ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Perhaps St. Cloud State didn’t get enough turkey to eat on Thursday. And if that’s the case, hopefully for their sake they didn’t eat too much on Friday.
The eighth ranked Huskies feasted on Alaska-Anchorage Friday night at the National Hockey Center, erupting for five first period goals en route to a 5-1 WCHA win in before an announced crowd of 6,103 hockey fans that gritted their way through a brisk Minnesota night.
While most people got some early Christmas shopping done on the day after Thanksgiving, it was St. Cloud State that got the early present from the league schedulers, who brought an Anchorage team into a building where they have never won. The Seawolves are now 0-24-1 all-time at the National Hockey center, and were the perfect gift for a St. Cloud State team struggling a bit following its first three losses of the season.
“We didn’t hit, we didn’t work hard and we didn’t play with any confidence with the puck on our stick,” said a not-so-sympathetic Seawolf head coach John Hill. “We got outshot overwhelmingly all night long and they scored two quick goals and its 5-0 before we can blink.”
Four different Huskies scored first period goals, and St. Cloud State chased Kevin Reiter from the Anchorage net after just over seven minutes of hockey. Brock Hooton scored first, after a Matt Hendricks shot deflected in off his skate 4:15 in. Dave Iannazzo scored on a wrist shot from the top of the left right circle 39 seconds later, finding a puck that Mike Doyle drew back on a faceoff. Then Joe Jenson scored from pretty much the same spot, sending a wrist shot into the far lower corner of the net on St. Cloud State’s seventh shot.
Matt Gen’s was the beneficiary of some nice passing from the Huskies fourth line, finishing off a feed from Konrad Reeder. Hooton scored again, this time with 22 second left in the first, after streaking through the crease and rifling a shot past Chris King, who replaced Reiter after Jenson’s goal.
“I think that was one of Brock Hooton’s best games since he’s been here,” said St. Cloud State head coach Craig Dahl. “He was involved physically, he was making good passes, he scored two goals and I’ve been waiting to see that out of him for awhile.”
In fact, Dahl’s been waiting for some offense from his entire team for some time. The Huskies only scored three times in their two losses last weekend at RPI, and three times the weekend before in their split with top-ranked North Dakota.”
“One of our goals tonight was to get some more shots,” said Dahl, whose team responded by rattling off 43 of them.
“We noticed it with out line,” said Hooton. “We haven’t been getting enough shots, let alone chances, so we worked a lot on creating shots this week in practice and at least tonight, that work paid off as a team.”
On top of that, they only allowed 12, as Adam Coole turned away 11 of them in his return from a groin injury to remain undefeated and pick up his sixth win of the season. Curtis Glencross was the only Seawolf to beat Coole.
Alaska-Anchorage will go for that elusive first road victory over St. Cloud State again tomorrow night, with the rematch set for 7:05.