The No. 13 St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team (4-1-0, 4-1-0 NCHC) gained a 5-3 victory over No. 1 North Dakota (3-2-1, 3-2-1 NCHC) on Saturday, Dec. 12 at the NCHC pod in Omaha, Neb.
The victory moved SCSU’s undefeated streak against North Dakota to three games and the Huskies will continue play in the NCHC pod at Baxter Arena with an 9:05 p.m. ET game Sunday against Omaha.
St. Cloud State opened its showdown against UND with a quick hit in the first period as Sam Hentges scored at :51 of the first with an assist on his even-strength goal by Nick Perbix. This marked the second time in the pod that Hentges lit the lamp early as he also had a goal at :33 of the first in SCSU’s 4-3 win over Denver on Dec. 5. This was Hentges’ second goal of the season and his 19th at SCSU.
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UND traded punches and replied seconds later with a goal at 1:31 of the first period with a tally by Matt Kiersted. The Huskies took command in the contest at 8:13 of the first period with a power play goal by Easton Brodzinski. He was assisted on the play by Kevin Fitzgerald and Nolan Walker. This was Brodzinski’s second goal of 2020-21 and his 44th goal at SCSU.
UND’s Brendan Budy tied the game at 3:27 of the second period with his goal, before Zach Okabe returned SCSU to the lead with his marker at 11:12 of the second. Perbix added his second assist of the night on the play (and his third of the season) and the second assist went to Seamus Donohue. The goal was Okabe’s first of the 2020-21 campaign.
Fitzgerald charted the SCSU game winner at 13:16 of the second period with his team leading third goal of the season (and 23rd of his career). He was assisted on the power play goal by Walker and Brodzinski.
In the third period, SCSU’s Jami Krannila added an insurance goal at 14:55 with assists from Ondrej Trejbal and Veeti Miettinen. This was Krannila’s second goal of the season and his seventh career goal. In the closing minutes of the game, UND’s Grant Mismash scored on a rare penalty shot to make the final 5-3.
UND outshot the Huskies 36-30 in the game as David Hrenak had 33 saves in the contest to gain the goalie win for SCSU. On the power play, SCSU was 2-of-5 and the Huskies were 5-of-5 on the penalty kill.