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Patrick Donnelly | | January 27, 2023

Steeves' hat trick lifts Minnesota Duluth men's hockey to upset of No. 1 St. Cloud State

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Freshman Ben Steeves' second natural hat trick of the season powered Minnesota Duluth to a 5-3 upset of No. 1 St. Cloud State at home on Friday. 

Steeves scored all three goals on the power play, with two finishing off a second period rally and the third coming as the eventual game-winner in the third period. He scored the second and third goals in just 1:25 of elapsed time. 

It's the second straight week that the nation's top-ranked team has fallen after former-No. 1 Quinnipiac went winless last weekend, losing to No. 16 Cornell via 4-0 shutout before blowing a 2-0 lead to unranked Colgate in a 3-2 loss. They were the Bobcats' first losses since Oct. 22.

Carter Loney and Kyle Bettens each scored for the Bulldogs (11-13-1, 6-9-0 NCHC). Dominic James had three assists, and Wyatt Kaiser had two helpers as well. Matthew Thiessen made 25 saves. Defenseman Derek Daschke also had two assists to reach the 100-point milestone for his career. 

Adam Ingram had two goals and an assist for the Huskies (18-7-0, 10-5-0 NCHC), while Grant Cruikshank also scored. Jaxon Castor made 23 saves. St. Cloud State was on a three-game winning streak, most recently sweeping then-No. 3 Denver last weekend.

Loney opened 7:52 into the game with his first goal of the season with a wrist shot from left face-off dot. 

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Ingram tied it, 1-1, two minutes into the second, and Cruikshank gave SCSU a 2-1 lead on the power play just over five minutes later with a one-timer from a sharp angle on the power play. 

Moments later, Steeves scored his first of the game to even it up, 2-2, with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. He added another with 13 seconds to go in the period with another wrister from distance to give UMD a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

Steeves completed the hat trick just 1:02 into the final frame, picking the top left corner from the right dot off a cross-ice pass.

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Bettens scored with 15:57 remaining on the doorstep to extend it to 5-2. Ingram's second of the game just over two minutes later cut the deficit to two for the 5-3 final.

Duluth went 4-for-8 on the power play, while St. Cloud was 1-for-3.

The Huskies will look to avoid a sweep in Saturday's Game 2 at the Bulldogs. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET. 

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