ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Goalie Brady Hjelle knows something about making saves. He had a Minnesota high school record 74 as an International Falls junior against Cloquet-Esko-Carlton.
The Minnesota Duluth sophomore made 41 Friday night, his most as a collegian, in a 3-3 overtime tie with St. Cloud State in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game before 6,009 at the National Hockey Center.
The tie kept the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs unbeaten in the league at 2-0-1 and kept Hjelle unbeaten at UMD at 4-0-1. St. Cloud State (1-2-2 and 0-0-1 in the WCHA) outshot UMD 44-33, yet never led. The Bulldogs were called for twice as many penalties, leading to 10 penalty kill situations.
Its tough when you kill so many penalties and you could see for part of the third period we were gassed. But we played our hearts out, said Hjelle. I got a lot of shots, but I loved every second of it. Thats how I grew up, seeing a lot of shots.”
UMD (3-1-1 and 2-0-1 WCHA) got goals from Justin Fontaine, Kyle Schmidt and Brady Lamb. St. Cloud State saw Minnesota high school career scoring leader Ben Hanowski of Little Falls record his first two collegiate goals.
The Huskies, 8-0-1 the past nine games at home against UMD, had two power-play goals for a unit that has five goals with the man advantage the past two games.
Were looking to develop some secondary scoring [behind stars like Garrett Roe and Ryan Lasch] and so I liked how we played, said St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko. Hjelle really played well. He looked confident.
UMDs second power play of the game led to a 1-0 lead 4:42 into the first period. Justin Fontaine drove a shot from the right circle for his seventh goal and fifth in three games.
The Huskies then had three straight power plays and evened the score just after the third shift ended. Hanowski scored with 6:59 left in the opening period from the crease on a pass from another Little Falls star, Jared Festler.
When it looked as though the period would finish 1-1, UMD winger Schmidt connected from an almost impossible deep angle on the left side. He banked the puck off the leg of St. Cloud State freshman goalie Mike Lee of Roseau, Minn., for his first point of the season and a 2-1 lead.
Thats probably a 1-in-a-hundred goal, but we keep talking about getting pucks to the net and good things will happen, said Schmidt. We never laid back, we tried to keep taking it to them. The way the calls were going, though, it wasnt easy. It seemed like we were killing penalties all the time.
UMD was without freshman defenseman Dylan Olsen, who was ill, while sophomore defenseman Scott Kishel looked to have suffered an upper-body injury in the game.
St. Cloud State had the best of the second period, outshooting UMD 15-9 and outscoring the Bulldogs 2-1 for a 3-3 tie with the help of two power-play goals. Hanowskis second goal was put through Hjelles legs at 9:19 and Festler made a tip at the left edge of the crease with 2:35 left. Between those scores, UMD defenseman Brady Lamb smacked a right point attempt that just did trickle through Lee.
UMD had a 4-2 shots edge in overtime and had a power play.
This game was hard to assess how we did 5-on-5. What I liked is we had the lead the whole game and our penalty killers did a good job, said UMD coach Scott Sandelin. We had a good first period and then the next 40 minutes there wasnt much 5-on-5 hockey.