The Huskies prevailed in a wild National Collegiate Hockey Conference game, 7-4, to keep pace with No. 9 North Dakota, 2-0 winners over Western Michigan earlier Friday, for the regular-season title with one game remaining.
“We battled back and we battled back,” CC coach Scott Owens said. “It was a tough night for us all around. We weren’t tight enough defensively against that good of an offensive team.”
The SCSU fireworks were sparked by sophomore Jonny Brodzinski, who scored twice in 1:40 to jump start the Huskies in the second period. He recorded his first college hat trick in the third to help the Penrose Cup contenders pull away.
“”I love playing in this rink, even though the elevation sucks,” Brodzinski said. “They’re a transition team and that’s what me, (linemates Kalle) Kossila (four assists) and (Ryan) Papa base our game off of.”
Brodzinski now has 13 points (eight goals) in seven games against the Tigers (6-21-6, 6-12-5-1 NCHC).
“He has killed us the last two years,” Owens said. “You have to be on you’re ‘A’ game against a team like St. Cloud.”
A back-and-forth second period saw CC rally to tie the game 4-4 after falling behind 4-1 early.
The Tigers, averaging 1.91 goals, recorded three goals in less than eight minutes on scores by junior Scott Wamsganz, sophomore Cody Bradley and freshman Jaccob Slavin. That outburst would negate a three-goal SCSU splurge in the first 6:03 of the second.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, the wide-open affair favored SCSU’s deep and talented forwards. The Huskies (20-8-5, 14-6-3) got the eventual game-winner with 10.4 seconds left on a power-play score by Ethan Prow for a 5-4 lead and added two more in the third at World Arena.
“There was a lot of room to make plays in both zones,” Wamsganz said. “We were not good enough defensively tonight.”
“They are the No. 4 team in the country for a reason,” Bradley said.
Wamsganz sparked the CC rally when he redirected a pass between junior goalie Ryan Faragher’s leg pads to make it 4-2 with 12:23 left. Bradley’s found the net four minutes later.
A five-minute call on Huskies wing Daniel Tedesco led to a power-play tally by Slavin 56 seconds into the man advantage to tie it at 4-4.
CC played sound defensively in the first period and scored the opening goal when Wamsganz led a 2-on-1 breakaway for Bradley’s first goal with 17:07 left. But only 39 seconds later, Joey Benik, who finished with five points (two goals), tied the game at 1-1 with 16:28 remaining. It proved to be a hint of the second period to come.
No. 4 St. Cloud State 7, Colorado College 4
St. Cloud State 1 4 2 –7
Colorado College 1 3 0 –4
First period – 1. CC, Bradley (Wamsganz, Young) 2:53; 2. SCSU, Benik (Dowd, Murray) 3:32. Penalties – CC, Stoykewych, roughing, 19:58.
Second period – 3, SCSU, Brodzinski (Kossila, Benik) 1:19 (PP);4, SCSU, Brodzinski (Papa, Kossila) 2:59; 4. SCSU, Gravel (Murray) 6:03; 6. CC, Wamsganz (Slavin, Skalbeck) 7:37; 8. CC, Bradley (Taft, Gerdes) 11:45; 9. CC, Slavin (Rothstein, Skalbeck) 15:06; 9. SCSU, Prow (Kossila) 19:49 (PP). Penalties – CC, McDermott, illegal equipment (using broken stick), 12:30; SCSU, Tedesco, 5-minute contact to the head, 10-minute game misconduct, 14:09; CC, Wamsganz, tripping, 19:16.
Third period – 10, SCSU, Murray (Benik) 2:48; 11, SCSU, Brodzinski (Kossila, Benik) 4:39 (PP). Penalties – CC, Olofsson, interference, 3:21.
Power play – SCSU 3-4, CC 1-2. Shots on goal – SCSU 6-11-11 – 28; CC 11-7-16 –34. Saves-minutes – SCSU, Faragher 10-4-16 – 60:00; CC, Thorimbert 5-7-9 –60:00. Referees – Patafie, Sterns. Linesmen – Keltie, Shaw. Attendance – 6,365 (7,380 capacity).