attacker goal by Jonny Brodzinski at 19:22 of period three salvaged a tie to send the game to overtime. Judd Peterson notched the game-winner at 8:11 of the extra session for the win. MTU outshot the Huskies 38-21 and Charlie Lindgren was called on to stop 31 of 33 shots for the victory.

Championship: University of North Dakota 4 SCSU 1

Nick Oliver vs North Dakota 2015 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:

North Dakota scored twice on shots that deflected off of SCSU player’s bodies and added an empty-net goal to defeat SCSU 4-1 in front of a highly partisan crowd at Scheels Arena in Fargo, ND. SCSU took the early lead off a goal by Jimmy Murray. However, North Dakota scored the next three goals including an empty-net goal to secure the 4-1 win to move on to the Frozen Four. Charlie Lindgren turned aside 23 of 26 UND shots in the loss.

2015-16 (NCHC) Record: 31-9-1
Coach : Bob Motzko 
March 26, 2016 | Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN 
NCAA West Regional

Result: Ferris State University 5 SCSU 4 (ot)

Charlie Lindgren vs Ferris State 2016 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
St. Cloud State University’s hockey season came to an abrupt end at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN with a 5-4 overtime loss to Ferris State University. Despite falling behind 4-2, SCSU made a valiant third-period comeback to tie the game at 4-4 but it ended quickly on a Jared Van Wormer goal just 18 seconds into the extra session. The loss ended a record-breaking season and halted the program from advancing in the NCAA tournament and attaining a school-record 32 wins. The Huskies finished the season 31-9-1 which tied the 2000-01 Huskies for most wins in a season. SCSU goal scorers were Benson, Eyssimont (2) and Benik. Charlie Lindgren stopped 26 of 31 shots on goal.

2017-18 (NCHC) Record: 25-9-6
Coach: Bob Motzko
March 23, 2018 | Sanford Center, Sioux Falls, SD
NCAA West Regional

Result: Air Force Academy 5 SCSU 1

David Hrenak vs Air Force 2018 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
The top-ranked Huskies fell behind by a 2-0 score in period two, mounted a comeback in period three, and then yielded two empty-net goals in a 4-1 upset by Air Force. Air Force relied on stellar goaltending by Junior Billy Christopoulos who turned aside 39 of 40 shots on goal with a number of head shakers as the lowest-seeded team in the tournament once again became giant killers. Colorado Springs native, Tyler Ledford was the offensive hero scoring both early goals for his hometown team. For the Huskies, it was a quick end to a post-season filled with promise and dreams of a Frozen Four appearance in St. Paul. Blake Lizotte scored the lone SCSU goal. David Hrenak stopped 22 of 24 shots in the loss.

2018-19 (NCHC) Record: 30-6-3
Coach Brett Larson
March 29, 2019 | Scheels Arena, Fargo, ND
NCAA West Regional

Result: American International College 2 SCSU 1

Jimmy Schuldt vs AIC 2019 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
In one of the biggest upsets in NCAA college hockey history, the lowest-seed AIC Yellow Jackets scripted a 2-1 win over top-seed SCSU in the West Regional in Fargo. Despite being outshot 34-13 and totally dominated in period three the Yellow Jackets from Springfield, MA scored early, followed their “script” and hung on, and defeated the top-ranked Huskies by a 2-1 score. The third-period shot chart was a clinic in puck possession and domination with 29 shot attempts, 15 shots on goal including one off the post, another shot landing behind goaltender Skog on top of the net, and Ryan Poehling fanning on a point-blank opportunity. But, they could only squeeze out one third period goal in suffering only their 6th loss of the season. They concluded 2018-19  with a record of 30-6-3 – one win shy of the school record 31. Easton Brodzinski scored the lone goal for the Huskies.

2020-21 (NCHC) Record: 19-10-0
Coach: Brett Larson
March 27-28, 2021 | Times Union Center, Albany, NY
NCAA Northeast Regional

Semi-Final: SCSU 6 Boston University 2

Nolan Walker vs Boston University 2021 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
In a rematch from 21 years prior, the Huskies scored six times including three in the final period to dispatch Hockey East’s Terriers by a convincing 6-2 score. It was a crazy game, with unusual goals, extended delays, several five-minute majors, and a penalty shot. On this day, it worked to the benefit of the Huskies whose last two NCAA appearances in 2018 and 2019 were pretty dismal. After a scoreless first period, the teams traded goals in the second period until Easton Brodzinski scored the game-winning goal at 16:00 of the period. They put the game completely out of reach with third-period goals by Jami Krannila, Easton Brodzinski, and Veeti Miettinen.  David Hrenak was outstanding in the goal stopping 34 of 36 shots.

Championship: SCSU 4 Boston College 1

SCSU vs Boston College 2021 (Photo Prout)

Game Summary:
The St. Cloud State Huskies rallied from a 1-0 first-period deficit with three second-period goals en route to a 4-1 win over #1 seed Boston College in the Northeast Regional Championship in Albany, NY on Sunday, March 28. The win earned them a position in the 2021 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, PA. The Huskies fell behind 1-0 in the first period only to rally in period two with goals by Luke Jaycox, Nolan Walker, and Will Hammer. Micah Miller added an empty-net goal in period three to complete the 4-1 win. In another strong outing, David Hrenak turned aside 26 of 27 shots on goal.

Frozen Four | Semi-Final-Pittsburgh, PA
SCSU 5 MSU Mankato 4

Joe Molenaar and Will Hammer (Photo Justin Aller)

Game Summary
A game that appeared to have the Huskies cruising to a win with a two-goal lead early in period two suddenly turned south as the Mavericks scored three straight goals to take an early third-period lead requiring some late-game heroics by Joey Molenaar and Nolan Walker. Molenaar scored his first goal of the season and Walker his 10th to lift the Huskies to the title game. Walker deflected a puck past the Mavericks Dryden McKay with 53.2 seconds remaining to complete a comeback win and a date with the University of Massachusetts in the national championship game. Nolan Walker had the game-winning goal and an assist for a two-point game. Kyler Kupka (1-1-2), Will Hammer (1-1-2), and Spencer Meier (1-1-2) also had a multi-point game for the Huskies.

Championship | University of Massachusetts 5 SCSU 0


Game Summary
All it took was a goal by defenseman Aaron Bohlinger at 7:26 of period one to dispatch the SCSU Huskies in the championship game of the Frozen Four at the PPG Arena in Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 10th. They added four more before the end of regulation but it was the first one that was all that was needed for the University of Massachusetts to capture their first NCAA title in school history by a 5-0 score. It was a game where the Huskies couldn’t catch a break and it seemed every mistake was capitalized on by the Minutemen. For the game, the Huskies outshot UMass 25-22. Minutemen goaltender Filip Lindberg was hardly tested as he stopped all 25 shots on goal.  It was a tough night for David Hrenak as he allowed 5 goals on 22 shots (.80 s%). The shot chart showed 53 shots attempted by SCSU but only six shots being fired from the low to the mid-slot area.  Faceoff wins were in favor of UMass 27-26. The Huskies finish their most successful season ever with a record of 20-11-0.




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