The St. Cloud State Huskies (20-5-1, 12-3-1 NCHC) completed a sweep over the Western Michigan Broncos (7-14-3, 4-9-1 NCHC) 7-3 Saturday night at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Seven different players scored en route to the Huskies’ seventh series sweep of the season, helping them retain possession at the top of the NCHC standings.
The floodgates were opened by Joey Benik, who scored a power play goal 8:02 into the first period. The Huskies took advantage of their opportunities Saturday, capitalizing on four of five of their power play opportunities. The Huskies’ powerplay ranks third in the nation (30.61%), trailing only Harvard and Robert Morris.
“When you have so many people that are this talented, things like that (power plays) are always going to be fun to watch,” said senior forward Jimmy Murray.
The Broncos answered right back, with a goal by Frederik Tiffels 13:53 into the first period to tie things up. It wouldn’t take long for a Huskies’ response, with a goal by sophomore forward Patrick Russell to put the Huskies up 2-1.
The Huskies weren’t done there, scoring five more goals to pull away in the game. The game was closer than the scoreboard seemed to indicate, with the Huskies only registering four more shots than the Broncos.
“The game was way closer than the score, everybody knew it,” said St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko after the game.
St. Cloud State goaltender Charlie Lindgren had another strong showing, saving 25 shots on his way to his 19th win of the season.
The Huskies scored 31 goals in four games against the Broncos, sweeping them 4-0 over the season.
With the win, the Huskies retained possession of first place in the NCHC and hold a three point lead over the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The Huskies are on a four-game win streak and lead the nation in goals scored this season (113).
St. Cloud State now travels on the road to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the 2016 North Star Cup next weekend Jan. 30 through 31. The North Star Cup is an annual tournament held with four of the five NCAA DI hockey teams in Minnesota, who battle for in-state bragging rights. The Huskies’ first game of the tournament will be against Minnesota State Mankato next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.