Looking every bit their current standing as the top team in the country, St. Cloud State struck early and dominated throughout for the second straight to sweep Miami. The win kept St. Cloud State perfect at home on the season, winning all twelve contests at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, and will keep them atop the NCHC standings for at least another week.
Any doubt in this game was put to rest early thanks to an impressive start for St. Cloud State. Blake Lizotte finished off a cross-ice pass from Ryan Poehling to put St. Cloud State ahead 2:25 into the game. Jack Ahcan followed that up with a goal from the high slot following extended pressure in the Miami zone. In all, the Huskies would officially outshoot Miami 18-5 in the first period.
That continued into the second period with the Huskies winning the shots battle 13-4 in the second frame. Miami goalie Ryan Larkin held off the onslaught as long as he could, but the Huskies were able to extend their lead three times in the back half of the period to take a commanding 5-0 lead after two periods.
Miami’s Gordie Green spoiled the shutout in an otherwise quiet third period of play.
The win moves St. Cloud State to 20-4-2 on the season, while Miami falls to 9-15-2 with the loss.
Notes and Thoughts:
-Geez. I don’t think Miami is that bad of a team, and though they could have came with a stronger effort tonight, they didn’t exactly play that poorly. But St. Cloud State just absolutely dominated them in every way possible. The way the Huskies have just destroyed teams the last two times I’ve seen them here(the other was against Western two weeks ago) is just so impressive.
Like the Western Michigan game, it’s worth noting that the big ice surface plays heavily to SCSU’s advantage, and Miami’s disadvantage. The Redhawks are dressing two 6’6” freshmen defensemen that were in for a rough lesson this weekend from the jump. But regardless, in this era of college hockey marked by extreme parity, the way this team is just bombing people is noteworthy.
-I continue to be very impressed by St. Cloud State’s offensive zone entries. I started writing up a game note on it, but with the entire third period free to spend writing, it ballooned in word count to that point that it’s probably worth its’ own post this coming week.
-It’s tough to say too much about Miami tonight. They started the evening on their heels and never really recovered. When they look back at this game tape, if they even want to, I think they really got themselves into trouble in the first period with too many soft plays and turnovers with the puck in their zone. I thought they evened up the game a little bit more early in the second period, but some penalty trouble late in the third period put the game out of reach.
-A nice crowd of 4661 tonight in St. Cloud compared to 3576 on Friday. St. Cloud State has made a nice effort at being more family friendly with 6pm Saturday starts, and letting kids in free with a paid adult tonight. I don’t know how much it helps their better since a good portion of the extra 1100 tonight were likely free tickets, but there was a nice atmosphere in the building, and the crowd skewed way younger than you usually see at a college game, which is great for the sport.