St. Cloud, Minn. - The #7/9 St. Cloud State University men's hockey team (20-12-1, 17-7-1 WCHA) earned its 20th victory of the season and also stayed in control of first place in the WCHA with a big 5-3 victory over Michigan Tech (10-17-4, 6-15-4 WCHA) on Friday, March 1 at the National Hockey and Event Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
The victory moved SCSU's first place point total to 35 on the season, which keeps the Huskies three points ahead of second place North Dakota (32 points). SCSU and MTU will complete the two-game set at the NHEC with a 7:07 p.m. game on Saturday, March 2. Tickets for this game are still available and can be purchased at the gate on game day or by visiting www.scsuhuskies.com.
The game on March 2 will feature SCSU's 1930s/1940s throwback jerseys along with a Senior Salute to the 2013 Husky Senior Class of Ben Hanowski, Taylor Johnson and Drew LeBlanc.
SCSU surged to a 4-0 lead in the game on March 1 before a late charge by MTU made the final score 5-3.
LeBlanc opened the SCSU attack at 6:25 of the first period with a power play goal that was assisted by Nick Jensen and Kalle Kossila. This was LeBlanc's 11th marker of the season and it was Jensen's 23rd assist of 2012-13.
The Huskies gained a 2-0 lead at 1:46 of the second period with Ben Hanowski's 14th goal of the season. Teammates Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel each posted helpers on the play for SCSU. Dowd now has 20 assists this season to rank third on the club.
Rookie defender Ethan Prow continued his strong freshman season by posting his third goal of the year at 14:29 of the second period that made it 3-0. Dowd and Johnson each gained assists on the play. A resident of nearby Sauk Rapids, Prow has 13 points for the Huskies.
To cap the second period, Kossila scored at 19:01 to give the Huskies a 4-0 lead. Andrew Prochno and LeBlanc each added assists on the goal. Prochno now has 18 assists this season and LeBlanc continues to lead the nation with 33 assists and he now ranks fourth in the country with 44 points.
In the third period, MTU awoke with a goal at 9:50 by Milos Gordic with an assist from Jujhar Khaira. MTU rallied again at 11:40 of the third period with a goal by Aaron Pietila, which made it 4-2. It became a one-goal game at 14:27 of the third with David Johnstone's power play goal for MTU.
The game was decided at 15:34 of the third period with an insurance goal by Kossila that provided the Huskies with a 5-3 lead. Jonny Brodzinski and Prochno coined the assists on the play for Kossila, who now has 15 goals in 2012-13.
In the game, MTU outshot SCSU 45-37. Ryan Faragher made 42 saves in the contest for SCSU and gained his 19th win of the season. Pheonix Copley made 32 saves in the game for MTU. On the power play, SCSU was 1-of-3 and MTU was 1-of-1.