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College Hockey:
Huskies Maul Tigers

LeBlanc Notches Hat Trick

— Finishing what they started in the third Friday night, the St. Cloud State University Huskies shot out of the gates Saturday night with a four-goal first period, helping them to a 6-1 defeat of their hosts, the Colorado College Tigers.

“We played pretty good last night, and we carried it into tonight,” said SCSU coach Bob Motzko. “I liked us in the first and second period. I thought we played very good tonight.”

“We weren’t that flat, we were skating fine, but they hit us with, boom, one goal, two goals,” said CC coach Scott Owens. “They came at us unbelievably hard, quick, confident, strong sticks and before you know it, it was 4-0. It was very surprising, very shocking and I don’t think we dealt with it very well.”

The Huskies started off the scoring with a Drew LeBlanc goal 4:49 into the first period and, ironically, stopped their opening assault with another goal by the freshman forward 4:49 minutes remaining in the frame.

“He has turned a corner,” said Motzko of the freshman. “We said he was looking over the mountaintop, he can see that there’s where the hockey was, he just didn’t know how to get over it. Maybe this is the game where he gets over that mountaintop because he’s been playing great for us and we’ve seen it coming.”

LeBlanc’s first goal, a shot from the left side of the circle that went in past Tigers’ netminder Richard Bachman (24 saves), was originally credited to teammate John Swanson, but was later changed.

St. Cloud went up 2-0 10:55 into the period when Sam Zabkowicz fired a shot from the high-slot that went in five-hole on Bachman. Just one minute and 24 seconds later on a delayed penalty call, the Huskies went up 3-0 thanks to Tony Mosey.

Then, just as a Huskies’ power play expired, LeBlanc scored his second of the night to make it 4-0 St. Cloud.

The Huskies extended their lead to five goals when LeBlanc finished off his hat trick 11 minutes into the second period by shooting a tough angle shot in past Bachman.

“I know it went off the back wall and I just tried to get it up to the top of the net, so I couldn’t tell you what happened,” said LeBlanc.

Jordy Christian then made it 6-0 with 5:53 remaining in the middle frame after he took an Aaron Marvin pass in front of the net and reached it around Bachman and in.

Though he thought about it earlier, Owens replaced Bachman with freshman Tyler O’Brien (5 saves) about five minutes into the third period.

“I might have thought of it in the middle there in the second when it got to be 5-0, 6-0, but I thought Tyler stepped in and played pretty well, so for a young kid like that without that much experience I thought he did pretty well,” said Owens.

The Tigers managed to spoil Jase Weslosky’s shutout bid, however, when Overman backhanded a shot past the St. Cloud goaltender 9:03 into the third period.

“I was seeing the puck a lot easier tonight and pucks were hitting me tonight so it’s always good when pucks are coming in and you can get a piece of them and see them through everybody,” said Weslosky (34 saves). “It’s just about staying positive and we were able to take the confidence from last night and bring it into tonight.”

The Tigers are idle until February 6th when they visit Michigan Tech while the Huskies return home next weekend for a two-game series against North Dakota.

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