ST. CLOUD, Minn. — In the constant search to find a replacement for former Husky and current Philadelphia Flyer Andreas Nodl, St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko has expressed that it couldn’t be just one guy.
Much to the delight of Motzko, for the second night in a row, SCSU used untapped sources to secure a 6-3 win over No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth, wrapping up a weekend sweep over the Bulldogs.
“I liked that for two nights in a row where we need that second half stuff to happen, now we’re looking for some other young guys to have second halves,” Motzko said. “Last night it was (Tony) Mosey and (Brian) Volpei and tonight it was (Nick) Oslund and (Aaron) Marvin and (Jody) Christian and that’s a positive because to need to look forward to some good hockey players, making some good hockey plays.”
Good play all around was exactly what a packed house of 6,039 got at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud Saturday night.
SCSU wasted no time in lighting the lamp early in the first period, as St. Cloud freshman Jordy Christian netted his fourth goal of the year, with assists to junior Ryan Lasch and sophomore Garrett Roe at the 1:24 mark.
After getting the puck down low from Roe, Lasch took two hacks at the puck on top of the crease before Christian pulled the puck away, burying home the shot on a near empty side of the net.
The two teams exchanged a total of ten penalties throughout the remainder of the period, but none bigger than two by UMD with just 27 seconds remaining in the first.
The Huskies capitalized in the remaining moments of the first, but once again wasted little time opening the second period with a five-on-three power-play goal at the 42 second mark.
Junior captain Garrett Raboin and Lasch worked the puck around the perimeter before finding Roe on the top of the right circle, who shot a laser top corner, beating the Bulldogs’ Alex Stalock glove side.
Just under five minutes later the Huskies added another goal, this time on a beautiful behind-the-net pass from senior Brett Borgen, finding Oslund in front for his fourth goal of the year. Senior Michael Olson was also credited with an assist on the play, his sixth of the year.
Duluth netted their first of three goals in the game on a power play at the 12:34 mark of the second, as freshman Mike Connolly scored his seventh goal of the 08-09 campaign, with assists charted by sophomore Justin Fontaine and senior MacGregor Sharp.
The eventual game-winner once again came very quickly to open the period, as SCSU scored just 25 seconds into the third. After senior John Swanson shot the puck, Oslund gathered the rebound, quickly went behind the net and buried a wraparound on Stalock five-hole.
However, the troubles for Stalock were only just beginning.
After SCSU cleared the puck out of their own zone on defense, Stalock came down the middle of the ice to chase a puck at the top of the circles. With a Bulldog and Husky in front of Stalock, he tried to flip the puck to his right, but instead found the tape of Borgen’s stick just inside the blue line. Borgen fired an easy shot at an open net for the goal at 2:28 of the third.
Duluth battled back for the next two goals by sophomore defender Evan Oberg and Fontaine, before allowing an empty-net goal to Lasch with 27 seconds left.
The Huskies’ junior goaltender Jase Weslosky was superior in net once again Saturday night, stopping 29 of 32 UMD shots faced, while Stalock stopped 31 of 36 SCSU shots. However, even through hard times for Weslosky after being in Motzko’s doghouse for the past two weeks, his teammates still have confidence in him and realize how valuable an asset he is to the squad.
“Jase is a huge part of our winning streak, and the huge sweep (this weekend),” Lasch said of their goalie. “He’s a reason why we’re still in the top six of the WCHA.”
The Huskies (12-9-1, 7-7 WCHA) will lock with No. 3 Minnesota (who defeated SCSU earlier in the year) next weekend in a home-and-home series in Minneapolis on Friday and in St. Cloud for Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday.
“Revenge is sweet, but they’re a great team; North Dakota had control of them this week but we know they’re going to bring their ‘A+’ game,” Roe said of the Gophers. “We’re in for a heck of a game, especially during this rivalry.”