St. Cloud State men’s hockey (3-0-0, 1-0-0 NCHC) continued their success early in the 2015-2016 season with a decisive 4-0 triumph over Mankato (0-3-0, 0-1-0 NCHC) Friday night at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
St. Cloud State goaltender Charlie Lindgren continued to played big for the Huskies, stopping all 30 shots faced, giving him his second shutout of the season.
“He was good… he held us in there until we could find our legs,” said St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko.
The game was not very pretty, aside from the scoring, there was much board play and hitting.
“It was a heavyweight fight,” added Motzko, when referring to the tempo of the game. Motzko went on to express his happiness with the physical performance of sophomores Patrick Russell and Blake Winiecki.
After starting off the game slow, with much of the action taking place in their defensive zone, the momentum turned in the Huskies favor after alternate captain David Morley buried a rebound goal in front of the net with 11:17 remaining in the first period following a miraculous sprawling save by Mankato goaltender Cole Huggins off a one-timer from St. Cloud State’s Joey Benik. Jimmy Murray was credited with the secondary assist on the play after a smooth set-up pass to Benik.
Following nearly 11 minutes of back-and-forth action to start the second period, St. Cloud State was able to find the net again after a goal from freshman Jimmy Schuldt, the first of his collegiate career. After controlling the puck well in the offensive zone, Niklas Nevalainen fed Schuldt for a one-timer from the point that blew past a cluster of players to find the back of the net.
With just under a minute remaining in the first period, Mankato was awarded a penalty shot after Husky forward Ryan Papa was called for throwing the puck. Brad McLure would take the penalty shot for the Mavericks, but would be denied off an aggressive pad save from Lindgren.
Seconds after the missed penalty shot, the Huskies went on the Power Play after interference call on Mankato’s Bryce Gervais. The Power Play would carry into the second period, however the Huskies were unable to capitalize.
The Mavericks would finish the second period strong, creating many scoring chances and upping the pressure on the fore-check.
A power play with nearly two minutes remaining in the second period gave the Mavericks a chance to regain some momentum, however the penalty was killed off by the Huskies.
The third and fourth goals both came off the duo work of line mates Patrick Russell and Kalle Kossila.
Midway through the third period, Russell tried to center a pass in front to Kossila when the pass was knocked back to Russell, who made a quick wrap around move to stuff the puck in for his first goal of the season. Kossila’s goal came just a few shifts later, after a nearly no-angle wrist shot beat Huggins glove side.
The Huskies finally laid off the gas towards the end of the third period, preserving the shutout and a four-goal victory.
St. Cloud State will try to continue their three-game winning streak when they play Mankato again at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.