ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The house was rocking at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud Friday as the St. Cloud State University men’s hockey squad (2-2-1, 1-1-1 WCHA) collected a huge 3-2 victory over No. 7 ranked Minnesota (2-2-1, 2-1-0 WCHA). A sellout crowd of 6,411 witnessed the game, which snapped an 11-game unbeaten streak by the Gophers against the Huskies.
Minnesota gained the game’s early lead as Andy Sertich scored at 4:27 of the first period, with assists from Gino Guyer and Mike Vanelli. At the end of the first period, SCSU charged back with a big shorthanded goal by senior forward Joe Jensen at the 19:08 mark.
“Jensen’s goal was a big one for us,” said SCSU coach Bob Motzko, who collected his first WCHA victory as a college coach. “We didn’t want to fall behind two goals in the game, and that goal really helped us get back into the game.”
In the second period, Minnesota regained the lead when Tom Pohl posted a goal at 15:16. The Huskies started to battle back in the second despite being held scoreless, as SCSU outshot the Gophers 13-10. In contrast, Minnesota outshot SCSU 17-7 in the first period.
SCSU tied the contest at 1:43 of the third period when senior defender T.J. McElroy notched his fourth career goal on a slap shot. Jensen added the assist on the play, which provided him with his fifth point of the young season.
Senior forward Billy Hengen carded the game winner at 5:03 of the third period. In the closing seconds of the game, Minnesota pulled goalie Kellen Briggs, but SCSU was able to hang tough and pick up the win. The game marked SCSU’s first win over the Gophers since a 4-3 decision at Mariucci Arena on Jan. 3, 2003. This was also the first SCSU win over UM at the National Hockey Center since a 5-2 win on March 3, 2001.
“I think we were a little nervous coming out in the first period…we just weren’t moving our feet,” Motzko said. “I was very proud of the way we responded in the game and came back to get the win.”
In the contest, UM outshot the Huskies 39-29. Both teams were held scoreless on the power play, as SCSU went 0-for-2 and Minnesota was 0-for-4. In the nets, junior Bobby Goepfert issued another top level performance with 37 saves to his credit. Briggs posted 26 saves for the Gophers.
The two teams will square off again at the National Hockey Center on Saturday, Oct. 29. Game time is slated for 7:07 p.m.