LEE STOPS 27 SHOTS AS ST. CLOUD STATE SHUTS OUT NEBRASKA OMAHA, 4-0
Junior goaltender Mike Lee earns first shutout of season with 27 saves for Huskies
St. Cloud, Minn.- The Huskies came out firing and never looked back on their way to a 4-0 game one win over Nebraska-Omaha in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. St. Cloud State now holds a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series, the winner advancing to next weekend's WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn.
St. Cloud State wasted no time as they got on the scoreboard just 2 ½ minutes into the opening period to take a 1-0 lead. Freshman forward Joe Rehkamp lit the lamp for the second time this season on what would turn out to be the game winner. After freshman forward Garrett Milan fired a shot on UNO goaltender Ryan Massa, Rehkamp was in the right spot at the right time to put away the rebound. Milan and freshman forward Brooks Bertsch were credited with the assists on the scoring play.
A UNO holding penalty would put the Huskies on their first power play at the 16:01 mark of the first period. Junior forward Ben Hanowski kept his impressive play going, scoring his 21st goal, and 40th point of the season, 16:50 into the first period and 49 seconds into the power play. Junior forward Jared Festler and freshman defenseman Andrew Prochno had the assists on the Hanowski goal. The Huskies would carry a 2-0 lead into the first intermission as they outshot the Mavericks 12-6 in the opening frame.
In the second period play was a little more even and the Mavericks outshot the Huskies 13-9, however it was the Huskies who got the lone goal of the period and extended their lead to 3-0. At the 11:32 mark of the period it was Prochno finding the back of the net for his fifth of the season. Festler picked up his second assist of the game on the play, 19th of the season. Senior forward Travis Novak had the second assist on the Prochno goal.
The final period was much more slow paced than the first two as the Huskies played shut down defense. With about a minute to go the game would get a little ugly with seven penalties being handed out at the 18:58 mark of the third period, compared to just six combined penalties through the first 58:58. Three SCSU players and three UNO players would get minor penalties for roughing, while Ryan Walters of the Mavericks would get a five minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind.
St. Cloud State would make a statement and fire one more in with just 23 seconds remaining in regulation, making it 4-0 Huskies. Junior defender Taylor Johnson got the PP goal, his second goal of the season. Assists on the final score of the game went to senior defenseman Sam Zabkowicz and freshman forward Nick Oliver.
SCSU got a big time performance out of junior goaltender Mike Lee, who made 27 saves on his way to the shut out. Massa, the freshman goaltender for UNO, stopped 24 shots while allowing the four goals. Lee goes to 7-5-2 on the season while Massa drops to 7-8-2.
The shot advantage went to St. Cloud State 28-27. The Huskies were 2-4 on the power play and killed off each of the Maverick's two power play opportunities.
SCSU and UNO will meet again tomorrow night at the NHEC for game two of the series. Puck will drop at 7:07 p.m. as the Huskies look to sweep and move onto the Final Five for the first time since the 2009-2010 season.