No. 4 St. Cloud State men's hockey rode a four-goal second period to a 7-3 win over No. 3 Denver at home in Game 1 of a pivotal NCHC series on Friday.
Jami Krannila scored twice for the Huskies (17-6-0, 9-4-0 NCHC) and Grant Cruikshank and Zach Okabe each added a goal and an assist. Jack Rogers and Veeti Miettinen each scored, and Dylan Anhorn and Josh Luedtke each had two assists. Dominic Basse made 28 saves.
.@SCSUHuskies_MH up ✌️ after ✌️ in part to Krannila's ✌️ goals#NCHChockey // #HuskyHockey pic.twitter.com/VVvG1KsqxR— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) January 21, 2023
Carter King, Jack Devine and Brett Edwards each scored for the Pioneers (19-6-0, 10-3-0 NCHC). Magnus Chrona stopped 24 of 30 shots, and Matt Davis made two saves in relief.
Okabe opened the scoring on the power play 6:35 into the game when he redirected Spencer Meier's shot from distance.
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King tied it up 1-1 just after the midway point of the first. Casey Dornbach cut to the slot and shoveled a backhand on goal before King put home the rebound.
Devine gave Denver the lead early in the second, redirecting Aidan Thompson's pass from a sharp angle, but Krannila drew SCSU back even 2-2 moments later when he tipped in Okabe's shot from the point.
Rogers restored the lead for the Huskies, making it 3-2 just over three minutes later on a rebound at the top of the crease. Krannila extended it to 4-2 shortly after St. Cloud State killed off a lengthy 5-on-3, putting a one-timer over Chrona's glove on a rush with Cruikshank.
Edwards pulled Denver back to 4-3 just 45 seconds after Krannila's second of the night, but Miettinen picked the top right corner on the power play with 3:37 to go in the second to add insurance for SCSU again.
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4 goals in the 2nd for the #Huskies! 🙌#GoHuskies | #HuskyHockey 🏒 pic.twitter.com/Z4gJDxxz0Y— St. Cloud State Men's Hockey (@SCSUHuskies_MH) January 21, 2023
Cruikshank tacked on another for St. Cloud to make it 6-3 with 8:04 to go in regulation with a one-timer from the slot after Anhorn drew defenders over to him to open up the passing option.
Mason Salquist scored on an empty net from the defensive zone with 46 seconds to go for the 7-3 final.
The Huskies went 3-for-5 on the power play, and the Pios went 1-for-3.
Game 2 between Denver and St. Cloud is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.