No. 3 Denver University Hockey traveled to St. Cloud, Minnesota last weekend to take on NCHC’s dominant rival and equal number No. 4 St. Cloud State University. DU approached the game with a 56-50-6 record against St. Cloud, a historically tough opponent for Crimson and Gold.
This weekend marks DU’s first road contest since mid-December and the final two games in a four-game season series between DU and the Huskies. In three straight games he scored seven goals, extending his six-game winning streak away, Denver tried to keep the momentum going but was thwarted by the well-prepared Huskies.
Friday night’s game started off and back, but it wasn’t until the first powerplay of the night that St. Cloud, created by senior defenseman Justin Lee, seized a scoring opportunity (Wascada, Manitoba) hook the call. Zach Okabe capitalized on his 5-4 chance to put the Huskies ahead 1-0 in the mid-sixth minute.
Josh Luedtke was called up for a knee strike that gave DU a power play midway through the first period. Sophomore forward Carter King (Calgary, Alberta) scored from a power play with the help of senior forward Casey Dornbach (Edina, Ming.) tie the first period with a 1.
DU got their first lead of the game early in the second period with a goal from sophomore forward Jack Devine (Glencoe, Ili.).
St Cloud fought back with two goals unanswered by Jami Cranilla and Jack Rogers respectively.
DU missed a 5-3 chance for almost two minutes halfway through the second period, but SCSU killed it. Crannilla happily punished the delay in attack and scored again shortly after the end of the power play.
Senior forward Brett Edwards (grand prairie, alberta) returned the favor less than a minute later with their first goal of the season to make the score 3-4 in favor of SCSU. Junior defenseman Mike Benning (St. Albert, Alberta) was called for a hook and sent St. Cloud on a power play from which St. Cloud’s Veeti Miettinen found the net to end the 5-3 period.
SCSU started a power play midway through the third period, which Brendan Bussey used to extend their lead. Sophomore goaltender Matt Davis (Calgary, Alberta) subbed in just after the goal, highlighting DU’s plight with widening gaps and dwindling time.
SCSU started a power play with about 4 minutes remaining, but DU killed it and immediately took a slashing penalty. To end the game, Mason Sarkist scored with an empty net to seal the score at 7-3 with less than a minute remaining.
DU had 31 shots on goal and 12 minutes in the box on Friday night. SCSU had 33 shots on goal and spent 8 minutes in the box.
Saturday night’s game slowed down from the night before, with the main action in the first period being two penalties at St Cloud and one at DU.
St. Cloud’s Rodgers scored the first eight minutes of the second period. Shortly after, sophomore forward Carter Mazur (Jackson, Michigan) went to the box for hooking and sent SCSU to the power play. The extra man allowed Okabe to find the back of the net, putting the Huskies up two.
Dornbach passed the goalkeeper in the second period but missed the whistle so the goal was withdrawn and DU scoreless.
The only action in the third period was a Husky power play. DU killed this to close out the night with a 2-0 shutout. DU finished the night with his 19 shots and SCSU had his 23 shots. DU had been in the box for half the time the previous night and in the box he had 3 penalties in 6 minutes while SCSU had him 2 in 4 minutes.
DU will have a chance at redemption when it faces another NCHC rival, Colorado College, in the Ball Arena on Friday night. The team then travels to Colorado Springs next weekend for away games at the Ed Robson Arena.
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