No. 19 St. Cloud State clinches series with decisive wins again No. 7 Denver
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- The last time No. 19 St. Cloud State played a weekend series in the WCHA, the Huskies swept a two-game set from visiting Colorado College on Dec. 14-15. SCSU returned to play in the WCHA on Jan. 18-19 and the Huskies enjoyed the same results with a big weekend sweep against No. 7 Denver.
The Huskies earned the sweep with a huge 5-1 win against the Pioneers at the National Hockey and Event Center. SCSU opened the weekend with a 5-2 win against Denver on Jan. 18 at the NHEC.
The victory pushed SCSU's record to 14-10-0 (11-5-0 WCHA) and it also moved the Huskies into a first-place tie in the WCHA along with Minnesota at 22 points. Denver (13-8-4, 8-6-4 WCHA) dropped back into a three-way tie for third place in the league at 20 points along with North Dakota and Nebraska Omaha.
The two Husky wins marked the first time that DU has been swept in league play since a pair of setbacks on Nov. 14-15, 2008.
The Huskies maintained control of the contest from start to finish as they opened the first period by outshooting Denver 20-7. DU goalie Sam Brittain turned aside 19 shots in the period before SCSU's David Morley scored with a power play marker at 19:18 of the first period to make it 1-0. Senior Ben Hanowski and freshman Kalle Kossila had assists on the play.
In the second period, Morley chalked up his second power play goal of the evening at 5:27 that proved to be the game winner. Hanowski and Drew LeBlanc combined for the assists on the play, which was Morley's eighth goal of the year.
The Huskies struck again at 7:26 of the second period with a goal by Nic Dowd, which was his 11th goal of the year and second goal of the weekend versus DU. Rookie Johnny Brodzinski and junior Nick Jensen each had assists on the play. The play capped a three-point weekend for Jensen, who now has 16 assists this season. Brodzinski charted his eighth assist of the year and this also continued a nine-game point streak.
LeBlanc got into the goal-scoring action at 8:35 of the second with his seventh marker of the season. Andrew Prochno and Kossila each had assists on the play. Prochno now has 12 assists this season, while Kossila gained his 10th assist and 21st point.
Denver broke SCSU's shutout bid at 10:27 of the third period with a power play goal by Joey LaLeggia, which included assists from David Makowski and Nolan Zajac.
The game was capped with a final goal for the Huskies by Hanowski at 12:26. LeBlanc and Tim Daly each provided assists on the goal, which was Hanowski's third point of the evening and his 100th career point as a Husky.
In the nets, SCSU's Ryan Faragher (13-8-0) scored 26 saves in the game, while Brittain made 31 saves for Denver. Overall, SCSU outshot the Pioneers 36-27. On the power play, SCSU was 2 of 5 and Denver was 1 of 6 in the game.
SCSU coach Bob Motzko also passed a milestone this weekend with his 150th career win on Jan. 18, which also marked his 100th career win in WCHA play.