ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (1-1-1, 0-0-1 WCHA) opened its 2005-06 WCHA season with a 2-2 tie against #13 ranked Wisconsin (1-1-1, 0-0-1 WCHA) Friday night at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
Down 2-1 in the final period, SCSU sophomore Matt Hartman — a native of St. Cloud — was the game’s hometown hero as he netted his first goal of the season at 8:44 of the third from assists by junior forward Dan Kronick and sophomore defender Matt Stephenson. The tally knotted the score at 2-2, which stood through the overtime session as the Huskies outshot Wisconsin 3-0 in the extra period. Of note, the point for Kronick was his first as a Husky after he transfered to SCSU from Minnesota-Duluth last year.
SCSU broke a scoreless stalemate in the second period when freshman forward Michael Olson posted his first career goal with a shorthanded goal at 10:16. Stephenson, who had two points on the night, added the assist on the play.
Wisconsin charged back in the third period with a goal by highly-touted freshman Jack Skille at 7:01, already his second of the season, off assists from defenseman Kyle Klubertanz and centerman Joe Piskula. Fifty-one seconds later the Badgers struck again, as senior Tom Gilbert scored off a feed from junior Jake Dowell.
“We were disappointed that we gave up those two goals in the third period, but we also did a lot of things right tonight,” SCSU coach Bob Motzko said after the game. “We had a lot of energy coming out in the first period, and that was good to see.”
The Huskies took charge in the second period on the shot count, as they outshot the Badgers 15-8 in the second period. Overall, SCSU outshot UW 37-26 in the contest. In the nets, SCSU’s Bobby Goepfert was impressive with 24 saves to his credit, playing in his second consecutive overtime game. Netminder Brian Elliot shined for the Badgers as well in amassing 35 saves.
On the power play, SCSU was 0-of-7 and UW was 0-of-6.
The two teams will complete the weekend series with a 7:07 p.m. game on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the National Hockey Center. The night has been designated as “Craig Dahl Appreciation Night” at SCSU, as the University will salute longtime head coach Craig Dahl. The Huskies’ first coach at the NCAA Division I level, Dahl coached from 1987-2005.