DULUTH, Minn. — Long ago, the Moody Blues penned a song called “You Can Never Go Home,” but St. Cloud State junior goaltender Adam Coole proved that wrong by returning to Duluth to defeat his former team, 3-2. Coole was named player of the game — not bad for a guy cut by Minnesota-Duluth after the 2002 season.
By the way, the game was also for first place in the WCHA. St. Cloud moved into the top spot and remains unbeaten in the league at 4-0-1. UMD falls to 4-1.
The game started tentatively as both teams played close to the vest. Coole had the biggest save late in a scoreless first period as he pokechecked UMD center Evan Schwabe, who came down the left side on a breakaway and tried to shift to his backhand.
The offenses heated up in the second. After killing a 4-3 power play for the Bulldogs, the Huskies connected first. UMD goalie Isaac Reichmuth stopped an attempt from the left side by Mike Doyle, but freshman Brent Hill scored high on the rebound for his first career goal and give the Huskies the lead.
UMD countered with two goals in the middle of the period a little over a minute apart. Junior defenseman Tim Hambly corralled the puck along the left boards and threw it on net. The puck was redirected by T.J. Caig, then tipped high over Coole by winger Luke Stauffacher.
Soon after that, Coole stopped an attempt by Tyler Brosz, but Schwabe lifted the loose rebound into the cage.
Before the period ended, St. Cloud tied the score, 2-2, playing 4-on-4. Husky defenseman Tim Conboy took a shot from the right point which deflected to winger Mike Doyle in the slot, and he beat Reichmuth cleanly.
UMD finished the period with a flurry: Coole stopped Brett Hammond from close range and Stauffacher clanged the crossbar after winding up for a slapshot from 15 feet out.
The Huskies got the game winner about three minutes into the third period after miscommunication between Reichmuth and Hambly. Both players ended up behind the cage with the puck, unsure who was going to play it. Raduns stepped in and deflected the puck over the net into the slot, and Reichmuth never made it back into the cage as Konrad Reeder one-timed the puck into the open net.
Said UMD coach Scott Sandelin, “The winning goal was a mistake and that is unfortunate. But good teams like St. Cloud find a way to bury those mistakes.”
UMD put heavy pressure on St. Cloud the remainder of the third period in an attempt to tie the game, but St. Cloud weathered the storm.
Said UMD defenseman Neil Petruic, “[SCSU] played tight defense and kept us to the outside most of the game. We did not play with a lot of energy and make the most of our scoring chances, while they did.”
UMD pulled Reichmuth with 1:12 to play and kept the puck in the St. Cloud zone, but never really had any quality scoring chances despite 31 shot attempts in the third period to St. Cloud’s nine.
“St. Cloud wanted this game more,” said a frustrated Sandelin. “We were not hungry, did not have the extra desire and did not play well. We did not win the races to the loose pucks and were very tentative. We can not have any passengers on this team: we need all 12 forwards and six defensemen moving, plus the goalie, to be successful.”