The #7 St. Cloud State Huskies (8-2-0, 4-0-0 NCHC) began a two game home series against the #4 University of North Dakota (9-1-2, 4-0-0 NCHC) at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center Friday night. The Huskies looked to continue their momentum from last week’s sweep of the University of Western Michigan Broncos, including an 11-1 rout that set a NCHC record for goals in a game. The two teams last met in the NCAA West Region championship in Fargo last year, where UND beat the Huskies 4-1.
North Dakota proved villain once again, registering 26 shots on net to earn a 4-3 win in the first game of two games.
St. Cloud State struck first in the first period when sophomore forward Judd Peterson fired a one timer past North Dakota goaltender Matt Hrynkiw 2:20 into the first period to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for North Dakota to respond, scoring on a rebound goal by senior forward Drake Caggiula past Huskies goaltender Charlie Lindgren to tie the game at 1 a piece 6:20 into the first period.
The game’s first penalty came off of a tripping penalty called on St. Cloud State sophomore forward Patrick Russell 13:14 into the first period.
North Dakota would capitalize on the power play opportunity immediately, as Drake Caggiula found the net for the second time in the game to give North Dakota a 2-1 lead late in the first period.
The Huskies then followed back with a pass through the North Dakota defense to give a breakaway to Judd Peterson, who’s shot met the glove of Hrynkiw. North Dakota would lead 2-1 at the end of the first period, despite being outshot by the Huskies.
The second period began with the Huskies on the power play after Drake Caggiula was called for a tripping penalty 3:29 into the second period. The penalty came directly after a shot by North Dakota’s sophomore forward Nick Schmaltz that hit the post and rattled out.
Another penalty was called shortly after, this time on St. Cloud State’s Judd Peterson, who received a 2 minute minor for checking to neutralize the ice at 4 skaters per team.
North Dakota would score their second power play goal of the night after Rhett Gardner snuck the puck through the 5-hole of Lindgren to give North Dakota a 3-1 lead early in the second period.
Another opportunity came shortly after when Lindgren made a diving stop on North Dakota’s Bryn Chyzyk to keep the Huskies close.
St. Cloud State would go on their third power play of the night after North Dakota was called for a too many players on the ice penalty 12:04 into the second period. The Huskies couldn’t capitalize, falling 0-3 on the night on power plays.
Their fourth power play would come shortly after with North Dakota’s Keaton Thompson getting a 2 minute major for interference 15:15 into the second period.
St. Cloud State capitalized on the penalty, when Jimmy Murray fired a one timer from the slot past Hrynkiw after passes from David Morley and Jimmy Schuldt 16:29 into the second period to cut the North Dakota lead to 3-2.
The third power play of the period and the fifth of the game for the Huskies would come shortly after, with North Dakota forward Nick Schmaltz called for unsportsmanlike conduct 17:37 into the second period. The opportunity was thwarted off with ease from the North Dakota defense to maintain a 3-2 lead for North Dakota at the end of the second period.
It didn’t take long for North Dakota to find the net in the third period, with Drake Caggiula scoring his hattrick goal 0:28 into the period to give UND a 4-2 lead. Caggiula leads all active North Dakota skaters with goals against the Huskies, scoring his 8th goal against the Huskies in 15 career games.
SCSU’s Jacob Benson was called for an interference penalty 8:03 into the third period, the Huskies’ fourth penalty of the game. The Huskies played tight, and managed to kill the power play.
Another opportunity late in the game would arise for the Huskies after North Dakota’s Austin Poganski received a 2 minute minor penalty for boarding 12:41 into the third period. Despite many shots, none could get by UND’s Hrynkiw.
The power play didn’t matter, however, as the Huskies found the net immediately after with David Morley scoring to again cut the North Dakota lead to one 14:52 into the third period.
Despite North Dakota allowing the fewest shots per game in the nation (22.25), the Huskies managed to register 38 shots on net Friday, the most allowed by UND in a game this season.
North Dakota improved to 6-0-2 on the road and has lost just six of its last 32 regular-season road games.
“The goals were net-front battles,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko stated. “They throw the puck at the net and are opportunists around the net and that’s how they play.”
After the series against North Dakota concludes, the Huskies will travel to Mariucci Arena for a two game road series against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers next weekend.