ST. CLOUD, Minn. — For 54 minutes, it appeared that sophomore forward Andreas Nodl was again going to be a Pioneers’ killer. St. Cloud’s Nodl has played six games against Denver and scored seven goals and three assists. Nodl scored at 6:51 of the second and 6:30 of the third to stake the Huskies to a 2-0 lead. With St. Cloud going on a power play and less than six minutes left in the game, they appeared to have victory assured.
However, Pioneers’ sophomore Rhett Rakhshani, who was just named to the U.S. National Junior Team, had other ideas, and sparked the No. 4 Pioneers to a stunning 3-2 victory and road sweep of the No. 14 Huskies.
Rakhshani started the rally with a shorthanded goal at 14:11. Jesse Martin won a faceoff back to J.P. Testwuide, and Testwuide fed the puck to Rakhshani heading up the ice.
Rakhshani tied the game at 17:35, shooting a puck from behind the net that deflected of Huskies’ goaltender Jase Weslosky and into the net.
Not done yet, Rakhshani got the hat trick and game-winner at 19:32, firing a puck from the slot off a pass from Martin, who got assists on two of Rakhshani’s goals.
“I don’t know what just happened,” Rakhshani said after the game. “Our entire team made contributions late in the game and we’re really happy to get the win tonight.”
The Pioneers improved to 12-4 overall and 9-3 in the WCHA, earning their second road sweep of a WCHA opponent this season. St. Cloud State lost its fifth consecutive one-goal game and fell to 7-7-2, 3-6-1. Weslosky had 39 saves, while Pioneers’ goalie Peter Mannino had 20 stops.
“What a tremendous character win for our team tonight,” Pioneers’ coach George Gwozdecky said. “Rhett had a terrific third period and Peter turned in another great game. I am really proud of our guys and the way they never quit.”