Three things: offensive explosion

Offensive explosion
St. Cloud State exploded for 16 goals on the weekend in a sweep of Western Michigan on the road, with a closer-than-it-looks 5-2 win on Friday and an 11-1 romp on Saturday. Sophomore Patrick Russell had an empty-netter in a 5-2 win Friday and then added two goals Saturday, while Joey Benik had four goals Saturday and a goal Friday. Benik’s output Saturday was the first time a St. Cloud player scored four goals in a game since 2002, when Mark Hartigan did so. The power play was particularly potent for the Huskies, who notched six power-play goals on the weekend. St. Cloud now has the sixth-best offense in the country, and is tied with North Dakota for the NCHC conference lead. Goaltender Charlie Lindgren played both games, and now has a 1.48 goals-against and a .944 save percentage.

Goals still a challenge
Home ice didn’t prove a cure for what ails Minnesota-Duluth, as the Bulldogs could only muster one goal on the weekend in a series against No. 8 Denver. The goal proved enough to get a tie Saturday, and the Bulldogs did gain a point with the three-on-three OT goal. It was the first time ever that the three-on-three format was employed in the NCHC, and  Tony Cameranesi, who had tied the game at 6:17 of the third, scored 2:45 into the three-on-three session. Denver goalie Tanner Jaillet made 45 saves on the night before the three-on-three session, and his teammate Evan Cowley made 27 saves in Friday’s 3-0 shutout. Duluth hasn’t won a game outright in November, last winning against Mass.-Lowell on Oct. 30. The Bulldogs only have one win in their last eight games.

North Dakota rebounds
After suffering its first loss last weekend against Wisconsin, North Dakota has won three straight. This weekend, North Dakota swept a conference series against Miami in two very different games. Friday, North Dakota struck three times in first period and another two times in the second period in a 6-2 win. Saturday however, Miami got two second-period goals to take a 2-1 lead, and then Josh Melnick scored at 14:21 to give Miami a 3-2 lead. Nick Schmaltz scored a goal with the netminder pulled at 18:26, and then Luke Johnson won it for North Dakota in OT with a goal that banked in off Miami goaltender Ryan McKay just 1:23 in. Junior Matt Hrynkiw, who had never played a minute in net for North Dakota before this year, is now 8-1-1 after making 19 saves Friday and another 11 on Saturday. North Dakota will next face the conference’s other undefeated team when it travels to St. Cloud State this weekend.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Rick Comley is a very good man, and he has done a great job building the great game of college hockey at LAKE State, Northern Michigan, and MSU.I wish Coach Comley the very best as he finishes this season at MSU.He deserves a wonderful retirement with his wife and family.Mike Olson MSU player 1967-70.

  2. Mike, I’m really glad you commented. People have been calling for his head since he landed in East Lansing — the season after he won the national championship! — and I think that people really don’t know what a great guy and coach he is. He’s certainly shaped the game we love, something else that people don’t appreciate.

    • He is a class act, and from what I gathered listening to his press conference, this wasn’t entirely his choice- and that he won’t have much say in his successor.

      The telling comments were that he is being held to his results and that he is frustrated by the early departures and difficulty in recruiting which, he said, may have changed the decision to retire if players decided to stay (which would have impacted the results,too.)

  3. Paula,make sure you read Coach Walt Kyle’s tribute to Coach Comley that was published in the Marquette Mining Journal on Jan.25,2011.My father’s family of 9 hockey playing brothers and 2 figure skating sisters is from Marquette, Mi. so I read the Mining Journal sports section each day, and that is where I found Coach Kyle’s article about Coach Comley.No one in hockey knows Coach Comley any better than Walt.Walt had some very nice things to say about Coach Comley.I thought you might want to share Coach Kyle’s comments about Coach Comley with your CCHA readers.Mike Olson, MSU 1967-70.

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