By Alexander Fern / @AlexInTheBooth
The St. Cloud State men’s hockey team earned a split with the Bemidji State Beavers over the weekend and now sit 7-1-0 heading into conference play.
A game that a lot of Huskies will want to forget, as the Huskies jumped out to an early lead on a Zach Okabe power play goal but did not score for the rest of the game.
The Husky lead would hold until the final three minutes of the second period as Jere Vaisanen would pot a goal and tie the game up at one a piece. Not even two minutes later, the Beavers would take the lead on an Adam Flammang powerplay goal and go up 2-1.
The third period was outright domination by Bemidji State, but they weren’t able to score a goal until the Huskies vacated their net and Alexander Lundman put the puck in the empty twine to increase the lead to 3-1.
That was the final score, and it was the first time that St. Cloud State lost this season.
“They (BSU) outcompeted us. We talked this week about being humble and that we were playing a good team and we just came here and got humbled.” Head Coach Brett Larson said. “Besides Okabe’s goal we never had anyone in front of the net. So we need to do that more to be able to win games.”
The first five minutes of game two was more of the same as Mitchell Martan would score two minutes in after receiving a beautiful feed on an odd man rush from Eric Martin and slid it past Dominic Basse and gave the Beavers a one goal lead.
But about five minutes later, Veeti Miettinen tied the game as he scored arguably the angriest goal of his career as he buried a puck top shelf on a one-timer that nearly put a hole in the back of the net.
And then an early frontrunner for goal of the year emerged as freshman Adam Ingram, who was denied on breakaway about 10 seconds earlier, entered the offensive zone, toe-dragged between his legs, and roofed a puck backhand on goaltender Gavin Enright and celebrated halfway down the ice.
“To be honest, I kind of blacked out after the toe-drag.” Ingram said. “I saw the play developing and I’m just happy that it worked out the way it did.”
The Huskies would take a 2-1 lead into the third until Jami Krannila would acquire the Huskies 3rd shorthanded goal of the year as he put a slick move on Enright to slide it five-hole and put the Huskies up 3-1.
“Yeah it was a great play by Koops (Kyler Kupka) to poke it up for me, and I knew right away I was gonna go backhand five-hole and it worked out.”
The Huskies would go up 4-1 on a goal from Zach Okabe who was wide open on the back door after a beautiful, succulent pass from Dylan Anhorn and that score would hold until the final horn, and the Huskies earned the split.
Both Jaxon Castor and Dominic Basse played very well this past weekend. Castor was a lot more active, having to make more saves. But Basse was less busy, but made the saves that he needed to. At least eye test wise, they both look like viable starters so far this year. Don’t be surprised if the usual cycle continues this weekend in Denver.
The Huskies travel east to the rocky mountain state to face the second ranked Denver Pioneers. The Huskies dropped two spots over the weekend from second to fourth and will go to Denver to have the matchup of the number 2 vs number 4 ranked teams. The Huskies trail the all time series between the schools 28-33-3 and haven’t won in Denver since 2016. The Huskies were swept by the Pioneers last season (8-5, 2-0), and the Pioneers went on to win the National Championship.
HOW TO LISTEN
This weekends games will be split onto two radio channels with Brian Moos and Alexander Fern on the call. Friday’s game is slated for a 7 EST / 8 CT puck drop and will be on 88.1 KVSC or streaming online on the KVSC website. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 6 EST / 7 CT puck drop and will be carried on 97.5 FM RadioX or streaming on the RadioX website.