HOUGHTON, Mich. — After taking Friday night’s game on the chin, the St. Cloud State Huskies found success on their power play twice en route to a 3-1 win over the Michigan Tech Huskies, spoiling Michigan Tech’s chances for the sweep on Saturday night at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
“We were on our toes tonight,” said St. Cloud coach Bob Motzko. “We were really happy with the way we played tonight.”
Both teams skated evenly in the opening minutes of the game; neither team could get much of an advantage.
With Michigan Tech (2-4-0 overall, 1-3-0 WCHA) sophomore winger Alex MacLeod off for hooking, St. Cloud got on the board with a rebound goal from junior Tony Mosey at 11:03. Mosey was in good position to get the loose puck and score his third goal of the year after sophomore Sam Zabakowicz fired the initial shot.
“They took some penalties on us because we had our feet moving,” said Motzko. “We’re not the biggest team, so we gotta use our speed and get to the goaltender.”
Junior Garrett Roe also assisted on the goal, giving him 100 career points at St. Cloud.
St. Cloud netted a second power-play goal late in the first period at 19:29 when junior Nick Oslund wristed a shot past Michigan Tech netminder Kevin Genoe. The goal, Oslund’s first of the season, was set up by a great pass from sophomore Drew LaBlanc.
“I thought that [Drew] was going to wrap [the puck] behind the net,” said Oslund. “The puck came into the slot and I just shot real quick and caught the goalie off guard.”
With a power play to start the second period, St. Cloud (3-3-2 overall, 2-1-1 WCHA) controlled the play while getting scoring chances from sophomore Jared Festler and Oslund in close to Genoe, who was starting for back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
“We discussed penalties after the weekend at Colorado College,” said Michigan Tech coach Jamie Russell. “I felt discipline got the better of us.”
Captain Malcolm Gwilliam cut the St. Cloud lead in half with his fifth goal of the campaign just 2:21 into the second period. The senior’s goal was set up by a shot from freshman defenseman Steven Seigo’s shot from the point, which careened off the backboards out to Gwilliam.
“We had some good traffic in front with Alex going to net,” said Gwilliam. “I just happened to be there when the puck bounced off the boards.”
On St. Cloud’s second power play of the period, Gwilliam had a golden opportunity to even the game after taking a loose puck from center ice in alone on St. Cloud goaltender Dan Dunn. Dunn was equal to the task, making one of his nine second period saves.
Michigan Tech was finally awarded a power play late in the period after Oslund was whistled for interference. During the ensuing power play, Olson redirected a shot from the point that Dunn stopped; however he had trouble locking down the rebound. Fortunately, there were no Michigan Tech forwards who could reach the loose puck.
Just over four minutes into the third period, Olson fed MacLeod for a shot that Dunn handled well. Dunn finished the game with 17 stops.
St. Cloud junior Brian Volpei extended the lead to two at 4:59. Volpei was in the right place at the right time to tip in a shot from Roe past a sprawling Genoe.
“We did a better job tonight,” said Motzko. “There were a lot of rebounds that we weren’t in a good position to fight for.”
From that point forward, both teams struggled to stay out of the box. Seigo got the worst of it, taking a five-minute major for checking from behind. St. Cloud could only manage two shots on goal during the advantage.