In a high-scoring, back-and-forth game Saturday night against Alaska-Fairbanks, late goals from Ryan Poehling and Nick Poehling propelled the Huskies to a 5-4 overtime victory.
Trailing by a goal late in the game, Ryan Poehling netted his first goal of the season to send the game into overtime, leading to the game-winning goal from his brother, Nick, just minutes in. The third Poehling brother, Jack, would get the assist on the game-winner.
St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko pointed out how the Poehling brothers came up big for the Huskies when they needed to. Nick Poehling, who scored the game-winning goal for the Huskies, mentioned how the game was full of ups and downs.
“Just a roller coaster of emotions… you feel like you’re on top of the world and then you crash down a little bit,” said Nick.
Throughout the game, there were five lead changes, as well as six goals scored in the final period.
Just minutes after the initial puck drop, it was Jimmy Schuldt who found the back of the net, beating Nanook goaltender Anton Martinsson with a low slap shot to give the Huskies an early lead. This was the third power play goal of the season for the junior defenseman.
After the first three games of the season, Schuldt leads St. Cloud State with three power play goals. Following Friday night’s 2-goal performance, Schuldt pointed out how his teammates deserve the credit for his success.
Ryan Poehling mentioned how Schuldt has done a great job of showing leadership thus far. “He is our leader. He’s battled so hard each night, it kinda gives a mirror image to play,” said Ryan. Schuldt finished the game with one goal and one assist.
The Huskies would struggle throughout the middle of the game, finding themselves down a goal heading into the third period. St. Cloud State allowed goal in the final three minutes of each of the first two periods, as well as one with 3:04 remaining in the third.
Ryan Poehling pointed out how he felt his team battled, but just wasn’t catching any breaks.
“The entire game I felt we had them and just missed a bounce or two here and there… once we got into overtime it was up to us to decide our destiny,” said Ryan.
Nick Poehling added how he felt like his team played well, but just didn’t fully come prepared. “We just learned that we gotta come ready to every game, and Saturday night’s gonna be our hardest game,” said Nick. He now has three goals on the season.
The Huskies sticks got hot later on, tying the game just 1:12 into the third period. Robby Jackson found the back of the net for St. Cloud State, rattling the puck in off the post to beat Martinsson for his second goal of the season.
Seconds following the goal from Jackson, St. Cloud State went on a five-minute power play, which Alaska-Fairbanks was able to shut down, providing few scoring chances for the Huskies.
The Huskies finished the game 1-5 on the power play, while giving up one goal on four penalty kill attempts. The Huskies have four power play goals on the season.
Nearing the midway point of the final period, a rebound goal from Jacob Benson would give St. Cloud State the lead. That lead wouldn’t last long, as Alaska-Fairbanks responded with back-to-back goals, taking a 4-3 lead with just over 3 minutes left to play.
With less than 2 minutes remaining, a rebound goal from Ryan Poehling tied the game at 4, sparking momentum for the Huskies. That momentum would be carried into overtime, as Nick Poehling was able to find the back of the net and lift St. Cloud State to a 5-4 victory.
St. Cloud State entered the weekend ranked number four in the nation. With the win, Motzko is now 4-0-0 against Alaska-Fairbanks in his career. St. Cloud State will face off next weekend against Boston College at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Photo courtesy of St. Cloud State Athletics