No. 19 St. Cloud State ends losing skid by skating past No. 7 Denver 5-2
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- No. 19 St. Cloud State (13-10-0, 10-5-0 WCHA) charted a big 5-2 victory against No. 7 Denver (13-7-4, 8-5-4 WCHA) on Friday. The victory snapped a two-game losing skid for the Huskies and moved them into a three-way tie for second place in the WCHA.
Junior defender Nick Jensen stepped into the spotlight with two third-period goals to help bring home the victory.
In the opening minutes of play, SCSU dominated the offense as the Huskies outshot the Pioneers 13-7 in the first period. Despite the upper hand on the attack, SCSU was held scoreless thanks to DU netminder Juho Oikinuora. On the other end of the rink, SCSU goalie Ryan Faragher also provided seven saves in the opening period.
Denver was the first to score at 6:58 of the second period with a goal by Zac Larraza, which gave the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.
The Huskies replied at 10:27 of the second period with an even-strength goal by Cory Thorson, which included assists from Brooks Bertsch and Ethan Prow. This was Thorson's eight goal of the season and it was Bertsch's second helper of 2012-13.
Junior forward Nic Dowd moved SCSU's lead to 2-1 with his breakaway score at 18:26 of the second period. Prow and Fargaher each gained assists on the play. The goal was Dowd's 10th of the season. Prow now has seven assists this year and nine points. This was the first assist of the year for Faragher and the first assist by a Husky goalie since Mike Lee posted an assist against UNO on March 10, 2012 at the NHEC. Faragher now has three points as a Husky and his last assist was against Minnesota on Jan. 28, 2012.
Denver tied the contest at 2:47 of the third period with a goal by Nick Shore, which included assists from Ty Loney and Scott Mayfield.
The Husky defense capped the goal at that point of the evening, as Faragher completed his evening with just two goals allowed and made 23 saves against the nation's fourth-ranked offensive team.
Jensen earned the game winner at 10:40 of the third period with his second goal of the year. Kalle Kossila and Andrew Prochno both carded assists on the play for the Huskies.
Jensen padded the SCSU lead at 16:55 of the third with his first power play goal of the season. Drew LeBlanc and Kossila were credited with assists on the play for the Huskies. This was Jensen's third goal of the year and his 18th point of the year. Kossila broke a two-game scoring drought and now has 11 goals and eight assists this season.
LeBlanc has scored points in the last 12 games for the Huskies and has 25 assists and 31 points in 2012-13. He leads the nation with 25 assists this year and he also ranks third in the country with 31 points.
The game was put on ice with an empty net goal at 18:03 of the third by SCSU's Nick Oliver. The solo assist on the ENG was provided by Jonny Brodzinski. This was Oliver's first goal of the 2012-13 season and it was Brodzinski's seventh assist of the year. Brodzinski also owns an eight-game point streak for the Huskies.
On the night, SCSU outshot the Pioneers 38-25 as Olkinuora charted 33 saves in the loss. On the power play, SCSU was 1 of 5 and DU was 0 of 1.