By Andrew Erickson / @CarvellMedia / email@example.com / Photo by SCSU Athletics
The Huskies split against the No. 6 Denver Pioneers at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The games were tilted toward the victor both nights with a 5-1 SCSU win on Friday and a 5-2 win for DU Saturday.
The standings sit today with SCSU at 33 points, Western Michigan at 35 and Denver at 37. The Huskies can earn at most 39 points and they will need help to jump either team. WMU plays at home against Miami next weekend and DU plays a home and home with CC.
The Huskies came into the weekend off of a weekend sweep over the No. 1 University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks. The task at hand is the No. 6 ranked University of Denver Pioneers.
The Huskies dominated from about the 5 minute mark on Friday night to a 5-1 win.
The scoring started mid way through the first when freshman Jami Krannila crashed the net and hit the back door on a pass from senior Jack Ahcan.
The Pioneers bounced back in the second 50 seconds on a power play goal from Emilio Pettersen.
The Huskies would own the game from here on out though scoring 1:15 later from junior Kevin Fitzgerald with the eventual game winning goal.
The four goal freshman Zach Okabe got his sixth of the year in the second. Senior Nick Poehling would finish one near the end of the period to put SCSU up 4-1. Poehling chased Devin Cooley from his net for the younger Magnus Chrona.
In the second period Ahcan went hard into the board on a put battle with a Denver player and his shoulder and head hit the wall. He would not return in this one.
The only scoring in the third was with just over a minute left and was from Fitzgerald for his fifth on the season, second of the game. Fitzgerald would have a hat trick goal waved off less than a minute later.
Final in this one was 5-1 in favor of the home team. Shots ended at 32-28 Denver and faceoffs were 32-27 for SCSU. This was junior David Hrenak’s 12th win of the season.
The Huskies look to keep NCHC home ice in their own hands with a victory on Saturday. Their start was up to standard but the script wasn’t in their favor there out.
The rest of the game wasn’t up to the level it needed to be. Denver comes out of this one with a 5-2 win and they now control their own destiny. They are in a spot the Huskies would have had with a win.
One reason for the lapse in play could be the absence of Ahcan from the lineup. He was a scratch in this one with an upper body injury.
The scoring started with freshman Nolan Walker mid way through the first. The puck had eyes bouncing off of a Pioneer defenseman and this one started to look like a repeat of last night.
The similarities ended with that goal as Denver put two in, in four minutes at the end of the first. The goals were from Liam Finlay and Jake Durflinger.
The only goal in the second was a rip by Ian Mitchell just 1:08 into the period with the Chicago draft pick netting his 9th.
The third saw a world class goal from Pettersen when he shot through the legs of junior Luke Jaycox and into the top right corner of the net past Hrenak.
The game would go to four on four action with about eight minutes left and Hrenak would be pulled there. The Huskies would close the gap to two goals on a one timer from freshman Jami Kannila but DU’s Kohen Olishefski would seal it on the empty netter.
Shots were 36-29 Denver and faceoffs were 36-34 SCSU in this one. Huskies have been very strong in the faceoff dot as of late winning both games this weekend and tying both games last weekend.
The End of the Regular Season
The Huskies look toward Duluth after a tough Saturday night. The Bulldogs await where they will likely need a sweep to earn a chance to play at home again. Andrew Erickson, Nick Maxson and Noah Grant will make the trip up north.
This game will be brought to you on 88.1 KVSC. This will be the last two games of the regluar season for SCSU.