A four-goal third period lifted the St. Cloud State University Huskies men’s hockey team (3-2-0, 0-0-0 NCHC) past the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers (2-6-1, 2-3-1 WCHA) for a decisive 5-1 victory Friday night at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Despite being on the attack for the majority of the game, the Huskies struggled to put the puck into the net early on, heading into the third period tied at 1-1 in a game where most fans predicted a blowout from the Huskies.
As the third period started, the sticks started heating up for the Huskies, as well—scoring three goals in under two minutes to regain the lead at the start of the period. The first of the three-goal cluster came from forward Ryan Poehling just 3:22 into the period. Following an icing call on the Chargers, Poehling was able to win the draw back to defenseman Jack Ahcan, who fired a slap shot, which deflected off Poehling’s stick into the net, giving the freshman the first goal of his collegiate career.
Nearly a minute later it was forward Judd Peterson who tacked on his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Peterson picked up a rebound around a group of players in front of the net and was able to beat Charger goaltender, Jordan Uhelski, five-hole as the puck trickled through his pads and crossed the goal line.
With 15:10 remaining in the third period, the Huskies got some more insurance after a goal from sophomore Patrick Newell. Defenseman Jimmy Schuldt held the puck at the top of the circle and connected a pass backdoor to Newell for the tap-in, giving him his first goal of the season, as well as a 4-1 Huskies lead.
The Huskies were able to tack on one more goal late in the third period, as Blake Winiecki netted his second goal of the period. Other goal scorers included SCSU’s Jake Wahlin, who was able to collect a rebound off his own shot and beat Uhelski high, glove side. Alabama-Huntsville’s only goal came from Josh Kestner, who beat SCSU goaltender Jeff Smith with a brilliant low far-side shot in the second period.
The Huskies struggled with special teams, going 0-5 on the power play. However, they did well on the penalty kill, not allowing a goal on four attempts from the Chargers, including a 5-on-3 chance early in the first period.
The victory was very much so a team effort, as all five SCSU goals came from separate players.
The Huskies outshot the Chargers 21-3 in the third period, finishing the game with 53 shots compared to Alabama-Huntsville’s 16.
SCSU freshman Smith was in net for the Huskies, whose 15 saves earned him his first victory of his collegiate career.
The Huskies jumped to #10 in the nation after sweeping the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers last week, and look to keep their three-game win streak alive Saturday night, as the Huskies take on the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers at 7:07 p.m. at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Photos by Maddie MacFarlane