It might be too soon to call him Jonny Hockey, but tonight, he was Jonny Hatty. St. Cloud State's Jonny Brodzinski scored all three goals to lead #7 St. Cloud State over #6 Colgate 3-1, avenging a loss by the same score last night.
After a disaster of a first period to start last night's game, the Huskies came out with fire and conviction in the first frame on Saturday. Brodzinski got the Huskies on the board when his aggressive backcheck forced a turnover in the neutral zone. As St. Cloud transitioned back up the ice, Brodzinski drove hard to the net without the puck and received a feed from Jimmy Murray that he directed into the open net. Brodzinski would add his second of the game at 17:43 of the first period on the power play when he jammed in his own rebound in front of the net.
Brodzinski would ice the game in the third period when he created a breakaway for himself, and managed to barely slip the puck under the pad of Colgate goalie Charlie Finn. The goal was initially waved off, but after a video review, it was determined the puck crossed the line, securing Brodzinski's hat trick.
Colgate's Tyson Spink would add a power play goal late, but the Raiders couldn't get another past St. Cloud State goalie Charlie Lindgren despite heavy pressure late in the third period.
Shots on Goal St. Cloud 10- 10-5-25 Colgate 4-8-12-24
Corsi(even strength shot attempts): St. Cloud 13- 15-8-36 8- 15-23-46 (Colgate 56%-SCSU 44%)
Scoring Zone attempts: St. Cloud 8- 9 - 5-22 Colgate 2-10-10-22
-We have to start with Brodzinski, who was incredible tonight. Both coaches touched on the fact that Brodzinski was just as good on Friday night, when he registered only a single assist. "Goal scorers just need to get the first one," said Bob Motzko after the game. And after Brodzinski netted his first one--a play he created with a beautiful backchecking effort--it felt inevitable that there would be more to follow. Brodzinski came up with an incredible game on a night that his team needed someone to step forward.
-Tonight was almost a complete reversal of Friday night's game. This time, it was the home team scoring twice in the third period, and the visitor's unable to catch up. The other theme, that Colgate head coach Don Vaughan noted was that much like St. Cloud on Friday night, Colgate had a lot of pucks jump over their sticks in front of the net that probably cost them some offense tonight. But he was pleased with the effort his team showed in a strong third period.
-Colgate was definitely playing with fire in the first period when they took three straight penalties, and on the third, they were finally burned. The Raiders overloaded their left side with both defensemen on the penalty kill to match-up with St. Cloud's power play which overloads Kalle Kossila and Joey Benik on their right wing. That left a forward covering Brodzinski on the weak side. Benik made a great read to get the puck to Brodzinski and Brodzinski was able to get two whacks at the puck and put it in before the Colgate defender could get to him.
-Vaughan mentioned in the post-game that how, being so early in the season, his team hasn't worked as much on special teams, and that showed a bit on the power play. There's no doubt that St. Cloud did a great job sacrificing the body and getting in shooting lanes, but the Raiders were a little too choosy with their shots on the power play. They passed up a few opportunities to get pucks through in favor of an extra pass, and weren't quite crispy enough to make that work.
-After what I felt wasn't his best game on Friday, it felt like Charlie Lindgren officially became St. Cloud's starting goalie tonight. He saw very little action in the first 35 minutes of the game, but made a tremendous flurry of saves late in the second period and from there, you could see his confidence grow, and he was stellar during a heavy onslaught in the third period.
-Lindgren's counterpart was great too. Charlie Finn held Colgate in the game as best he could through the first half of the game, including some elite-level glove saves.
-If there's an area of concern I have for Colgate, it's that they lack a real game-breaking offensive force, which showed when they were trying to come back in the third period. That's maybe not fair, because I think Tyson and Tylor Spink can combine to be that force when Tylor returns from injury, but it's something to watch going forward.
-The player I was most impressed with this weekend was Colgate defenseman Ryan Johnston. He played a lot of minutes and was as solid as a defender can be. He's a really smart, mature hockey player.
-St. Cloud center David Morley left Saturday's game with a lower-body injury. The Huskies were already thin at center, but Motzko was pleased with the way third and fourth line centers Joe Rehkamp and Judd Peterson stepped up in Morley's absence.
In addition to Morley, forward Daniel Tedesco didn't play on Saturday after getting injured on Friday night, which leaves St. Cloud with 12 healthy forwards at the moment. The Huskies at least have a bye next week to get healthy.
-This series lived up to my high expectations. Both sides seemed to agree the effort was excellent this weekend, and there was some really good hockey played. I think both teams are legit and are going to be in the national conversation for the entirety of the year.
8:09-- Jonny Brodzinski from Jimmy Murray and Ethan Prow 1-0 St. Cloud State
Brodzinski forced a turnover in the neutral zone with a hard back check. Prow hit Murray in transition and Murray slowed up entering the offensive zone, allowing a hard-driving Brodzinski to get to the net. Murray fired a cross ice pass that Brodzinski directed into the net.
17:43--Jonny Brodzinski from Joey Benik and Kalle Kossila (power play) 2-0 St. Cloud State
Benik made a nice cross ice pass to find Brodzinski, who took two whacks at the puck from the left corner of the crease, and chipped the second shot over Finn.
15:02--Jonny Brodzinski unassisted 3-0 St. Cloud State
Brodzinski stole the puck from a defenseman at the St. Cloud blue line and came in uncontested on a breakaway. He lost control of the puck, but was able to knock it through the legs of Finn before he skated past the net. The play was initially ruled no goal, but after video review, was counted as a good goal.
17:12--Tyson Spink from Andrew Black and Spiro Goulakos (extra attacker) 3-1 St. Cloud State
On a scramble for a loose puck in front of the net, Spink took a whack at the puck and fell to his knees, but stayed with the play, and on his second attempt, batted the puck past Lindgren.