Huskies take decisive victory over Western Michigan

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#14 Pat Newell scores his second goal of the night for the Huskies. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane

A four-goal second period propelled #4 St. Cloud State (19-5-1, 11-3-1 NCHC) to an explosive 8-2 victory over the Western Michigan University Broncos (8-9-5, 5-7-3 NCHC) Friday night at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in a game where seven different Husky players finished with a goal.

With the win, the Huskies will remain alone atop the NCHC standings.

Patrick Newell and Joey Benik played very big for the Huskies, combining together for nine points. Newell finished with two goals and two assists. Benik finished with a goal and four assists. He now has 14 goals on the season, ranking third in the NCHC.

After a back-and-forth start to the first period, the Huskies were able to strike first after a goal from their leading goal scorer, Benik. With just under six minutes remaining in the period, Newell made a nice play on the fore check, stripping a Western Michigan player of the puck behind the goal line and immediately finding Benik in the low slot for a quick shot that found the back of the net.

Despite starting off the second period on a five-on-three penalty kill, the Huskies grabbed the momentum early in the period and would not let go, scoring four goals in just a six-minute span.

The first goal of the second period came during a power play from St. Cloud State captain Ethan Prow, who after regrouping in the neutral zone, skated the puck around a couple of Broncos players and fired a snap shot from the high slot, beating Western Michigan goaltender Lukas Hafner high-glove side.

The Huskies went on to score three more goals by the midway point of the second period, including a four-on-four goal from forward David Morley on a one-on-one opportunity, which gave the huskies a comfortable five-goal lead heading into the third period.

After replacing Hafner in net with Trevor Gorusch, Western Michigan went on to score just one minute into the third period on a goal from Michael Rebry, however St. Cloud State wouldn’t take long before earning one back.

Just four minutes following the goal from Rebry, St. Cloud State forwards Newell and Benik connected with each other for the third time of the game, giving Newell his second goal of contest after a brilliant two-on-one play from the duo, making the score 6-1.

The remainder of the third period was slow, however St. Cloud State was able to tally on two more goals while letting in one, giving them a decisive 8-2 victory.

Kalle Kossila, Jimmy Schuldt, and Blake Winiecki also finished with a goal a piece for the Huskies. Charlie Lindgren finished with 34 saves on the night, giving him his 18th win of the season, which leads the NCHC.

The Huskies finished 2-5 on the power play, while Western Michigan finished 0-5.

The Huskies have now scored a combined 23 goals against Western Michigan in just three games.

St. Cloud State will attempt to complete the season sweep over the Broncos as the two will face off again Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. at the Herb Brooks national hockey center.

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