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North Star College Cup: Minnesota Duluth Takes Final Cup in OT

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Kyle Osterberg scored the last goal in North Star Cup history
Kyle Osterberg scored the last goal in North Star Cup history
Matt Christians

Minnesota Duluth missed out on winning the first ever North Star College Cup when they failed to score in a five-minute overtime period and eventually fell in a decisive shootout to the University of Minnesota Duluth. That game played a part in college hockey eventually changing all tournaments to full 20-minute overtime periods, and on Saturday night, Kyle Osterberg tapped home a rebound six minutes into the first overtime period to give UMD a 2-1 victory over St. Cloud State and win the final North Star College Cup.

St. Cloud State controlled the first two periods of the game, but could only manage a single goal from Will Borgen at 18:17 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the third period.

That third period lead would not last, as Alex Iafallo slammed home a puck that had bounced off the back boards to tie the game just 42 seconds into the third period.

From there, the two teams tightened up defensively and the officials put away whistles in a quiet third period that sent the game to overtime.

In the overtime, Kyle Osterberg made a terrific pass from behind the St. Cloud State net to Neal Pionk at the left point Pionk's initial shot was saved by Jeff Smith, but the rebound kicked to Osterberg who was waiting on the left side of the crease to score the game-winning goal.

Notes and Thoughts

-St. Cloud State got the start they wanted to this game. They were able to get the puck deep into the Minnesota Duluth zone and establish their cycle. They didn't get a ton of chances from that early because UMD is very disciplined defensively, but it had the dual effect of wearing them down a bit with consistent pressure, and really slowing down UMD's impressive offensive attack.

-The Huskies were also really good on the forecheck when they lost the puck. Particularly in the second period, Minnesota Duluth really struggled with their breakout, and ended up spending a lot of time in their own zone. St. Cloud State had a few glorious chances to extend their lead late in the period, but couldn't quite do it. That ended up proving to be key when UMD got a good bounce early in the second period to tie up the game.

-St. Cloud State reunited the all-Poehling brother line tonight and it seemed to click. I thought they were the best line for the Huskies all night, and I was surprised they didn't end up on the scoresheet.

-Hunter Miska was named tournament MVP, and deservedly so. Minnesota Duluth didn't play their best hockey here this weekend--especially in the stretch from the third period of last night through the second period of tonight--but when they didn't, Miska gave them great goaltending and came up with some big stops to keep them in games.

Fancy Stats

Shots on goal: SCSU: 7-10-12-3-32    UMD: 6-8-11-8-34

Even strength shot attempts: SCSU: 15-22-16-7-60   UMD: 13-17-22-12-64

Prime scoring area attempts: SCSU: 8-9-5-2-24  UMD: 2-6-7-6-21

What do the numbers tell us?

St. Cloud State had the advantage in the early stages of the game, and the fact that they couldn't build a bigger lead ending up costing them when UMD got stronger as the game went on.

Final Scoring

First Period

18:17 Will Borgen from Robby Jackson and Jon Lizotte 1-0 St. Cloud State

Borgen joined an SCSU rush up the ice late and picked up a pass from Jackson as he skated into the zone. He had room to take three strides in towards the net and fired a wrist shot past Miska.

Two Period

None

Third Period

0:42 Alex Iafallo from Adam Johnson and Carson Soucy 1-1 tie

Johnson skated the puck deep into the St. Cloud State join on a rush. The puck was knocked away from him, but it bounced off the back boards and went in front of the net, where Iafallo was standing to jam the puck past Smith for the goal.

Overtime

6:00 Kyle Osterberg from Neal Pionk and Joey Anderson

Osterberg made a terrific pass from behind the net to Pionk at the left point. Pionk's shot was stopped, but Osterberg was at the left side of the net to cash in on the rebound.