Tonight was no different, as the Fighting Sioux had to work hard to get the win against the Huskies tonight.
I think we can markup tonight’s game as another hard fought epic battle tonight as well.
The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux has had some prolific battles against the Saint Cloud State Huskies over the years.
Tonight’s game was no different. It was a hard fought; grind it out game between two teams that have played each other a lot over the years.
Coming into tonight’s game, Huskies Junior goalie Mike Lee has never won a game against the Fighting Sioux in his three seasons with the Huskies. Lee came into tonight’s game with a 0-5-1 record tonight, with the 4-1 loss tonight, Lee’s record drops to 0-6-1.
While his junior goalie has yet to win a game against the Fighting Sioux, Saint Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko described his goalie, “as a big time goaltender.”
The Huskies and the Sioux play a similar style of play as both teams like to limit the other’s time and space and get into the passing lanes making it difficult to generate scoring opportunities.
Tonight was no different, at times the Huskies frustrated the Sioux by clogging up the neutral zone and they also did a good job getting the shooting lanes.
The Fighting Sioux also got in the passing lanes, took away the Huskies time and space and frustrated them as well.
Corbin Knight would break the defensive stalemate at the 0:740 mark of the first period, when the junior center would curl in front of the net to center the puck which went off of the Huskies defenseman Sam Zabkowicz and into the net past Huskies goalie Mike Lee.
With Corbin Knight in the box for charging, junior forward Ben Hanowski made the Fighting Sioux pay with his 23rd marker of the season.
Fighting Sioux sophomore forward Brock Nelson had been a little bit snake bitten as of late and was able to get off of the snide with his 24th goal of the season as he snapped a shot over Lee’s blocker.
Saint Cloud State Huskies Head coach was impressed with Brock Nelson’s first goal of the game.
“He’s [Brock Nelson] coming down on his off side, a pretty good hockey player to, I think that’s the player in our league that you’re going to watch play in the NHL for a long time, Motzko said.
“He was able to cut back in the middle of the rink and that is where is he is going to go he is on his offside, kind of one on one and you can keep him on his back hand and you keep him down there, and he was perfect our guy crossed his feet over and he stepped back into the middle and was able to make a shot.”
The Pesky Huskies wouldn’t go away quietly into the night.
With the Huskies goalie out of the net and pressing hard down low, Fighting Sioux sophomore forward Brock Nelson would get his second goal of the game and his 25th goal of the season to ice it.
Aaron Dell played well for the Fighting Sioux in net and was the difference in the game stopping 28 of 29 shots.
When it was all said and done, this was a very even game and either team could have won and the Head coach of the Saint Cloud State Huskies Bob Motzko agreed.
“It was an extremely hard fought hockey game, Motzko said. “It was a tough grinding game; it was a great game down on the bench. I don’t know if there were a ton of plays being made.."
With the win tonight, the Fighting Sioux improve to 23-12-3 and jump up to ninth in the PairWise Rankings.
The Fighting Sioux will play the Golden Gophers in the semifinal game at 7:07 pm tomorrow night.
Coach Hakstol seemed excited about the prospects of playing the Minnesota Gophers again.
“I said it yesterday, we are in the greatest venue possible for post season play in college hockey,” Hakstol said.
“Saint Paul the entire town is electric, this building is an awful lot of fun with the number of fans that are in the building, we have an opportunity to play a rival tomorrow night. If you like competition, you will like the game tomorrow.”
Historically, the Fighting Sioux hold an impressive 6-1-0 record against the Huskies on neutral ice. The Fighting Sioux have had some success against Saint Cloud State Huskies going 21-9-6 during head coach Dave Hakstol’s time at UND.
With the loss tonight, the Huskies drop to 17-17-5 and end their season.
- Sioux slip by Beavers 4-1 (ndgoon.blogspot.com)
- WCHA Final Five Capsules (insidehockey.com)
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