St. Cloud State drops top-ranked ND to play in first NCHC Frozen Faceoff final
MINNEAPOLIS -- No. 18 St. Cloud State (19-17-1) advanced to the championship game of the 2015 NCHC Frozen Faceoff with a classic 3-1 victory against NCHC top seed and national No. 1 North Dakota (27-8-3) on March 20 at the Target Center.
The Huskies advance to play the winner of Friday's other semifinal game between Miami (Ohio) and Denver, which will take place Friday night at the Target Center.
The championship game of the Frozen Faceoff will take place at 7:38 p.m. on Saturday at the Target Center.
North Dakota opened the attack with its lone goal of the contest at 15:02 of the first period when Keaton Thompson scored with assists from Tucker Poolman and Johnny Simonson.
The goal proved to be all UND would offer as SCSU netminder Charlie Lindgren save the final 19 shots on net.
The Huskies charged back into the action at 19:35 of the first period when Jonny Brodzinski set up teammate David Morley for the Huskies' first goal of the game. This was Morley's 17th goal of the season, while blueliner Ethan Prow had the second assist on the play. The assist was Brodzinski's 17th of the season and it was his 36 point of the year. In three years at SCSU, Brodzinski now has 110 points (62g/48a) and Morley has 37 goals and 80 points.
SCSU netted the game winner just 19 second later when Joey Benik scored an even-strength marker at 19:54 of the first period. The lone assist on the play was charted by Patrick Russell. The goal was Benik's 15th of the season and it was his 36th point of 2014-15. Both Benik and Morley now own four-game point streaks for the Huskies with Morley having scored at least one goal in SCSU's past four games.
To conclude the evening, SCSU's Joe Rehkamp scored an empty net goal at 18:55 of the third period with assists from Brooks Bertsch and Jarrod Rabey. It was Rehkamp's fifth goal of the season, while it was Brooks' first assist of 2014-15 and Rabey's second assist of the year.
On the night, SCSU and UND were both 0-for-2 on the power play. The Huskies outshot UND by a 24-20 margin as Zane McIntyre was the goalie of record for UND with 21 saves and two goals allowed in the game.
The victory was crucial for the Huskies as he helped provide an important win in regards to a potential NCAA playoff bid. The Huskies are looking to earn their third consecutive NCAA tournament bid. The NCAA selection show will take place on Sunday, March 22.
The upcoming game on Saturday will mark SCSU's first appearance in the Frozen Faceoff championship game. The last time SCSU advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament was a 5-3 loss to North Dakota on March 20, 2010, at the WCHA Final Five.
The Huskies have appeared in four conference tournament championship games since 1994, and the lone tournament championship for SCSU was in 2001 with a 6-5 OT win against North Dakota in the WCHA Final Five title game.