The first of six scheduled regular season meetings between two of the top NCHC teams coming out of the league’s Pod in December lived up to expectations, with Minnesota Duluth edging the home Huskies 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night.
Here is the final scoring:
1:36 Tanner Laderoute from Koby Bender and Jesse Jacques 1-0 Minnesota Duluth
Jacques forced a turnover in the St. Cloud State zone. Bender picked up the puck in the corner and found Laderoute with space in front of thet net. Laderoute worked around the goalie for the goal.
16:54 Easton Brodzinski from Veeti Miettinen and Nick Perbix (power play) 1-1 tie
A failed UMD clearing attempt gave SCSU the puck with UMD scrambling out of position. Perbix worked the puck over to Miettinen on the right circle and Miettinen fired a cross-ice pass that was tipped by Brodzinski into the goal.
Easton Brodzinski gets just enough stick on Tanner Laderoute's clearing attempt to create a turnover and that leads to his goal. pic.twitter.com/y9k0vth5bQ— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) January 3, 2021
2:12 Nick Swaney from Jackson Cates and Wyatt Kaiser (power play) 2-1 Minnesota Duluth
David Hrenak couldn’t control the rebound on a Cates shot from the point and Swaney was able to poke it through the legs of Hrenak on the rebound.
10:57 Veeti Miettinen from Nick Perbix and Sam Hentges (power play) 2-2 tie
Miettinen had the puck at the right half-boards. With the UMD defense playing conservatively to protect the passing lane, Miettinen took a shot that deflected into the goal.
2nd period charge! Veeti Miettinen ties the game in the 2nd with his 5th goal of the season at 10:57 with assists from Perbix and Hentgres.— SCSU Men's Hockey (@SCSUHUSKIES_MH) January 3, 2021
Watch it again! pic.twitter.com/xsDY6eFNT0
12:12 Easton Brodzinski from Nick Perbix and Sam Hentges (power play) 3-2 St. Cloud State
Perbix’ shot from the point was stopped, but in the ensuing scrum in front, Brodzinski found the rebound and poked it home.
The power play is working for @SCSUHUSKIES_MH tonight— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) January 3, 2021
Brodzinski scores his second of the game and third PPG for the Huskies to put them in front after 40 minutes#NCHCHockey x #unleashSCSU pic.twitter.com/BJolxsIDxx
4:33 Kobe Roth from Jackson Cates 3-3 tie
Roth took a cross-ice feed from Cates and one-timed it past a sprawling Hrenak.
2:00 Noah Cates unassisted 4-3 Minnesota Duluth
In the 3-on-3 overtime, Cates rushed the puck up the right wing, cut to the middle of the ice, and scored on a wrist shot from the hashmarks.
Notes and Thoughts
-I thought Minnesota Duluth was excellent tonight on the forecheck. They did a great job disrupting St. Cloud State, forcing turnovers, and keeping the Huskies penned up in their own end for long stretches tonight.
That paid immediate dividends on Minnesota Duluth’s first goal, when they turned a good forecheck into a turnover and an easy goal. The Bulldogs definitely looked like the stronger team at even strength tonight.
-It was the power play that kept St. Cloud State in the game, even though they didn’t generate much at even strength. Between Nick Perbix and his overall smarts at the point, Easton Brodzinski with his big frame and scoring touch playing in the slot, and then Veeti Miettinen and his ability to make plays coming off the wall, that’s three really elite players on that top power play unit and Minnesota Duluth didn’t have an answer for it tonight.
-It wouldn’t be a UMD/SCSU game without a little officiating controversy.
The first one was this call, where UMD felt the officials blew the play dead prematurely on a delayed penalty, taking away a quality scoring chance for the Bulldogs.
A close call that depends on if you think the SCSU defender “controlled” the puck when he slapped it back. Personally, I’d prefer a stricter interpretation because anything that generates more offense is good to me. But looking at the language in the rulebook, it was probably correct to stop the play:
“ Control of the puck is defined as the act of propelling the puck with the stick, hand or skate. Possession and control is not a rebound off the goalkeeper, an opposing player, the goal or the boards, or any incidental contact with the body or equipment of an opposing player. Batting the puck with the hand or kicking the puck is considered to be controlling the puck. Touching the puck (e.g., poke check or deflection) is not considered control of the puck.”
I’d say that is more propelling the puck with his stick than just a poke check.
The other, probably bigger controversy was the decision to hand a five-minute major penalty for interference to UMD’s Tanner Laderoute after he collided with St. Cloud State’s Seamus Donohue.
Tanner Laderoute got a major penalty for blindsiding Seamus Donohue. pic.twitter.com/ALQoCNQKW7— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) January 3, 2021
Without a doubt it’s a penalty, even if you believe it was accidental. I’ve seen lesser contact called consistently a couple times this season. Again, probably a matter of opinion whether you believe it’s major penalty or not.
The Huskies, of course, were able to score twice on the resulting power play, which took UMD from up 2-1 to down 3-2.