GRAND FORKS, N.D. — No. 16 St. Cloud State took advantage of a dominant defensive performance to score a 3-1 victory at No. 5 North Dakota on Friday.
The victory helped the Huskies (15-10-0) move into sole possesion of first place in the WCHA (12-5-0) with 24 league points thanks to a 2-1 victory by Minnesota State against Minnesota. The Gophers fell into second-place tie along with Nebraska-Omaha at 22 points.
SCSU outshot UND 33-16 in the contest and also held the home team scoreless until a third-period power-play goal. In the first period, SCSU set the tempo by giving up only three shots on goal and followed with five shots allowed in the second period.
On the other end of the rink, SCSU freshman forward Jonny Brodzinski opened the offense with a goal at 4:15 of the first period. Jimmy Murray and Ethan Prow each had assists on the goal.
SCSU senior forward Ben Hanowski added the game-winner with his ninth goal of the season at 16:36 of the first period. Kalle Kossila and Kevin Gravel gained assists on the play. Kossila now has 11 assists this season, while Gravel has six assists on the season.
Brodzinski iced the game at 7:35 of the third period with his second goal. Nic Dowd and Murray were credited with the assists. The goal was Brodzinski’s 11th of the season and it also pushed his team-leading point streak to 10 games. Dowd now has 16 assists this season and Murray’s has six.
North Dakota (13-8-4, 8-5-4 WHCA) scored its lone goal at 13:49 of the third period by Rocco Grimaldi. Carter Rowney and Zane Gothberg charted assists on the play.
UND pulled its goalie in the closing minutes of play but SCSU goalie Ryan Faragher and the SCSU blueliners were able to withstand the extra attacker with multiple blocked shots.
In the contest, Faragher posted 15 saves and earned his 14th victory of the year. Gothberg was the goalie of record for UND with 30 saves in the game.
On the power play, SCSU was 0 of 2 and UND was 1 of 1. In a game with limited penalty calls, SCSU was called for just two minors.
SCSU and North Dakota will complete the WCHA series on Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.