SAINT CLOUD, MN- On a Halloween night where the St. Cloud State student section was dressed in costumes ranging from Waldo to Robin Hood, the sixth-ranked Huskies got all the treats. #1 Minnesota got a taste of its own medicine along with a loss.
St. Cloud State went 2 for 7 on the power play, and adding a goal moments after the expiration of one to defeat the Gophers 4-1 in front of 5,122 fans at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Coming off a road win against #2 Union, the Huskies took advantage of one power play in particular splitting two periods when David Morley and Jonny Brodzinski (Los Angeles Kings draft pick) scored within 75 seconds of the end of the first and beginning of the second. This comes a week after Minnesota (4-1-0, 0-0-0-0 Big Ten) scored 5 goals on special teams over two games.
"It was a good win for us. Both teams were sloppy at times and we're both going to say that," Huskies head coach Bob Motzko said after the game. "We won the little battles with goaltending and special teams."
Charlie Lindgren made 31 saves for St. Cloud State (3-2-0, 0-0-0-0 NCHC).
"Charlie played good today. There were some times when he bailed us out big time," Jonny Brodzinski said about his goalie, who made two big saves in the first period to start the momentum early. "You see it in practice and now you see it in games."
Both Brodzinski (1G-2A), playing against his younger brother Mike (a Minnesota sophomore defenseman), and Kalle Kossila (1G-1A) had multiple points as four different Huskies lit the lamp. The two hooked up when Brodzinski found Kossila across the ice in stride to give a 1-0 lead for the home team 14:53 into the game.
Morley doubled the lead with just 2.4 seconds remaining in the opening period. St. Cloud State, having a delayed penalty due to Mike Reilly being called for hooking, pestered Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning) in the last 10 seconds.
The end result was the 5'7", 165 lbs forward left open on a tap in for his first goal of the season.
"It's tough, especially cause we take a couple early penalties. We kind of start getting down on ourselves," Hudson Fasching said. " It's early in the year. That's something we need to learn how to do, is how to bounce back.
Adding to the Gophers' pain was St. Cloud's Brodzinski scoring his fourth goal of the season 1:12 into the second. Unlike the NHL, penalties do not end with a goal on a delayed penalty in college hockey. SCSU came out in the second with the man advantage and put the game out of reach.
"I'm disappointed in the penalties we took in our zone, the cross-checkings, the hookings, the slashes and stick penalties," said Gopher head coach Don Lucia. We have to win more foot races tomorrow. I thought St. Cloud won the foot races and won that point of attack."
St. Cloud State added a fourth goal 3:11 into the third when frustration set in for the Gophers. Minnesota took two penalties in a 9 second span. Although the team killed the first half of the two man disadvantage, Joey Benik, who was stopped by Wilcox on a breakaway in the first period, eventually scored his second of the season.
Fasching (Buffalo Sabres) was the only thing between Lindgren and his 2nd career shutout, scoring his fourth of the season just over a minute later.
It wasn't enough. St. Cloud State continued its run against the top teams in the nation with a win and giving the Gophers a scare no costume could. The Huskies stymied a Minnesota offense which returns most of its returning scorers to the point of frustration and didn't let them have the chance at even strength.
In return, St. Cloud State achieved according to Motzko a point of emphasis after series against Colgate and Union by not taking stupid penalties.
"We're still early in the year. We're not worrying about what Minnesota does. We have to do our job," he said.
More importantly, Motzko's team returned the favor, beating the school which eliminated St. Cloud State with a 4-0 win last season, and doing it in similar fashion.
"We got off our game, taking the penalties and looking for any reason, looking to blame the refs. You could tell we lost our composure there," Gopher senior Seth Ambroz said. "We were punched in the mouth and we weren't able to punch back.
"Tomorrow, we're going to have to play desperate and come out with the victory tomorrow."
Minnesota and St. Cloud State complete the home-and-home series tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. Mariucci Arena. The game will be televised by Fox Sports North
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate