HAMDEN, CT — The No. 14 St. Cloud State Huskies special teams propelled them to a 3-1 victory over the No. 17 Quinnipiac Bobcats in the first ever matchup between the two schools Friday evening.
The Huskies scored a power play, shorthanded and empty net goal to send them to victory number 13 on the season.
We got all our shots on goal on the power play early in the game, said St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko. Quinnipiac battled hard and didnt give us much ice. Our goalie had to make a couple of saves and we were good defensively. I thought they [Quinnipiac] played extremely hard and physical taking a lot of space away from us.
St. Cloud is now 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, while Quinnipiac is 2-7-1.
The Bobcats went to the penalty box four times in the first 7:14 of the game, giving St. Cloud two 5-on-3 advantages.
St. Cloud State (12-7-3) had an opportunity to take an early lead when two Bobcats went to the penalty box for contact to the head roughing calls. The Huskies registered five shots on their first two man advantage, but Quinnipiac goaltender Dan Clarke preserved the scoreless tie.
I think we had to defend one five on three all season and then we had two in the first seven minutes and it was certainly disappointing, said Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold.
The Huskies converted on their second f-on-3 of the period, with Ryan Laschs tally at 8:53. Lasch ripped a shot off the cross bar to beat Clarke on a one timer pass from Taylor Johnson at the point for the 1-0 lead.
We just come out and play. I think its refreshing to play out of conference for both teams, said Motzko. They were physical and hammered down on us.
Quinnipiac (13-7-1) tied the score at one when Russell Goodman recorded his first collegiate goal at 3:38 of the second period. Eric Lampe went on a 1-on-3 odd man rush into the Huskies zone and took a shot on net. St. Cloud goaltender Dan Dunn made the save, but it popped out to Jean-Marc Beaudoin who corralled the puck on his stick. Goodman crashed the net as Beaudoin fired the rebound shot and it redirected off of his leg and into the goal.
St. Cloud retook the lead the lead on Garrett Raboins shorthanded goal midway through the second. Travis Novak carried the puck into the zone with speed and got tripped up as he moved to the net. Raboin picked up the loose puck and went on his backhand to beat Clarke at 11:59.
I didnt think we had a good first period, but had a strong second and really good in the third, said Pecknold. We had our chances; Dunn made some saves and they blocked some shots. We had our chances. They have goaltending and they finish their chances.
It was the third shorthanded goal given up by Quinnipiac in the previous three games. They gave up two shorthanded goals in a 4-1 loss to Rensselaer last Friday evening.
Tony Mosey added an empty-net goal for the Huskies with an assist to Lasch to seal the victory.
Clarke finished the contest with 24 saves while his counterpart Dunn compiled 21 saves in the game. Quinnipiac went o-for-4 on the power play while St. Cloud State finished 1-3.
The two teams will finish the two game set tomorrow night at 7 p.m.