HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR 2018-19 SCSU ROOKIE CLASS
St. Cloud, MN – Despite having two collegiate National Championship rings, consider head coach Brett Larson a member of the 2018-19 SCSU “Rookie” class. Larson began his coaching career in 2008-09 as an assistant with the UMD Bulldogs. After three seasons, he assumed the head coaching position for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. He then moved on to Ohio State University as Associate head coach for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 season helping to recruit some of the players on the 2017-18 Frozen Four Buckeye team. He returned to UMD and most recently was a member of the Bulldog staff for two seasons. Larson was a member of the coaching staff for both the 2011 and 2018 National Championship Bulldog squads. Additionally, Larson, served as the head coach for gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. He captained the Bulldogs during his senior year in 1994-95 when he attained Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team recognition for a third straight time and also landed the team’s Community Service Award. He was selected in the 11th round by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990 National Hockey League draft. Hired in April, Larson became the third coach in SCSU Division I history and immediately began the task of transitioning the team to a new coaching staff. MORE HERE
BLOOMINGTON'S CHASE BEACOM COMMITS TO SCSU
St. Cloud, MN – The SCSU Huskies of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference have had a nice run of commitments from some very talented young defensemen. Already committing for the future are youngsters Jack Peart, Evan Bushy, John Opilka and Christian Miller. They apparently have landed another commitment in mobile, puck moving defenseman, Chase Beacom, a native of Bloomington, MN. Beacom announced via Twitter on August 29 “I am honored and excited to announce my commitment to play Division I hockey and further my education at St. Cloud State University. Thank you to my family, friends and coaches on helping me get to where I am today.”
A 2003 birth date, the left shooting Beacom already has one year of varsity hockey under his belt skating in 25 games for Bloomington Kennedy H.S. compiling 1 goal and 6 assists for 7 points as a 9th grader. Along with previous SCSU commit and fellow defenseman, Jack Peart, he was ranked as one of the top 2003 birth dates in Minnesota. As a result, in May, Beacom was selected to participate in the World Selects Invite in Philadelphia showcasing the top 2003 birth dates in the world. He had 2 goals in 7 games in that showcase. Currently listed at 5’5″ and 140 pounds, Beacom has some growing to do but reminds of current Husky Jack Ahcan as a smart puck mover with grit.
Neutral Zone, a prominent amateur scouting and ranking service described Beacom as an “undersized athletic defender who is agile in tight areas. His lateral movement in the neutral zone was worth noting and we liked his battle level. He likes to hit and he squeezes off forwards on zone entries. Regularly he hits his outlets tape to tape and makes sound decisions with the puck. A nice skill and grit combo defender who will get better as he grows.”
Beacom could arrive on campus at SCSU for the 2022 season.
WISCONSIN NATIVE BROCK BAKER SELECTS SCSU HUSKIES
St. Cloud, MN – There are a lot of adjectives used to describe the latest player to commit to St. Cloud State University hockey: “undersized, speedy, shifty, explosive” are just a few. SCSU hockey fans will have a first-hand look at those skills in the future as Brockton Baker announced his commitment to SCSU hockey via twitter on September 2nd. Baker announced ” Very proud and honored to announce my commitment to play DI hockey for St. Cloud State University! Thank you to all the family, friends and coaches who have helped me along the way!” MORE HERE
EVAN BUSHY COMMITS TO ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY
St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud State University Huskies received a commitment from an athletic, speedy, two-way defender as Thief River Falls native Evan Bushy announced his commitment to the Huskies via Twitter on August 20. He announced “Honored and excited to announce my commitment to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University! Thanks to all who have helped !” And, oh by the way, he just happens to be the brother of incoming first-year SCSU defenseman, Brendan Bushy. The sixteen year-old (2002 birth date) 6’0″ 180 pound left shooting defenseman, led his Thief River Falls High School squad to the Section 8 championship and the Class A Minnesota State High School Tournament in 2018.
Bushy finished the 2017-18 season (including playoffs) with 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in 31 games. This included 6 power play goals and 2 points in 3 state tournament games. Bushy was also a draft choice of the Sioux Falls Stampede in the 2018 USHL Futures Draft. He will return to lead his TRF Prowler squad as a Junior into the 2018-19 season.
Neutral Zone, a prominent scouting service noted ” (Bushy) has size, speed and agility on the blue line. He is alert and aware in his own end, has a good stick and moves the puck quickly. He looked very athletic and is a younger player with tons of up-side. He has a whole bunch of tools and is a player to watch”.
Obviously, the opportunity to play collegiate hockey with his brother Brendan was one of the keys to his commitment to St. Cloud. He told me ” Brendan and I have always been close and to have a chance to be a teammate with him is very special.” He further stated “The big thing I like about St. Cloud was the culture, the coaching staff, the facilities and the community. The chance to play with my brother was hard to pass up.” On his style of play Bushy noted ” I’m a two-way defenseman who is very active on both ends of the ice and can play in any situation.”
Bushy joins an already solid group of commitments on the blue line including Brady Ziemer, Valtteri Pirronen, Christian Miller, Jack Peart and John Opilka.
SCSU HOCKEY ALUMNI BOND AT STILLWATER GOLF OUTING
Stillwater, MN – With slightly less than 70 days before the start of the 2018-19 hockey season, SCSU coach Brett Larson engaged a number of former SCSU players in a leisurely round of golf and dinner on 7/28/2018 at the Indian Hills Golf Course in Stillwater, MN. The groups represented a number of different eras of Husky hockey including the undefeated 1961-62 SCSU squad represented by John Duncan, Al Paulson, Dale Carmichael and Ed Noble. Other notables included former NHLers Duvie Westcott and Joe Motzko, SCSU All-Americans Dave Reichel, Scott Meyer, Ethan Prow and recent players Andrew Prochnow, Judd Peterson and Joe Rehkamp also enjoyed a day of golf. It was great fun to chat with the former players such as George Awada who spent many years playing hockey in Ireland, Jon Ammerman, now the head coach at Moorhead High School and recently departed SCSU assistant Garrett Raboin now with the University of Minnesota.
AUSTRALIAN ZACH OKABE COMMITS TO SCSU HOCKEY
St. Cloud, MN – For a seventeen year-old, Zachary Okabe has seen a lot of the world. Born in Japan and raised for a portion of his life in Australia he has dual citizenship in Australia and Japan. Okabe moved to the USA for a bit, played hockey on Vancouver Island and then moved to Okotoks, Alberta (just south of Calgary) to skate for the Grand Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL). Okabe’s next move will be to St. Cloud, Minnesota as the forward announced his commitment to the Huskies via Twitter on August 9. Okabe announced “Proud and honoured to announce my commitment to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University . I would like to thank my family, teammates, coaches, and friends that helped me along this journey.” STORY HERE
JOHN OPILKA COMMITS TO ST. CLOUD STATE UNIVERSITY
St. Cloud, MN – The St. Louis Junior Blues announced via twitter on July 28 that 15 year-old left shooting defenseman, John Opilka (Effingham, IL) has made a commitment to play hockey at St. Cloud State University. The Blues announced “Congratulations to U16 AAA Blues defensemen @pilks_7 on his commitment to St.Cloud State hockey”. The 6’1″ 190 Opilka skated for the Junior Blues during the 2017-18 season playing in 55 games and compiling 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points. In July, he was invited to the Select 16 USA Hockey Development Camp in Buffalo, NY among 180 of the top players in his age group in the USA. STORY HERE
2018 TELUS CUP CHAMP RANDAZZO COMMITS TO SCSU
St. Cloud, MN – It’s been a while since the St. Cloud State University Huskies have rostered a player from the prestigious Notre Dame Hounds hockey program in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. Recognized as one of Canada’s top amateur development programs, it combines an amazing tradition of hockey success with an emphasis on academic excellence at Athol Murray College Preparatory School. Andrew Gordon was the last player to skate for the Huskies from this famed school competing for the Huskies for three seasons from 2004-2007 after two seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native was a member of the 100 point club in just three seasons scoring 51 goals and adding 51 assists for 102 points. A draft choice pf the Washington Capitals, Gordon has had an extensive professional career in the ECHL, AHL and played 55 games in the National Hockey league. For the past few seasons he has played in the Swedish Hockey League (SweHL.).
On January 13th, it was announced that former Alexandria, MN High School goaltender Aaron Randazzo has committed to the SCSU Huskies. “FCA Hockey Advisors is excited to announce that Advisory Player Aaron Randazzo has committed to play his college hockey at St. Cloud State University!”. Randazzo, who just turned 17 in May, is a 6″0″ 177 pound left-catching goaltender who played 15 games for the Alexandria Cardinals as a freshman in 2016-17 and 21 games for The Notre Dame Hounds AAA Midget program competing in the Saskatchewan Midget Hockey League (SMHL). Randazzo posted outstanding numbers compiling a 1.62 GAA and .920 SV% in 21 regular season games and 1.00 GAA and .951 SV% in 4 Telus Cup playoff games.
Considered one of Canada’s prestigious championships, the Cup represents the champion of the National Midget Tournament. Randazzo was a key component of this championship making 29 saves in the title game vs Cantonniers de Magog (Quebec). Neutral Zone, a prominent scouting and player ranking service gave Randazzo an “A” ranking for his performance in the Telus Cup. They stated ” Has good size and very good mobility. He plays with a lot of confidence as he comes out and challenges the shooter. He’s had a great week (in the Telus Cup) winning all 4 games and only giving up 4 goals. He had no glaring weaknesses as he is a very sound goalie”.
Randazzo was also recently invited to the 2018 USA Hockey Development Camp in Buffalo, NY and received a “B’ ranking from Neutral Zone. They commented ” He reads the play well, gets in position and sits and stays square with the shooter. He doesn’t have any unnecessary movement. He was calm and focused and made difficult saves look routine. With his size and technical ability he has a bright future ahead.”
Randazzo is currently competing for a position with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League for 2018-19. It is estimated he could join the Huskies for the 2020-21 season.
This is an intriguing commit for the Huskies in a player who has seen a great deal of success as a youngster. His upside and development is certainly something to keep an eye on for the next few seasons. An athletic goaltender who appears to have made the Dubuque Fighting Saints roster as a high school aged junior is very impressive. MORE HERE
SARTELL'S MEIER TO JOIN HUSKIES IN 2018-19
St. Cloud, MN – If you take a look at the recently posted 2018-19 SCSU Men’s Hockey Roster you’ll note the addition of Spencer Meier to the already deep crew of defensemen on this years squad. Meier, who was a recruit of former coach Bob Motzko, reaffirmed his commitment to SCSU after meeting with the current SCSU coaching staff and completed his National Letter of Intent for the 2018-19 season. The Sartell, MN native made great strides after one season with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League and was instrumental in the team’s Clark Cup Championship this past season.
Individually, the 6′ 4″ 190 pound Meier had a solid season both on the offensive and defensive end of the rink completing the season tied for the USHL lead in power play assists with 22 and 7th among USHL defenseman in plus/minus at +18. He was also tied for 7th among defenseman with 34 points in 59 games. Fargo Force coach Cary Eades told the St. Cloud Times in May “He can shoot the puck, has good vision, great hockey sense and is very coachable. He’s a very well-rounded defenseman. He’s not just a guy who plays offense. He can defend.”
Meier will join a solid group of first-year defensemen in 2018-19 including Elk River’s Nick Perbix, a 6’4″ 193 pound Tampa Bay Lightning draftee who played for Omaha of the USHL this past season and Brendan Bushy, a 6’2″ 214 pound Thief River Falls, MN native who was a two-year veteran of the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
The Huskies will enter the 2018-19 season with ten defenseman including seniors Jimmy Schuldt, Jon Lizotte and Mika Ilvonen, Juniors Clark Kuster and Jack Ahcan and sophomores Luke Jaycox and Tyler Anderson. It’s quite likely the team could experiment with Mika Ilvonen at forward during the season.
HERB BROOKS AWARD WINNER MOLENAAR COMMITS TO SCSU
St. Cloud, MN – The Herb Brooks Award is given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks. Maybe it’s appropriate that the 2018 Class AA Herb Brooks Award winner Joey Molenaar, will be lacing up his skates in the future at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Molenaar announced via Twitter on June 21st “Honored to announce my commitment to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University! I appreciate all of the support over the years.”
Beyond the fact that Molenaar is a recognized leader in the locker room and on the ice the 6′ 181 pound left-handed shooter also proved his playing abilities as well scoring 31 goals and adding 12 assists for 43 points in 31 games for the State Class AA Champion Minnetonka Skippers. A player with a tendency to perform in big games, Molenaar had two goals and four assists in the state tournament. Playing for Team SW in the MN Elite League Molenaar scored 5 goals in the 2017 championship game. Neutral Zone, a prominent scouting and ranking service ranked Molenaar as one of seven “A” ranked players in the 2018 Class AA State Tournament. They noted “His play is a bit understated. He managed the puck well, got shots to the net and has good size and strength. He competes hard, slides to good spots without the puck and set up screens well. He is balanced on his skates and strong on the puck. He also has a slick element to his game as he is able to slip pucks into defenders’ blind spots around their feet and between their stick and body. Played in every key situation. Made everyone better and is a coach’s dream. Prepared and consistent player.”
Molenaar finished the 2017-18 season playing for the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL, the same team current Husky Kevin Fitzgerald played for in 2016-17. He was drafted 62nd overall by the Tri-City Storm in the 2018 USHL Entry Draft.
It is assumed Molenaar will play at least a season of Junior hockey before joining the Huskies.
GRAND RAPIDS JACK PEART COMMITS TO SCSU
Mobile, puck-moving defenseman, Jack Peart of Grand Rapids, MN announced via Twitter on June 4th his commitment to St. Cloud State University. He announced, “Honored to announce my commitment to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University. Thanks to my teammates, family, and coaches.”
The ’03 birth-date Peart has been opening eyes in hockey circles and was recently ranked as a top-ten American player eligible to be drafted by Canada’s Western Hockey League in their recent draft. Typically, US players do not go that route preferring to play in the United States. Neutral Zone, a well-known ranking and profiling service recently noted “A heady offensive defender who lacks size but not strength or power. He shows a tremendous amount of puck poise, eyes are always up, waiting out defenders for lanes to open or quickly finding teammates from long distance. Not afraid to rush the puck up ice, Peart is always involved in the offense. He has a hard shot but accuracy isn’t always a strength, but he gets his chances every view we saw. Nearly every puck touch is a positive one with Jack. Defends very well, smart angles, active stick, in shooting lanes, strong awareness, and ability to separate players off the puck with stick or body. He plays the style the game calls for. Another early NCAA commit player and USNTDP Camp invite.” Further, Neutral Zone had him ranked as one of three “A” rated Minnesota players at defense in their “Top 55 rankings.” If one was to characterize his game it does show similarities to UMD’s outstanding young defenseman, Scott Perunovich. However, time will tell if that comparison will stick.
Peart is the second Grand Rapids player to commit to SCSU joining former Grand Rapids High School star and forward Micah Miller who will be joining the Huskies this season. Miller competed for the Sioux City Musketeers in 2017-18.
In throwing his commitment to the Huskies Peart told me “they have a great coaching staff and a great program and (St. Cloud is) just a great hockey town in general”.
CENTERICEVIEW 2018-19 SCSU ROAD TRIP RANKING
I’ve been a St. Cloud State University hockey road warrior since 1986 and have literally been to nearly every hockey venue the team has visited since. As such, it probably gives me a bit of credibility to compile a list of the top destinations for SCSU hockey fans to attend during the 2018-19 season. Keeping in mind that fans have different travel budgets and tastes my list won’t be suited to every fan. Unfortunately, this season only allows 4 of 9 road trip destinations to be traveled to by car and that includes Western Michigan which is a journey of about 9 hours. Thus, with a tremendous road trip schedule this may be the year to dig into the piggy bank and consider a flying trip. These rankings take into consideration ease of travel, budget, attractions and expected competitiveness of the contests. So, with that said here’s my list of the top road trip destinations (with comments) for SCSU hockey fans for the 2018-19 season: MORE HERE
SCSU RECRUIT NOLAN WALKER FOLLOWING THE TRAIL OF NIC DOWD
St. Cloud, MN – St. Cloud State University recruit Nolan Walker has covered a lot of ground in his young hockey career. The 19 year-old Anchorage, Alaska native has taken his skill set to Culver, Indiana for three seasons prior to landing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for the 2017-18 season. That prepped him for his next move to St. Cloud, MN to continue his hockey career with Brett Larson’s Huskies of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. One of the top offensive threats in the USHL this past season, Walker is described by some as the top offensive player in the league when it comes to his overall skill level.
FINLAND'S VALTTERI PIIRONEN COMMITS TO SCSU
St. Cloud, MN – For the second consecutive day, the St. Cloud State University Huskies have received a commitment from a Finnish junior hockey player. Valtteri Piironen announced via Twitter on May 10 ” I am really excited to announce my commitment to University of St Cloud State!! And I am so exited to go to the Sioux Falls Stampede next season!” The 6’3″ 185 pound left-shooting defenseman is a native of Pyhaselka, Finland and skated for Lukko U18 squad of the Jr B SM-Sarja league in 2017-18. The seventeen year-old posted 3 goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 48 games. He also had 1 point in 3 league playoff games. He also has competed internationally with the Team Finland U17 team.
FINNISH JUNIOR HOCKEY STAR ANNOUNCES COMMITMENT TO SCSU
St. Cloud, MN – The SCSU Huskies pipeline to Finland apparently is still alive and well with the announced commitment of Finnish Junior hockey star Jami Krannila. Krannila announced via Twitter on May 9 “Proud and excited to announce my commitment to play hockey at the St. Cloud State University. I would like to thank all my friends, family, teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point in my career.” The 5′ 10″ 150 pound left-shooting centerman is a native of Nokia, Finland and skated for Tappara U18 squad of the Jr B SM-Sarja league. He was the leading scorer on the team posting 24 goals and 41 assists for 65 points in 46 games. He also had 4 points in 4 league playoff games. Marco Bombino of McKeens Hockey, a scouting service described Krannila as a “smooth, quick skater with strong offensive skills and instincts. He’s somewhat lightweight but deceptive with the puck and can stickhandle and maneuver in tight spaces. Has an accurate wrist shot. He anticipates the play really well, both with and without the puck, and knows where his teammates are on the ice in order to feed them the puck. Krannila plays in all situations for his team”. MORE HERE
2018-19 SCSU MEN'S HOCKEY SCHEDULE
The St. Cloud State University Huskies of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference have provided its TENTATIVE schedule for the 2018-19 season. Please note times have not been finalized due to TV arrangements being finalized. St. Cloud State will have 12 scheduled conference series not including the playoffs. The non-conference schedule and dates include Alaska, Northern Michigan, Boston College, Northeastern, Bemidji State and an appearance in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh.They will have 6 home and 6 away conference series. They will play home and home series with Minnesota-Duluth, Omaha, Miami, Colorado College and Western Michigan and single series with North Dakota (Away only) and Denver (Home only). The non-conference schedule includes home series with Northern Michigan and Bemidji State. The Huskies will travel to Alaska, Boston and Pittsburgh for other non-conference contests. MORE HERE
SO FAR SO GOOD...MOMENTUM BUILDING AT SCSU
St. Cloud, MN- The announcement by senior to be and SCSU hockey captain Jimmy Schuldt on April 30th that he would be returning for his final season was met with a sigh of relief by Husky nation. Never one to draw a lot of attention to himself Schuldt stated simply “Junior year in the books. Exited for one more…”. This set off a flurry of relief and excitement by SCSU hockey fans on social media to see the Top Ten Hobey Baker finalist turn his focus from an early signing in the NHL to that of trying to win a national championship for SCSU. One comment on Twitter that caught my eye was from long-time Husky fan Tom Pajunen who commented ” Jimmy Schuldt is quite the young man. What a role model for young players everywhere. Showing education, team and commitment come first. I am sure he has some proud parents”. Even SCSU Assistant Coach Mike Gibbons couldn’t contain his enthusiasm tweeting “Wow! What a player, what a leader”. Schuldt’s decision mirrors that of former outstanding Denver University defensemen, Will Butcher, a Hobey Baker winner in 2016-17 and currently with the New Jersey Devils. Butcher also opted to remain with the Pioneers for his senior season and led the Pioneers to a NCAA championship in 2017. Schuldt told the St. Cloud Times “In my heart the whole time, though, I knew this was the right spot for me for another year. I want to get my degree and try to win a national championship. We have a chance to do that I think we have the team for it.” He’s also a shoe-in to make the 100 point club at SCSU as he’ll be entering the 2018-19 season with 83 points (28 goals, 55 assists).
UMD'S LARSON NAMED SCSU HOCKEY MEN'S HOCKEY COACH
St. Cloud, MN- St. Cloud State Athletics will announce via a press conference today that Brett Larson has been installed as the third head men’s hockey during the Division I era at SCSU. Larson, 45, was most recently an assistant hockey coach at 2017-18 National Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. A graduate of Duluth Denfeld High School, Larson played defense for the Bulldogs from 1991-92 to 1994-95. Following his playing days at UMD Larson played professional hockey in various leagues including the ECHL, IHL, WCHL and three years in Europe.
Larson began his coaching career in 2008-09 as an assistant with the UMD Bulldogs. After three season, he assumed the head coaching position for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League where he compiled a 52-60-0 record. He then moved on to Ohio State University as Associate head coach for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 season helping to recruit some of the players on the 2017-18 Frozen Four Buckeye team. He then returned to UMD and most recently has been a member of the staff for two seasons. Larson has been a member of the coaching staff for both the 2011 and 2018 National Championship Bulldog squads. Additionally, Larson, served as the head coach for gold medal-winning Team USA at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge. He captained the Bulldogs during his senior year in 1994-95 when he attained Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team recognition for a third straight time and also landed the team’s Community Service Award. Selected in the 11th round by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990 National Hockey League draft, Larson went on to skate 12 years in the professional ranks, including two (1990-2001) as a player-coach with the San Diego Gulls of the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League. He also did time with the Colonial Hockey League’s Madison Monsters, the East Coast Hockey League’s Louisville Riverfrogs, the International Hockey League’s Utah Grizzlies, Las Vegas Thunder and Long Beach Ice Dogs in addition to spending another five years in Denmark, Germany and England. He wrapped up his playing days in 2006-07 as a player/assistant coach for the Florida Seals of the Southern Professional Hockey League before that Orlando-based franchise folded at mid-season.
Scott Sandelin told the Duluth News Tribune “I brought him out of pharmaceutical sales to come and coach and the next thing you know he’s a head coach in Sioux City,” Sandelin said Tuesday of when he first hired Larson in 2008. “He’s a good people person. He’s really grown. I remember when he came in. He was still learning the ropes. That’s the good thing about coaching. He’s had some different experiences. He knows what it is to be a head coach having done Sioux City. I think that’s important when you look at moving on and potentially being a head coach. It’s a little different when you’re sitting in that chair vs. being an assistant.”
Steve Rohlik, Head coach at Ohio State University remarked “(He’s) A guy that cares, a guy that’s honest, a guy that the guys buy into,” Rohlik said about Larson prior to the Frozen Four. “He can walk out, sit in your living room, and you know he cares about you. He’s going to go out there and work hard. He gets along with everybody. In this business, there’s no off button and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to go out there and win.”
Larson replaces Bob Motzko who skippered the Huskies for 13 seasons before accepting the head coaching position at the University of Minnesota in late March. And thus, a new era begins for the 2018-19 season with the hiring of Larson. LISTEN HERE BRETT LARSON ON WHY SCSU
UMD STORYBOOK SEASON CAN ONLY END ONE WAY
St. Paul, MN – First, let me admit there is some bias in this blog. I’ve been imbedded in St. Cloud State Cardinal and Black for several decades. That’ll never change. But, I am a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and will forever be grateful for the education obtained there and the opportunities it afforded me. Thus, I will always be loyal to the UMD Bulldogs.
With that out-of-the-way, I think you get my jest – I’ll be pulling for the Bulldogs to win their second national championship tonight at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. For the Bulldogs, it’s been a storybook season with one final chapter to complete. And, that’s winning their second title in seven years as close to home as they can possibly get in the NCAA tournament. After ascending to the championship game last season vs Denver, it was probably even money that the Bulldogs would be in that position. You see, they had a team loaded with upperclassmen, 13 to be exact and were loaded with experience, good offensive potential and strong goaltending. After the disappointing loss to Denver, the team was pretty much dismantled through graduation and defections. They lost their outstanding goaltender, Hunter Miska and top forward Adam Johnson to pro signings and 5 defensemen to graduation. This required bringing in 10 new faces for the 2017-18 season. With the wheelhouse full of talented young players, the future looked bright – just not this season.
FROZEN FOUR: INCLUDE ME AS A DOUBTER - UMD AND NOTRE DAME ADVANCE TO THE BIG SHOW
St. Paul, MN – When I’m wrong I’ll be the first to admit it. After several years of accurate predictions in the Frozen Four I fell flat on my face after Thursday’s semi-final games. I certainly underestimated (my alma mater) UMD in game one vs Ohio State. I was convinced the number of upperclassmen, experience and overall team strength would carry the Buckeyes to the championship game. The inexperienced Bulldogs leveraged a tremendous first period of hockey to a 2-1 win over the Buckeyes. In the process, they advance to the “Big Show” on Saturday vs Notre Dame, another team I predicted against.
With Michigan the stronger offensive team and the hottest team entering the Frozen Four, I felt they’d carry that momentum into the title game. However, if you read my Frozen Four preview, I felt it necessary for the Wolverines Hayden Lavigne to support Michigan’s offense with a solid game. The opposite occurred with Lavigne yielding two stoppable shots in my opinion to give the Irish the offense they needed to prevail in the semi-final game. It was also important for Notre Dame’s top-flight players Gross, Evans, Oglevie and Morris to have an impact for them to win. They did with the three all having a multi-point game. Morris, on the other hand, ended up the evening with a .890 SV% and was rescued by his ‘mates after yielding two early goals. MORE HERE
2018 FROZEN FOUR...A VIEW FROM CENTER ICE
2018 Frozen Four – April 5-7, 2018 | Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Thursday, April 5 – 5:00 PM CT: University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs vs Ohio State University
Thursday, April 5 – 8:30 PM CT: University of Michigan Wolverines vs University of Notre Dame
Saturday, April 7 – 6:30 PM CT (National Championship)
TV: Frozen Four Semi-Final games are on ESPN 2 and Championship on ESPN
MOTZKO MOVES ON TO THE MAROON AND GOLD ...SOME THOUGHTS
St. Cloud, MN – The St. Cloud State University men’s hockey program took a big hit this week as 13 year head coach accepted a job offer from the University of Minnesota. This wasn’t a surprise as within hockey circles it had been suggested for several months that this could be coach Lucia’s final season and rumors were already floating that Bob Motzko would be a candidate for the head coaching job if in fact this was Lucia’s final season. It wasn’t surprising that he’d be a top candidate considering his previous stint as assistant coach at the U of MN and the success he’s had at his alma mater, SCSU after taking over the helm from Craig Dahl who had left abruptly after a 14-23-3 season in 2004-05. Additionally, his success as head coach for USA Hockey in two World Junior Tournaments brought substantial credibility as well. MORE HERE
AIR FORCE TOPPLES SCSU 4-1 IN WEST REGION
Sioux Falls, SD – In my West Region preview I suggested the Huskies not fall behind early requiring a third period comeback. Unfortunately for the #1 ranked Huskies it became their nightmare as they fell behind by a 2-0 score in period two, mounted a comeback in period three and then yielded two empty net goals in a 4-1 upset by Air Force. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised as the Falcons, 3-6 in all-time NCAA play have a history of being a tough matchup in this tourney. In this game, Air Force relied on stellar goaltending by Junior Billy Christopoulos who turned aside 39 of 40 shots on goal with a number of head shakers as the lowest seeded team in the tournament once again became giant killers. Colorado Springs native, Tyler Ledford was the offensive hero scoring both early goals for his hometown team. For the Huskies it was a quick end to a post-season filled with promise and dreams of a Frozen Four appearance in St. Paul. MORE HERE
2018 NCAA WEST REGION PREVIEW
Friday, March 23 – 3:00 PM CT: #1 St. Cloud State University Huskies vs #4 Air Force Falcons
Friday, March 23 – 7:30 PM CT: #2 MSU Mankato Mavericks vs #3 UMD Bulldogs
HUSKIES TUMBLE IN FROZEN FACEOFF CHAMPIONSHIP 4-1
St. Paul, MN – It wasn’t the Huskies night in the Championship game of the Frozen Faceoff on Saturday. The #2 seeded Denver Pioneers played nearly flawless hockey, got a few lucky bounces and an exemplary effort in goal by Tanner Jaillet to capture the tournament title by a 4-1 score. The Pioneers jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead including a goal with just 5.3 ticks left in the period and never looked back in the championship win. The unsung line of Finlay, Olischefski and Barrow combined for a 5 point night and Tanner Jaillet stopped 28/29 shots on goal to knock off #1 ranked SCSU.
3-2 OVERTIME WIN SENDS SCSU TO FROZEN FACEOFF CHAMPIONSHIP
St. Paul, MN- Nick Poehlings game-winning goal 1:47 into the overtime session catapulted #1 SCSU into the title game of the Frozen Faceoff on Saturday. The Huskies will face Denver University on Saturday at 7:38 PM CT. The Pioneers defeated the UMD Bulldogs 3-1 in the Friday evening matchup. Not unexpected it was a hard-fought battle between the Fighting Hawks and the Huskies who met for the fifth time this season. The loss by UND places their fate for the NCAA tournament in the hands of others. A loss in the third place game combined with a win by Princeton in the ECAC tournament championship would most certainly end the season for North Dakota. The Huskies already a lock for the NCAA tournament and most likely the #1 seed look to add additional hardware to the trophy case following the regular season championship and Penrose Cup. MORE HERE
SCSU'S SCHULDT A TOP TEN FINALIST FOR THE HOBEY BAKER AWARD
St. Cloud, MN – It was announced by the Hobey Baker Award committee on March 14th that SCSU Junior Captain Jimmy Schuldt was named as a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. SCSU’s outstanding defenseman is currently in the midst of a career year for the #1 ranked SCSU Huskies who are a lock as a number seed for the NCAA tournament. The junior from Minnetonka, MN is racking up the awards this season including NCHC All-Conference 1st Team, NCHC Player of the Year Finalist, NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year Finalist and now top ten finalist for this prestigious award. Schuldt is having a season rivaling and exceeding what Denver’s outstanding defenseman and last year’s Hobey Baker winner Will Butcher compiled last season. Schuldt’s numbers exceed Butcher’s in points, power play goals and game-winning goals. Schuldt is currently third in team points with 10 goals and 28 assists for 38 points. He is also +21 and has 2 game-winning goals and 8 power play goals. His 38 points currently has him third in the nation for points by a defenseman. To top things off, the finance major has a 3.74 GPA. MORE HERE
FROZEN FACEOFF PREVIEW 2018
2018 Frozen Faceoff – March 16-17, 2018 | Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Friday, March 16 – 4:08 PM CT: #1 St. Cloud State University Huskies vs #4 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks
Friday, March 16 – 7:37 PM CT: #2 Denver University Pioneers vs #3 University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs MORE HERE
SCSU 4 MIAMI 3 OT: HUSKIES ARE OFF TO THE FROZEN FACEOFF
St. Cloud, MN – With their back against the wall, the #1 ranked Huskies rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit to capture a thrilling 4-3 overtime win in the first round of the NCHC playoffs Sunday. Junior Mikey Eyssimont scored two key goals including the overtime winner and Jimmy Schuldt and Judd Peterson the others to lead the Huskies to a berth in the Frozen Faceoff next weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Although they are already a lock for the NCAA tournament as a number one seed, this is a nice reward for the team and it’s fans to compete in the Frozen Faceoff, a prestigious conference post-season tournament. The Huskies will face the #4 seed, North Dakota at 4:00 PM CT. The second game of the day will Feature #2 seed Denver University vs #3 seed UMD with the puck drop at 7:30 PM CT. MORE HERE
HUSKIES SUFFER 3-2 LOSS IN OVERTIME TO MIAMI
St. Cloud, MN – with their back against the wall, the Miami RedHawks relied on their offensive leaders to steer them to a 3-2 overtime win in game two of the NCHC playoffs at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Entering overtime tied 2-2 the RedHawks were facing a season ending game if they were to lose in the OT session. Defenseman, Grant Hutton made sure they lived to play another game with the game winner 7:10 into overtime in a deflating loss for the #1 ranked Huskies. This was Hutton’s second goal of the game and 13th of the season and combined with a first period goal by Josh Melnick was all that was needed to advance to game three. Melnick, who has prospered over the past three years vs the Huskies has now scored seven goals in 12 games continuing to be a thorn in the side of the Huskies. Dominating the second and third period of the game, the Huskies found themselves down 2-0 for the second time in three games and had to claw their way back to force the game to overtime. It now comes down to game three to determine whether it’s Miami or SCSU that earns its way to the Frozen Faceoff next weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TAKE GAME ONE OF THE NCHC PLAYOFFS VS MIAMI 5-2
St. Cloud, MN – This was not the Huskies at their best on Friday in the first round of the NCHC playoffs at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Sloppy play and turnovers accentuated the Huskies play but they prevailed nontheless 5-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the best of three series. Coach Motzko admitted “Miami outplayed us tonight. We love the win – love the fact we made the right plays- but we have to be a better hockey team tomorrow. The coaches frustration tonight is we’d like to see a better hockey game out of our team.” The score was not indicative of the game as the #1 ranked Huskies had to fend off the RedHawks attack all night and David Hrenak was required to put forth another strong effort in goal. The Huskies never fell behind in the game but it was still a one-goal game until Easton Brodzinski scored at 11:39 of the third period to give the SCSU squad a comfort level. Mikey Eyssimont finally wrapped things up with an empty net goal with a minute and a half to play. For the RedHawks, one more loss ends their season or keep winning through the Frozen Faceoff to have a chance to advance to the NCAA tourney. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HOST MIAMI IN NCHC QUARTERFINALS
St. Cloud, MN – After wrapping up the NCHC conference title and Penrose Cup the Huskies now turn their attention to the NCHC playoffs and earning the right to the Frozen Faceoff in two weeks. But, first at hand are the Miami RedHawks whom the Huskies recently faced on the road on February 9/10. The RedHawks finished in last place in the NCHC regular season standings but don’t let that fool you. Every team in the conference has the capability for an upset and this weekend will be no different as the Huskies face the RedHawks. The Huskies will need to be prepared as they play to maintain the #1 position in the Pairwise allowing the team to receive preferential treatment in the seeding for the NCAA tournament. MORE HERE
SCSU AND UND SKATE TO 2-2 TIE IN SEASON FINALE
Grand Forks, ND – Maybe it was the emotional win on Friday in overtime or the fact that this was a fairly meaningless game for the #1 ranked Huskies. In any case, the Huskies were like a piece of machinery that needed to warm up before it worked properly. They fell behind 2-0 to a team fighting for home ice in the NCHC playoffs and then turned things up in the third period to salvage a 2-2 overtime tie with the North Dakota Fighting Hawks. SCSU received another solid outing from David Hrenak, saw a number of UND shots go off the goal post and received third period goals from Grand Forks native Jacob Benson and last nights hero Ryan Poehling in the overtime draw. The tie concluded the regular season schedule for the two squads and allowed North Dakota to salvage a home ice playoff series with Omaha next weekend. The Huskies will host last-place Miami at the Herb Brooks National hockey Center. MORE HERE
POEHLING, HRENAK UPEND NORTH DAKOTA 4-3 IN OT
Grand Forks, ND – Ryan Poehling scored twice including the overtime game winner and David Hrenak stopped 29 of 32 shots on goal as SCSU defeated UND at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Friday, March 2. Hrenak made a number of game-saving stops on goal in the first period turning aside all 15 shots on goal to allow the Huskies to withstand an early onslaught in a back and forth game.. Poehling, on the other hand, had perhaps his finest game of his early career scoring the go-ahead goal in period two on a crazy stick move and then out muscling his opponents in a strong shift in overtime to score the game-winner for the #1 ranked Huskies. SCSU is now undefeated in their last six road games and have improved their overall record to 22-6-5 ( 16-4-3 NCHC). They maintain their #1 Pairwise ranking heading into their final regular season game of the season. MORE HERE
HUSKIES FINISH THE REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE AT NORTH DAKOTA
St. Cloud, MN -The #1 ranked St. Cloud State University Huskies wrap up 2017 conference play on the road vs the #13 University of North Dakota. This weekend series pits two squads moving in different directions. The Huskies wrapped up the conference title and Penrose Cup with a win and tie vs Denver Last weekend. North Dakota on the other hand has won only four games since January 1st and are perilously close to losing home ice for the NCHC playoffs and falling out of the top 16 of the Pairwise. It should be a spirited weekend in Grand Forks as these two rivals battle in the last weekend of the NCHC conference schedule. MORE HERE
SCSU 4 DENVER 2...HUSKIES CAPTURE PENROSE CUP
St. Cloud, MN – A determined SCSU hockey team rallied in the third period to put away defending national champion Denver University by a 4-2 score and capture the NCHC Penrose Cup for the second time in five years. Ryan Poehling scored the game winning goal on a breakaway and Jon Lizotte buried a shot from his own blue line to seal the deal for the #1 ranked and #1 Pairwise Huskies. With a seven point lead over second place Denver it is not possible for the Pioneers to gain enough ground in the last weekend of the regular season to finish higher than second. The Huskies, a lock for the NCAA tournament face North Dakota next weekend in the final series of the regular season and then look forward to a first round NCHC playoff at home – most likely facing Miami. MORE HERE
HUSKIES AND PIONEERS SKATE TO 1-1 TIE
St.. Cloud, MN – The Denver Pioneers scored the tying goal with 3:27 remaining in regulation to salvage one league point and scored in the second overtime for the extra league point as the league leaders skated to an official 1-1 tie. Denver heavy-hitters Henrik Borgstrom and Troy Terry were held in check all night but still both assisted on the Adam Plant game-tying goal as the Pioneers battled to remain within striking distance of the first-place Huskies. The extra league point narrowed SCSU’s conference lead to four points setting up a critical game on Saturday. A win on Saturday would clinch the NCHC Penrose Cup for the Huskies with a seven-point league lead. With only two games remaining after this series with the Huskies the Pioneers could only earn a maximum of six points in their final series with Miami. MORE HERE
SHOWDOWN: #1 SCSU HOSTS #3 DENVER IN MARQUEE MATCHUP
St. Cloud, MN – In the marquee series of the weekend in college hockey, the #1 ranked Huskies host #3 Denver University at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. The Huskies currently hold a five-point lead over Denver in the NCHC standings with four games remaining. A win and a tie this weekend could earn the Huskies another Penrose Trophy, their second since the inception of the league. In any case, this will be a good measuring stick for the Huskies who were swept in Denver earlier this season. It all becomes playoff hockey this time of year and this should be an extremely competitive series with two of the top teams in the country competing for a league title. MORE HERE
THIRD PERIOD RALLY NETS SCSU 4-2 WIN OVER BRONCOS
Kalamazoo, MI – The SCSU Huskies have been good in the third period thus far this season. They’ve outscored their opponents 47-23 entering this series. Their third period dominance shined again in the Saturday rematch rallying with three goals in a crucial 4-2 road win over the Western Michigan Broncos. All three Poehling brothers combined for the game tying goal and Mikey Eyssimont finished things off with two goals to improve SCSU’s overall record to 20-6-4 and NCHC record to 14-4-2. The win assured that they retain at least a two-point lead over Denver in the league standings. The Huskies will also retain the #1 ranking in the all-important Pairwise. MORE HERE
HUSKIES AND BRONCOS SKATE TO 5-5 TIE
Kalamazoo, MI – Mika Ilvonen scored twice including the game-tying goal with 49 seconds remaining in regulation and Jimmy Schuldt added two goals including the second overtime winner to earn the extra league point as SCSU and WMU skated to a 5-5 overtime tie in Kalamazoo, MI. Ilvonen, the former Finnish World Junior player had only skated in 11 games the previous two seasons but has responded nicely with the increased playing time this season notching 2 goals and 2 assists in the last four games. The tie has the Huskies overall record at 19-6-4 and NCHC record 13-4-2. The two league points earned allowed SCSU to keep a two-point lead over Denver in the NCHC standings. The Friday result also moved SCSU into the #1 Pairwise position. The win also clinched home ice for the first round of the NCHC playoffs. MORE HERE
HUSKIES FACE ANOTHER TOUGH ROAD TRIP AT WESTERN MICHIGAN
St. Cloud, MN- The Huskies hit the road once again to face the Western Michigan Broncos. The first-place Huskies are looking to maintain their lead in the NCHC conference standings. Meanwhile, the third place Broncos are looking to solidify their place in the standings and place some distance between themselves and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks and UMD Bulldogs. MORE HERE
HRENAK GETS SHUTOUT AND HUSKIES SWEEP MIAMI 4-0
Oxford, OH – David Hrenak pitched a shutout and Nick Poehling scored the GWG in the second period to lift SCSU to a weekend sweep of the Miami Redhawks. The win solidified the Huskies hold on first-place in the NCHC over second-place Denver by three points. This also continued a five-game win streak by the Huskies going back to the UMD series.
HUSKIES NAIL DOWN 5-2 ROAD WIN OVER MIAMI
Oxford, OH- Jeff Smith made 26 saves and the Huskies withstood a second period rally by Miami to capture a 5-2 road win in Oxford, Ohio. The Huskies charged out to a 3-0 first period lead only to see it narrowed to a one-goal lead in period two but rebounded in period three to score two goals for the victory. In addition to a number of key saves by Smith the Huskies shut down college hockey’s 2nd ranked power play four times including a key 5X3 penalty kill in the third period. The win propelled the Huskies into a tie with Denver for first-place in the NCHC. A win tomorrow could hand the Huskies sole possession of the conference lead with Seven conference games remaining and a huge series at home vs Denver on February 23 and 24. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HIT THE ROAD TO FACE MIAMI IN KEY WEEKEND
St. Cloud, MN – The Huskies begin two weekends on the road with a trip to Oxford, Ohio to face the Miami RedHawks. With first-place Denver idle this weekend this is a prime opportunity for SCSU to move up in the standings and take over first-place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. SCSU currently is three points back of the Pioneers in the standings but has played two less games. They’ll be facing the last-place team in the conference but don’t be deceived by that. There is tremendous depth in the NCHC and Miami is another team that has the ability to give the Huskies fits this weekend. SCSU is 3-4-2 on the road thus far this season. MORE HERE
6-2 WIN GIVES HUSKIES A SWEEP OF #13 OMAHA
St. Cloud, MN – If you look at the national statistics for scoring, you won’t find a player from St. Cloud State in the top 30. What you will find is 19 of the 22 players (excluding goaltenders) have at least one goal. It’s that depth that carried the Huskies this weekend in their home sweep of the #10 Pairwise Omaha Mavericks. In Friday’s win, five different Huskies scored in the 5-2 win. On Saturday, the sharing continued as six different players scored in the 6-2 victory. The sweep allowed SCSU to keep track of league leading Denver who also swept the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs at home. The Huskies remain three points back of the Pioneers but have played two less conference games. With eight conference games remaining this could be setting up a huge series vs the Pioneers in St. Cloud on February 23 and 24. MORE HERE
HUSKIES GRIND OUT 5-3 WIN OVER #13 OMAHA
St. Cloud, MN – Sometimes you gotta grind out a win. The Huskies did just that on Friday overcoming a three-goal performance by Omaha’s David Pope to post a 5-3 win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The Huskies scored three times in period two and received goals from five different players in improving their conference record to 10-4-1 (16-6-3 overall). SCSU outshot Omaha 42-18 for the game and David Hrenak stopped 15 of 18 shots on goal. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HOST OMAHA IN ANOTHER KEY NCHC SERIES
St. Cloud, MN – The Huskies face another strong test in a home series vs #13/13 and #8 Pairwise Omaha this weekend at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. What else is new? There is never an off weekend in NCHC conference play. With five series remaining in conference play, the Huskies are still in the driver’s seat in their quest for a NCHC title. However, most importantly is to keep piling up wins against teams with a strong Pairwise ranking and this weekend is another crucial series because of that. The Huskies will be tested by one of the strongest offensive teams in college hockey but on the other will be facing a team ranked dead last in defense in the nation. The Huskies have been struggling in many phases of their game since the first of the year and they need to turn that around quickly as they enter the last phase of the season. MORE HERE
SCSU GAINS SPLIT WITH 2-1 WIN OVER BULLDOGS
Duluth, MN- Entering this weekends series with UMD the Huskies have outscored their opponents 37-22 in the third period. As such, the odds seemed to be in the Huskies favor entering the third period of the Saturday rematch tied 1-1. Sure enough, Patrick Newell scored the game-winning goal at 14:50 of the third period to give the Huskies an important road win and split of the weekend series. The victory also meant the Huskies won three of four games against the Bulldogs in conference play this season. A nice result after a troubling effort on Friday in a 5-1 loss. MORE HERE
HUSKIES STRUGGLES CONTINUE IN 5-1 LOSS TO UMD
Duluth, MN – The Huskies misery continued in Duluth on Friday getting throttled by a surging UMD Bulldogs squad by a 5-1 score. The defense which had been so reliable through the first half of the season hung a helpless David Hrenak out to dry repeatedly throughout the game in a spirited effort by the Bulldogs. Hrenak, who entered the contest with the nation’s top goals against average allowed 5 goals on 18 shots in suffering his 4th loss of the season. The Huskies have now allowed 10 goals in the past two games raising a huge concern about a defense that was remarkably solid through the first half of the season. Additionally, the Huskies who had the nations #1 offense entering Friday nights game has only produced 3 goals in the past two games raising another red flag. The power play too struggled going 0/3 and dipping to about 15% since the Minnesota series. MORE HERE
SCSU TO FACE SURGING BULLDOGS IN KEY NCHC SERIES
St. Cloud, MN – The Huskies return to conference play with a key road series with #9 ranked University of Minnesota Duluth this weekend. The Huskies maintain a four-point lead over the Bulldogs in the NCHC standings with two games in hand. Both squads were upended by MSU Mankato this past week with SCSU falling 5-2 to the Mavs and UMD edged by MSU 1-0 on Tuesday night. SCSU looks to get back on the winning track after a 2-3-0 record since the start of the new calendar year.
MAVERICKS GAIN CONVINCING 5-2 ROAD WIN OVER THE HUSKIES
St. Cloud, MN – The SCSU Huskies are leaking oil and they need some repairs. Since January 1, the #5 (USCHO) | #3 (US College Hockey/USA Today) Huskies are 2-3 including two losses on their home ice. If we go back to the Princeton series to end calendar year 2017 they are 2-3-2. They took another punch to the gut on Saturday in front of a near capacity crowd celebrating Hockey Day Minnesota in St. Cloud with a disturbing 5-2 loss to the WCHA’s MSU Mavericks. For the Mavericks, it was sweet revenge giving the Huskies some pay back for a 4-0 loss on their home ice to start the 2017-18 season. The difference? This is the time of the season when a team needs to gain some rhythm and start playing some of their best hockey of the season. The Mavericks seem to be moving in the right direction. The Huskies are not. Junior forward Robby Jackson commented that “Right now, it’s work ethic and compete”. That’s concerning. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO HOST MSU MANKATO ON HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA
St. Cloud, MN- The #3 ranked SCSU Huskies return to the ice this Saturday in their final non-conference game of the season. This is the tail end of a two-game home and home series with the #9 ranked MSU Mankato Mavericks. The earlier contest to open the season in October had the Huskies winning 4-0 on the Mavericks home ice. This game is part of Hockey Day Minnesota taking part in St. Cloud on January 19th and 20th. MORE HERE
HUSKIES EDGE WESTERN MICHIGAN 4-3 FOR SERIES SPLIT
St. Cloud, MN – Easton Brodzinski scored the game-winning goal with 4:28 remaining in regulation to allow the Huskies to salvage a split with the Western MIchigan Broncos on Saturday, January 13th at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. SCSU outshot the Broncos 40-16 and used a little more discipline in earning this crucial league win over third place WMU. The win allowed the Huskies to maintain a four-point lead over WMU and three points over North Dakota in the NCHC standings. All three teams have played an equal number of league games. MORE HERE
SECOND PERIOD RALLY DOOMS HUSKIES IN 7-5 LOSS TO WMU
St.Cloud, MN – A seemingly comfortable 3-1 lead after one period suddenly collapsed as #12 Western Michigan University rallied for four goals in period two en route to a 7-5 win at the HBNHC on Friday, January 12. In a penalty-filled affair, the two teams combined for 17 penalties for 37 minutes in a game bordering on chippy at times. Give credit to the Broncos, they played a physical high-energy game matching the Huskies speed and showed why they have one of the top-ranked offenses in college hockey. The loss which was the Huskies first on home ice this season also has them 2-2-3 in their last seven games causing one to believe some team self-evaluation is in order to get things on track as they finish conference play with a very tough schedule in the last 12 games. Despite the loss, the Huskies remain tied with North Dakota for the conference lead and a precarious one-point lead over Western Michigan. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO HOST #12 WESTERN MICHIGAN IN CONFERENCE PLAY
St. Cloud, MN- The Huskies return to NCHC conference play with a two-game series with the Western Michigan University Broncos at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center this weekend. This series features the league-leading SCSU Huskies vs the fourth place WMU Broncos in what should be a very entertaining weekend matchup. The Huskies are currently in a battle with North Dakota in the NCHC standings and are tied with 22 points although the Huskies have two conference games in hand. Thus, another crucial league series for SCSU. MORE HERE
ROBSON SECURES 2-0 WIN FOR THE GOPHERS OVER SCSU
Mpls, MN – Sometimes you win on the ice but not the scoreboard. That was certainly the case on Sunday at Mariucci Arena as backup goaltender Mat Robson stopped all 34 shots thrown at him in a 2-0 (empty net goal) victory for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Granted, the Gophers have been good at home this season – 10-2-0 entering this contest but benefited by a goal waved off and a killer turnover in securing their 11th win at home this season. In the process they also stopped a five-game win streak over the Gophers by SCSU and also ends a 13 game losing streak to in-state rivals UMD and SCSU. MORE HERE
SCSU SKATES TO CONVINCING 5-2 WIN OVER #10 GOPHERS
St.Cloud, MN – It’s been a frustrating effort on the road for the #10 ranked Gophers this season. SCSU added to the misery on Saturday with a dominating 5-2 win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The capacity crowd was treated to an outstanding offensive night by junior forward Mikey Eyssimont scoring twice and adding an assist to lead the #1 ranked Huskies to their 13th win of the season. Robby Jackson, Easton Brodzinski and Jack Ahcan added to the Gopher migraine with the other SCSU goals on the evening. The Gophers seemed sluggish and had little response to the Huskies speed and transition and were stuck on 12 shots on goal through two periods before they rallied for 11 SOG in the third period. The anemic Gophers power play currently running at about 13% provided no support as well getting shut out on all four of their opportunities. In the end, the Huskies nailed down their fifth straight win against the Gophers and evened their all-time record in St. Cloud with the Gophers at 18-18-7. MORE HERE
#1 HUSKIES TO FACE #10 MINNESOTA IN WEEKEND HOME AND HOME
St. Cloud, MN- The Huskies continue non-conference play with a home and home series with the #10 ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers on January 6 and 7. Saturday’s game will be played in St. Cloud at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and the Saturday rematch at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the U of MN. MORE HERE
HUSKIES SALVAGE ANOTHER TIE WITH PRINCETON 2-2
St. Cloud, MN – The Huskies capped off their weekend swing of the east coast with a 2-2 overtime tie with Princeton University of the ECAC. This followed a 3-3 tie in the series opener on Friday. Once again, the Huskies found it to be tough sledding against a team that entered the series unranked, 6-7-1 overall and sitting eighth in the ECAC standings.The Tigers rode the outstanding play of first-year goaltender Ryan Ferland and an affinity for blocking shots to shut down a Huskies offense ranked #1 in the country. As a matter of fact, it was a struggle for the Huskies five on five scoring only twice on the weekend. As was the case on Friday, SCSU was saved by their power play getting the equalizer on the man-advantage to salvage a tie. MORE HERE
HUSKIES SKATE TO 3-3 TIE WITH PRINCETON
St. Cloud, MN -Blame it on the extended layoff or perhaps a fired up Princeton University hockey team. In any case, the Huskies were perilously close to losing to #49 pairwise Princeton until they put things in gear in the third period and overtime. After a dominant overtime session, the #1 ranked Huskies probably deserved a better fate but settled for a 3-3 overtime tie with the unranked Tigers at Hobey Baker Memorial Arena in Princeton, NJ on Friday, December 29. MORE HERE
NEW JERSEY BOUND HUSKIES FACE THE PRINCETON TIGERS
St. Cloud, MN- Approximately 29 miles from maximum security prison East Jersey State Prison (formerly Rahway State Prison) you arrive at rural city of Princeton, NJ home of world renowned Ivy League University’s Princeton University. It’s the fourth oldest university in the United States and home of this weeks opponent, the Princeton University Tigers currently tied for 8th in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association. Home ice is Hobey Baker Memorial Rink, currently the second oldest rink in the NCAA behind Matthews Arena at Northeastern University. The Huskies will end calendar year 2017 with a two-game series with the Tigers. MORE HERE
FORMER SCSU GOALTENDER DRISCOLL COMMITS TO BEMIDJI STATE
St. Cloud, MN- Former SCSU goaltender Zach Driscoll who competed for the Huskies during the 2016-17 season has announced his commitment via twitter to the Bemidji State Beavers of the WCHA and former SCSU coach Tom Serratore. MORE HERE
SCSU VS NORTH DAKOTA PART III
It’s always interesting following an intense weekend of hockey to take a look at some of the metrics and other factors that had an effect on the weekends results.
Home Town Players Have Extra Incentive
The Huskies have two players who are natives of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Junior defenseman Jon Lizotte and junior forward Jacob Benson both grew up with the Fighting Hawks the prominent sports team in the area. Austin Poganski, a senior forward and captain of the North Dakota squad grew up watching the Huskies and played his high school hockey at St. Cloud Cathedral. They had mixed results during this past weekend. Poganski was kept off the score sheet both nights although he captured a turnover and rang one off the post on Friday. Jon Lizotte had a productive night on Saturday picking up two assists for the Huskies. Jacob Benson also hit the score sheet Saturday threading a pass to Mikey Eyssimont who dangled an NHL style goal for one of his two goals in the 3-1 Saturday victory. MORE HERE
HUSKIES RECAPTURE FIRST PLACE WITH 3-1 WIN OVER UND
St.Cloud, MN – The Huskies played a nearly flawless game on Saturday defeating #5 ranked North Dakota 3-1 and in the process moved back into first-place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The Huskies scored three consecutive goals in period two and first-year goaltender David Hrenak stopped 34/35 UND shots on goal to pick up his 5th win of the season. Mikey Eyssimont scored twice including the game winner as SCSU finished conference play for calendar year 2017.
HUSKIES BATTLE NORTH DAKOTA TO 2-2 OVERTIME TIE
St. Cloud, MN – The Huskies will look at this game and see lots of opportunities wasted as they skated to a 2-2 overtime tie with North Dakota at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Friday. The Huskies squandered six man-advantage opportunities including two 5X3 power plays allowing North Dakota to escape with a tie and ultimately a shootout win to move into a tie for first place in the NCHC with the Huskies. In this game, the Huskies third-ranked power play was shut down by UND’s eighth-ranked penalty kill and that was the difference in the game. It was a cat and mouse contest with both teams trying to capitalize on mistakes with both goaltenders making some outstanding saves and both with a little luck on their side in this classic battle. MORE HERE
EARLY SEASON SHOWDOWN FEATURES #2 SCSU VS #5 UND
The #2 ranked St. Cloud State University Huskies wrap up 2017 conference play hosting the #5 University of North Dakota. The weekend series will pit the two current front-runners in the conference in a battle for first place. SCSU currently leads the Fighting Hawks by a single point in the league standings. MORE HERE
ROOKIES EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS FOR SCSU
If you asked the SCSU coaching staff they might be slightly surprised with the immediate impact the first-year players have had thus far this season. However, they knew this was a solid group that would build a nice foundation for the future. Admittedly, it’s a battle to compete with the college hockey blue bloods for the top blue chip recruits even though the Huskies have had two players drafted in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2016 and 2017. But, they are not recruiting players for the NHL – they’re recruiting players that fit the system St. Cloud State University hockey adheres to. With a keen eye for uncovering players, the SCSU coaching staff gets a lot of mileage out of hard work, tireless research and the early identification of talent that is a good fit for SCSU.
HUSKIES SWEEP OMAHA WITH 5-0 ROAD WIN
Omaha, NE – Jake Wahlin scored his third goal of the weekend including the game-winner and David Hrenak earned a shutout stopping 40 shots on goal as the Huskies defeated Omaha 5-0 for a sweep of the weekend series. The win combined with a loss by Western Michigan to North Dakota placed the Huskies all alone in first place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference by a single point over the Fighting Hawks. That sets up a crucial series for SCSU as they host North Dakota at the HBNHC next weekend. The Huskies sweep this weekend improves their conference record to 6-2-0 and overall record to 11-2-0. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HANG ON FOR 7-4 ROAD WIN OVER OMAHA
Omaha, NE – It’ll probably not be a pleasant post game film session for the SCSU coaching staff following the Huskies 7-4 win over Omaha on Friday. After charging out to a 5-2 second period lead, the Huskies left the door open and yielded two early third period goals requiring a rally by SCSU to capture the win. Mikey Eyssimont and Jake Wahlin scored twice and Ryan Poehling scored the game-winning goal as the Huskies won their 10th game of the season. First-year forwards Kevin Fitzgerald and Easton Brodzinski added the other goals in the victory. The win moved SCSU into a tie for first place with Western Michigan in the NCHC standings. MORE HERE
COLLEGE HOCKEY NATION: EPISODE 4 POEHLING BROTHERS
Here's an excellent segment on SCSU's Poehling brothers featured on WATCH ESPN for College Hockey Nation View Video
BACK TO WORK...HUSKIES HIT THE ROAD TO FACE OMAHA
Baxter Arena has not been an intimidating venue for SCSU with the Huskies winning the last four contests there and having posted a 8-2-0 record vs the Mavericks in the last ten games. Coming off a bye week it’ll be interesting to see how the Huskies perform early in Fridays contest. The Mavericks have a highly experienced group of forwards with a productive offense and the Huskies will need to be sharp from the drop of the puck and not let the home crowd get involved in the contest. The Mavericks tend to score in bunches and against ranked opponents Notre Dame and UMass Lowell charged out to early leads which dictated the ultimate outcome of those games. On the flip side, UNO goaltending and team defense has been inconsistent and suspect at times as evidenced by a three goal or more loss margin four times this season. Getting to the goaltenders early and putting pressure on the Omaha defense will be a key to the Huskies success this weekend.
BACK ON TRACK HUSKIES SWEEP TIGERS 5-1
St. Cloud, MN – After getting swept by #1 Denver last weekend, the Huskies needed to get back on track and they did so completing a home series sweep of the Colorado College Tigers at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday. However, it was a much more difficult win relying on an explosion of four goals in the third period to put the dagger into the Tigers. Easton Brodzinski, Judd Peterson and Patrick Newell all went 1-1-2 and Jeff Smith stopped 22/23 shots on goal as the Huskies improved their record to 9-2-0 overall and 4-2-0 NCHC.
HUSKIES DOMINATE IN 6-1 WIN OVER COLORADO COLLEGE
St. Cloud, MN – A week after a frustrating series being swept by Denver, the Huskies returned home to mount a dominant effort over first-place Colorado College by a 6-1 score. The Huskies scored three times in period one, outshot the Tigers 46-22 and pretty much had their way with a CC team that has been playing some pretty good hockey thus far this season. Six different players scored for SCSU including Blake Lizotte who finally netted his first collegiate goal. Another first-year player, Easton Brodzinski had a goal and an assist in a strong effort and was named the games #1 star.
HUSKIES TO FACE RESURGENT CC TIGERS IN HOME SERIES
The Huskies will receive a significant challenge from the Tigers this weekend. They’ve had success on the road thus far this season and have had success in St. Cloud winning 4 of the last 10 games. They have some legitimate goal scorers in Mason Bergh, Trey Bradley and Nick Halloran and a quality goaltender in Alex Leclerc. Special teams have been a weakness for Colorado College and the Huskies will need to take advantage of that if given the opportunity. The Huskies need to get back to more disciplined play and stay out of the penalty box. They’ve incurred 29 penalties for 75 minutes or an average of 8 minutes per game in the last four games. MORE HERE
PIONEERS COMPLETE SWEEP OF SCSU 5-1
Denver, CO – A marquee series between two top-ranked teams culminated in a frustrating penalty-filled contest as the Huskies were swept by a 5-1 score at Magness Arena on Saturday, November 11. In what should have been a highly entertaining game between two skilled teams evolved into a special teams battle won by Denver with three of their goals scored on the power play. The Huskies on the other hand were whistled 12 times for 38 minutes and failed on five of their own man-advantage opportunities in a disappointing weekend. The losses dropped the SCSU overall record to 7-2-0 and their NCHC record to 2-2-0. MORE HERE
PIONEERS SNAP STREAK WITH 4-2 WIN OVER SCSU
Denver, CO – Sophomore forward Henrik Borgstrom has made a practice of feasting on the Huskies in his short career at DU. During the 2016-17 season, he had three goals in four games including two game-winners. On Friday, Borgstrom again victimized the Huskies scoring twice in a 4-2 win at Magness Arena in Denver, CO. Fellow mates Jarid Luosevicius, Troy Terry and Dylan Gambrell also combined for 4 points including the game-winner and two goals from Lucosevcius. The win snapped a Husky seven-game streak to start the season and also a two-game losing streak by the Pioneers.
HUSKIES FACE HUGE ROAD TEST VS #3 DENVER
This should be a dandy of a series between two of the top teams in the NCHC and the country. I’m sure the Pioneers had a heated week of practice after an upsetting sweep at the hands of the Western Michigan Broncos last weekend in Kalamazoo. This will be the Huskies first road extended road trip of the season as they head to Denver. The Huskies earlier had a same day road trip to Mankato to start the season. MORE HERE
HRENAK GETS SHUTOUT AND HUSKIES SWEEP UMD
St. Cloud, MN – Forget about the six game winless streak vs the UMD Bulldogs at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. That streak was quickly extinguished in a weekend sweep of #8 ranked UMD after a 5-0 route on Saturday. After a tough battle with UMD to earn a 5-3 win Friday, the undermanned Bulldogs had little in the tank in the rematch and were unable to solve first-year goaltender David Hrenak who earned his first collegiate shutout. The banged up Bulldogs who were missing three key forwards and two defenseman lacked the horses to sustain three periods of play with the undefeated Huskies and ultimately fell victim to the relentless attack of the SCSU squad. MORE HERE
HUSKIES FIGHT OFF BULLDOGS 5-3 IN NCHC OPENER
St. Cloud, MN – Give the UMD Bulldogs all the credit in the world. After a short week of practice following a trip to Orono, Maine they found themselves missing three top forwards and a defenseman yet pushed the Huskies deep into the third period before falling 5-3 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Special teams played a major role with a combined 17 penalties for 45 minutes including an odd five-minute major whistled on SCSU’s Will Borgen for interference. Yet, as the Huskies have done in nearly every game, they rallied late to tie down another victory and maintain their unblemished record at 6-0-0. MORE HERE
#2 HUSKIES CLASH WITH #8 BULLDOGS IN NCHC OPENER
#2 St. Cloud State University Huskies (5-0-0 | 0-0-0 NCHC) vs #8 UMD Bulldogs (4-2-2 | 0-0-0 NCHC)
HRENAK AND HUSKIES DEFEAT BOSTON COLLEGE 3-1 FOR SWEEP
St.Cloud, MN – Like a well-oiled machine with interchangeable parts the #2/3 ranked SCSU Huskies raced out to a 3-0 lead and then let their defense take over as the Huskies swept hockey blue blood Boston College 3-1 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday. MORE HERE
ANOTHER HUSKIES RALLY AND ANOTHER WIN - SCSU 5 BC 2
St. Cloud, MN – It’s a bad habit to find yourself in a multi-goal deficit early in a game. However, the #2/3 ranked Huskies are finding ways to rebound from these early deficits so far during this young season, On Friday, the Huskies once again found themselves down by two goals early in period two but rallied to score five straight goals in a key 5-2 win over Hockey East powerhouse Boston College.
HUSKIES TO HOST BOSTON COLLEGE IN ST. CLOUD THIS WEEKEND
This will be one of the marquee games in the world of college hockey this weekend. A true traditional hockey power, this will be a great opportunity for the St. Cloud fans to see a non-conference opponent they rarely see outside of NCAA play. Both teams are similar with their style of play and you’ll see a lot of north/south hockey and outstanding speed possessed by both teams. The key for the Huskies is to be able to solve Boston College’s top goaltender, Joseph Woll. Coach Motzko is very familiar with this goaltender as Woll was a member of the Motzko coached World Junior team in 2017. MORE HERE
HUSKIES GET OVERTIME WIN TO SWEEP NANOOKS
St. Cloud, MN – It’s a long trip from Fairbanks Alaska to St. Cloud. After a frustrating loss on Friday, you’d think the visiting Nanooks would have little fight left in them. Not to be. The squad from Alaska fought tooth and nail and pushed the host Huskies into overtime before losing by a 5-4 score at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday. In a wild one, the lead changed four times before the Huskies nailed down an overtime win on a Nick Poehling goal at 2:06 of overtime. To top things off, the goal was assisted by twin brother Jack Poehling for a fitting end to this non-conference weekend. And, younger brother Ryan, scored the game tying goal late in the third period to place them into the position to earn the OT game winner. MORE HERE
EPIC COMEBACK BY SCSU DERAILS NANOOKS 6-3
St. Cloud, MN – The #4/6 ranked SCSU Huskies overcame a dismal start to Friday’s game vs the visiting Alaska Nanooks to rattle off six consecutive goals and earn a 6-3 win at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Junior captain and defenseman Jimmy Schuldt once again provided the offensive spark with two power play goals and sophomore forward Nick Poehling added two of his own in the impressive comeback for the Huskies. MORE HERE
HUSKIES HOST ALASKA NANOOKS IN NON-CONFERENCE SERIES
#4/#6 St. Cloud State University Huskies (1-0-0 | 0-0-0 NCHC) vs University of Alaska Nanooks (0-1-1 | 0-0-0 WCHA) MORE HERE
SCSU VS MSU Part II
St. Cloud, MN – We learned a few things following the Huskies 4-0 road win at Mankato on Saturday, October 7th. MORE HERE
HUSKIES SMITH AND DEFENSE SHUT DOWN MAVERICKS 4-0
Mankato, MN – Coach Motzko has stressed the importance of good goaltender play if the team is to have success this season. He’s also showered his defensive unit with praise stating it’s the most depth he’s had at this position since he took over the helm at SCSU. Both were instrumental in a hard-fought 4-0 road win vs the WCHA’s top team in Mankato on Saturday, October 7. Smith stopped all 42 shots he faced and junior defensemen Jimmy Schuldt and Jon Lizotte led the offense with goals in the non-conference win over the Mavericks. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO FACE MAVERICKS IN KEY SEASON OPENER
The #6/9 ranked St. Cloud State University Huskies (0-0-0 | 0-0-0 ) open the 2017-18 regular season with a road trip to #15/18 Minnesota State University Mankato ( 0-0-0 | 0-0-0) at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, MN on Saturday, October 7. Game time is at 7:07 PM CT. MORE HERE
BUCS FORWARD SAM HENTGES COMMITS TO SCSU
Another future Husky made a commitment via twitter on October 2nd as Des Moines Buccaneers forward Sam Hentges announced ” Proud to announce my commitment to play hockey at St. Cloud State University! Thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way!” The 6’0″ 175 pound forward is a native of Fridley, MN and was a three-year player for Totino-Grace H.S, prior to joining the Buccaneers. Hentges was drafted #237 in round 5 of the 2017 Phase II USHL Draft. MORE HERE
SCSU VS U OF REGINA PART II
St. Cloud, MN – Before we get too crazy about the 8-0 result on Saturday vs Regina keep in mind the Huskies have now outscored the Cougars 25-4 in three meetings. Sister school, Minnesota State University Mankato matched the Huskies result on Sunday also winning 8-0. Nevertheless, it was a good environment for the coaching staff to evaluate the first-year players, fiddle with line combinations and tinker with the special teams play. MORE HERE
LIZOTTE AND SCSU BURY REGINA 8-0 IN EXHIBITION
St. Cloud, MN – Granted, there’s a few things to work on but whenever you throw 53 shots on goal, get 6 points out of first-year players and a shutout on a combined effort of three goaltenders you have to be pleased. The Huskies were not hospitable hosts burying the puck eight times in a 8-0 exhibition win over the University of Regina on Saturday, September 30. And, oh by the way, not a bad effort when you figure just nine hours earlier the Huskies were skating in their first formal practice of the season. MORE HERE
HUSKIES TO OPEN 2017-18 SEASON WITH EXHIBITION VS REGINA
St. Cloud, MN – The 2017-18 edition of the St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team begins its formal team practice on Saturday, September 30th with a two-hour session in preparation for an exhibition game that same evening with The University of Regina Cougars. This is a rematch with the same team SCSU defeated 6-2 a year ago in St. Cloud. The Huskies are coming off a 16-19-1 2016-17 season, their lowest number of wins since the 2010-11 season.
The 2017-18 squad has added seven first-year players after losing four to graduation and two others (Driscoll and Chowlowski) who have moved on to play elsewhere. The Huskies have added goaltender David Hrenak, defensemen Tyler Anderson and Lucas Jaycox and forwards Easton Brodzinski, Blake Lizotte, Will Hammer and Kevin Fitzgerald. MORE HERE
JUNIOR CLASS READY TO LEAD SCSU INTO 2017-18 SEASON
St. Cloud, MN – After a record setting 31 wins in 2015-16 the Huskies had an enormous task ahead of them heading into the 2016-17 season. Losing 219 points of offense and All-American goaltender Charlie Lindgren made the 2016-17 season a certain rebuilding year for the Huskies. They finished with a 16-19-1 record – the lowest number of wins for Coach Bob Motzko since the 2010-11 season and second lowest since he took over the reigns in 2005-06. Nevertheless, Motzko was upbeat about his squad last season feeling he had a good nucleus of players to work with and a “fresh feel” about the team. Certainly, although not intended, a great deal of pressure was placed on the large sophomore class to act as a ballast as they treaded the choppy waters of the NCHC. Not helping matters was the reliance on two first-year goaltenders, Jeff Smith and Zach Driscoll who had their struggles the first half of the season in the rugged NCHC as the Huskies barely kept their head above .500 with a 9-8-1 overall record. However, as the season continued the sophomores did perform finishing the season with five of the top seven points scorers and a defense led by sophomores Jimmy Schuldt, Will Borgen and Jon Lizzotte. Goaltending took a turn for the better as well with Jeff Smith taking over the majority of minutes compiling a 92% save percentage over the second half of the season. Thus, with the official first day of practice this Saturday (9/30) the coaching staff is upbeat about the team and anxious to continue the momentum they started in the second half of the 2016-17 season. The normally sedate Coach Motzko even willing to proclaim the team is “light years ahead of where we were at this time last year. There’s great excitement. the guys are in great shape.” Early predictions have the Huskies finishing second in the NCHC preseason poll and ranked ninth in the USCHO and sixth in the USA Hockey/USA Today preseason polls. Experience, depth and improved goaltending should lead the Huskies to success in 2017-18. In particular, the junior class consisting of eight returning players will be expected to carry a heavy load both on offense and defense. With that said, here’s a preview of the team by position as they head into an exhibition game with Regina on Saturday, September 30th. MORE HERE
HUSKIES RELOAD WITH 2017-18 CLASS OF RECRUITS
It’s a never-ending process in Division One college hockey. Players graduating, signing pro contracts, transferring to other programs and defecting for various reasons. The collegiate coaching staff has to constantly be on the move evaluating players to fill gaps in their rosters three to four years down the road. Like a successful salesperson, they need to prospect, make a proposal to a prospective recruit and finally close the deal. Competition nationally for the elite player is intense and the coaching staffs that project properly and get entrenched early on these players ultimately will have the upper hand in closing the deal. The SCSU coaching staff has done their homework well and is bringing in a diverse group of quality players in it’s 2017-18 freshman class. This class is the result of three to four years of diligent recruiting and will supplement a roster ready to make some noise this season. With that said, let’s take a look at the 2017-18 group of first-year players:
SCSU NETS ANOTHER LOCAL PLAYER IN SARTELL'S MEIER
The SCSU coaching staff continued loading their future player base with local players with the commitment of Sartell-St.Stephen High School’s Spencer Meier. The 6’3″ 186 pound defenseman announced via twitter on Spetember 20th that he has committed to the Huskies. He posted ” Proud to announce my commitment to play hockey at St. Cloud State University. Thank you to everyone who has helped along the way.” The is the third local player to commit to SCSU in the past week following commitments by Annandale’s Ben Ward and St. Cloud Cathedral’s Nate Warner.
ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL'S NATE WARNER COMMITS TO SCSU
The SCSU Huskies have received a commitment from another local player as forward Nate Warner of St. Cloud Cathedral announced via Twitter on September 15 that he has committed to the Huskies. Warner wrote “Proud to announce my commitment to play hockey at St. Cloud State University. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way.” MORE HERE
MONTICELLO STAR BEN WARD COMMITS TO THE HUSKIES
Ben Ward, one of the eye-opening players in the 2017 Minnesota State High School League Class A tourney has announced via twitter that he has committed to play hockey for the SCSU Huskies. He announced on September 15 “Proud to announce I’ve committed to play DI hockey for St. Cloud State University! Thanks to everyone for all the support.” Ward, one of the team captains for Monticello | Annandale | Maple Lake high school finished the 2016-17 season as the team leader in points with 23 goals and 34 assists for 57 points averaging over two points per game. the 5’9″ 155 pound right-handed forward was highly effective in the state Class A tourney with 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in three games. His efforts earned him to be named to the Class A All-Tournament team. He was also named to the Minnesota AP All-State Third Team following the 2016-17 season. MORE HERE
SCSU's DRISCOLL DEPARTS FOR JUNIOR HOCKEY
It pretty much came down to a numbers game. After consultations with the SCSU coaching staff, sophomore to be goaltender Zach Driscoll has made the decision to play Junior Hockey for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Junior Hockey League in 2017-18. With a year of eligibility remaining for junior hockey Driscoll has several choices. He could choose to take a red shirt year and return to SCSU with another year of high level hockey behind him or transfer to another NCAA program. Driscoll apparently is leaving his options open. MORE HERE
CENTERICEVIEW SCSU ROAD TRIP RANKING 2017-18
I’ve been a St. Cloud State University hockey road warrior since 1986 and have literally been to nearly every hockey venue the team has visited since. As such, it probably gives me a bit of credibility to compile a list of the top destinations for SCSU hockey fans to attend during the 2017-18 season. Keeping in mind that fans have different travel budgets and tastes my list won’t be suited to every fan. However, logistically, this years schedule allows most fans to travel by vehicle to five of the destinations out of nine this season. And, with a little planning, all five of these road trips can be done reasonably without a lot of pain to your budget. So, with that said here’s my list of the top road trip destinations (with comments) for SCSU hockey fans for the 2017-18 season:
THREE SCSU HUSKIES SELECTED IN 2017 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
Ryan Poehling (Forward, Lakeville, MN) – Round One | 25th selection by the Montreal Canadiens
Poehling will return to the Huskies as an 18 year old sophomore in 2017-18. The youngest player in NCAA Division One Hockey in 2016-17, Poehling will look to build upon his experience in the NCHC to play a more prominent role for SCSU and to build upon his 7-6-13 statistics in 2016-17. An aggressive and skilled forward with size, Poehling can play both ends of the rink and has added size and strength and he will be counted on by the Huskies to be a leader in 2017-18. MORE HERE
SCSU'S POEHLING SELECTED IN FIRST ROUND BY MONTREAL
St. Cloud, MN – For the second consecutive year, the SCSU Huskies have had a player selected in the first-round of the NHL Entry Draft. On Friday, June 23, the Montreal Canadiens chose Poehling as the 25th pick in the first-round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In the process, Poehlng, who at age 17 was the youngest player in Division I college hockey during the 2016-17 season, became the second highest drafted player in SCSU history behind Dennis Cholowski who was drafted 20th by the Detroit Red Wings in 2016. It also placed Poehling as the highest drafted forward ever surpassing Matt Cullen who was the 35th pick in the second round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Anahem Ducks.
HUSKIES SNARE ANOTHER DEFENSEMAN IN BRADY ZIEMER
St. Cloud, MN – The SCSU Huskies have added another defenseman to the shopping cart with the commitment of Holy Family Catholic’s Brady Ziemer. The Hutchinson, MN native announced via twitter on June 14 ” Proud to announce my commitment to play DI hockey at St. Cloud State University. Thanks to everyone who has helped along the way.” MORE HERE
HUSKIES GET RARE MJHL RECRUIT IN TYLER ANDERSON
St. Cloud, MN- You’d have to go back to the 2000-01 season to find a player on the SCSU roster from Winnipeg, Manitoba. That season, the Huskies roster included all-purpose player, Ritchie Larson and future NHLer Tyler Arnason. Larson was probably the last Husky to skate in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League playing for the Winnipeg South Blues in the late 90’s. So, in a rarity for the Huskies, they recently received a commitment from one of the top defensemen in the league, Tyler Anderson of the Steinbach Pistons. Anderson, from Winnipeg, announced via Twitter on June 3rd “Excited to announce my commitment to SCSU. Cannot thank the people who believed in me and sacrificed for me enough.” MORE HERE
ST. CLOUD NATIVE WILL HAMMER COMMITS TO THE HUSKIES
St. Cloud, MN – SCSU added a big body and seasoned junior hockey player in St. Cloud native Will Hammer who has announced his commitment to play for the Huskies. The St. Cloud Cathedral graduate announced via twitter on May 11 “Proud to announce my commitment to SCSU. It’s been a long journey! Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.” Long journey may be an understatement as Hammer put in three years and 169 games in the NAHL between the Aberdeen Wings and Minnesota Magicians prior to commiting to the Huskies. MORE HERE
SCSU HOCKEY UPDATES FROM THE VIEW (4/21/2017)
The Huskies revealed their complete 2017-18 schedule and it’s certainly a much more fan friendly calendar than that of 2016-17. Definitely of interest is the non-conference series with Boston College at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on October 20/21. This will be the first meeting with Boston College since a loss to the Eagles in the Florida College Classic in 2004. The Boston College trip to St. Cloud is part of a multi-year agreement with Boston College and Northeastern University of Hockey East. During the 2018-19 season, SCSU will travel to Boston to face Northeastern and Boston College in a weekend non-conference series. Northeastern travels to St. Cloud for a non-conference series in 2019-20 and the Huskies return to Boston to face the Eagles in 2020-21.
SCSU HOCKEY UPDATES FROM THE VIEW
Lincoln Stars defenseman, Lucas Jaycox announced via twitter on Thursday, April 13 that he has commited to the Huskies for the 2017-18 season. The 6’2″ 194 pound 19 year-old defenseman from Warroad, MN has played two plus years for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League. A defensive oriented blueliner, Jaycox has 3 goals and 18 assists for 21 points in 122 games including 107 PIM and +24. MORE HERE
2017-18 SCSU MEN'S HOCKEY NCHC CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference has released its composite conference only schedule for 2017-18. St. Cloud State will have 12 scheduled conference series not including the playoffs. This season they will have 6 home series and 6 away conference series. They will play home and home series with Minnesota-Duluth, Denver University, Omaha, North Dakota and Western Michigan and single series with Colorado College (Home only) and Miami (Away only) MORE HERE
FUTURE HUSKIES SCORE WELL IN USHL
With the completion of the United State Hockey League’s regular season, several future Huskies ended up near the top of the charts in offense.
Blake Lizotte of the Fargo Force made a strong run for the leagues scoring title but fell just short finishing second in scoring to Northeastern’s recruit Zach Solow. Lizotte finished the regular season with 19 goals and 46 assists for 65 points in 56 games. He finished 4 points behind Solow in the final tally. Fargo continues play in the USHL playoffs this week vs Waterloo. Following the playoffs, Lizotte will take his talents to the Huskies for the 2017-18 season. MORE HERE
DENVER IS 2017 FROZEN FOUR CHAMPION
BULLDOG RALLY FALLS SHORT IN FROZEN FOUR TITLE GAME
RYAN PAPA TO TRANSFER TO ATLANTIC CONFERENCE TEAM
FROZEN FOUR: DENVER DOMINATES IN 6-1 WIN OVER NOTRE DAME
FROZEN FOUR: BULLDOGS WIN ANOTHER CLOSE ONE 2-1
2017 FROZEN FOUR - A VIEW FROM CENTER ICE
CHOLOWSKI DEPARTS AFTER ONE SEASON AT SCSU
SCSU HUSKY UPDATES FROM THE VIEW
DENVER DOMINATES IN WIN OVER PSU TO ADVANCE TO FROZEN FOUR
OVERTIME WIN SENDS BULLDOGS TO FROZEN FOUR
JONNY BRODZINSKI GETS CALL TO LA KINGS..BRINGS BACK MEMORIES
UMD CAPTURES FROZEN FACEOFF CHAMPIONSHIP IN THRILLER
NCHC FROZEN FACEOFF: UND EDGES DENVER 1-0 IN EPIC BATTLE
NCHC FROZEN FACEOFF: UMD ADVANCES WITH 5-2 WIN OVER WMU
2017 NCHC FROZEN FACEOFF PREVIEW
NCHC PLAYOFFS: HUSKIES SEASON ENDS IN 6-5 OT LOSS TO UND
NCHC PLAYOFFS: HUSKIES DROP GAME ONE TO UND 5-2
HUSKIES FACE SEASON DECIDING SERIES IN NCHC PLAYOFFS VS UND
CC TIGERS DERAIL THE HUSKIES 2-1
HUSKIES OUTLAST THE TIGERS 5-2
SCSU TO HOST COLORADO COLLEGE IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
SCSU BURIED 7-2 BY TOP-RANKED DENVER
HUSKIES COMEBACK FALLS SHORT IN 4-3 OT LOSS TO #1 DENVER
HUSKIES HIT THE ROAD TO FACE LEAGUE LEADER AND #1 DENVER
SCSU HOCKEY UPDATES FROM THE VIEW
SCSU HUSKIES GET DEFENSIVE ABOUT THEIR GAME
WAHLIN, HUSKIES EARN 3-1 WIN AND SWEEP OVER THE REDHAWKS
THIRD PERIOD RALLY LIFTS SCSU OVER MIAMI 4-2
HUSKIES FACE REDHAWKS IN ST. CLOUD THIS WEEKEND
UND COMEBACK NETS A 2-1 OVERTIME WIN OVER SCSU
SCSU VS UND FRIDAY THOUGHTS
SCSU SNAGS KEY ROAD WIN AT NORTH DAKOTA
HUSKIES TO FACE ANOTHER CHALLENGE IN #13 UND THIS WEEKEND
NORTH STAR COLLEGE CUP PART III
BULLDOGS CAPTURE NORTH STAR CUP WITH 2-1 OT WIN OVER SCSU
NCHC RULES: SCSU AND UMD ADVANCE TO NORTH STAR CUP FINAL
HUSKIES TO DEFEND TITLE IN NORTH STAR COLLEGE CUP
PIONEERS REBOUND FOR 3-1 WIN OVER HUSKIES
POEHLINGS LEAD SCSU TO 3-2 OT WIN OVER TOP-RANKED DENVER
HUSKIES FACE ANOTHER CHALLENGE IN TOP-RANKED DENVER
SCSU VS UMD PART III
BULLDOGS RALLY FOR 4-3 OVERTIME WIN OVER SCSU
SMITH, HUSKIES GAIN KEY ROAD WIN 2-1 OVER #3 UMD
SCSU VS MIAMI PART III
POWER PLAY FIZZLES AS HUSKIES ARE SWEPT 4-1 BY MIAMI
FIVE MINUTE MAJOR SINKS HUSKIES 3-2 IN OVERTIME LOSS TO MIAMI
PREVIEW: HUSKIES RETURN TO NCHC PLAY VS MIAMI REDHAWKS
ASU DESERT CLASSIC PART III
HUSKIES EDGE SUN DEVILS 4-2 IN DESERT CLASSIC
SCSU DROPS DESERT CLASSIC OPENER TO UCONN 4-3
HUSKIES HEAD WEST TO THE ASU DESERT CLASSIC TOURNAMENT
SCSU'S AHCAN SELECTED TO FINAL TEAM USA WJC ROSTER
SCSU'S JENSEN MAKES NHL DEBUT
SCSU RECRUIT BLAKE LIZOTTE QUIETLY CLIMBING THE CHARTS
BRODZINSKI GETS UNTRACKED IN MADISON
SCSU REBOUNDS FOR 4-2 WIN AND WEEKEND SPLIT WITH OMAHA
WENINGER AND MAVERICKS EDGE HUSKIES 3-1
HUSKIES BACK HOME FOR WEEKEND SERIES WITH #20 OMAHA
SCSU HUSKIES VS WMU BRONCOS PART III
HUSKIES SKATE TO 5-5 OVERTIME ROAD TIE WITH WMU
DRISCOLL GETS ROAD SHUTOUT OF WMU BRONCOS 3-0
SCSU HUSKIES FACE RESURGENT WMU BRONCOS
SCSU HUSKIES VS UND FIGHTING HAWKS PART III
SCSU SHUTOUT 3-0 AND NORTH DAKOTA SWEEPS WEEKEND
NORTH DAKOTA SHUTS OUT THE HUSKIES 4-0
SCSU HUSKIES VS CC TIGERS PART III
HUSKIES EARN NCHC SWEEP WITH 4-1 WIN OVER TIGERS
HUSKIES BURY THE TIGERS 7-3
SCSU HUSKIES VS UMD BULLDOGS PART III
ANOTHER 5-3 BULLDOG WIN AND SWEEP OF THE HUSKIES
BULLDOGS THIRD PERIOD RALLY EDGES SCSU 5-3
SCSU VS UAH CHARGERS PART III
ANOTHER RALLY AND 5-2 WIN AND SWEEP OF UAH
BIG THIRD PERIOD NETS 5-1 SCSU WIN OVER CHARGERS
ANOTHER COMEBACK, ANOTHER WIN AND A SWEEP OF #7 MINNESOTA
CRAZY COMEBACK NETS 6-5 OVERTIME WIN OVER MINNESOTA
MAVERICKS DEFEAT HUSKIES 6-4 FOR WEEKEND SWEEP
MAVERICKS SNAP STREAK WITH 4-1 WIN OVER #7 HUSKIES
KEEP AN EYE ON THESE NCHC ROOKIES IN 2016-17
CENTERICEVIEW SCSU ROAD TRIP RANKING FOR 2016-17
SCSU MENS HOCKEY SEASON PREVIEW 2016-17
SCSU HUSKIES REBUILD WITH SKILLED RECRUITS IN 2016-17
SCSU ANNOUNCES BROADCAST TEAM FOR MENS HOCKEY
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