Mar 9, 2013 at 1:59 am
Madison, Wisc. (KNSI) It took until the final year of existence for St Cloud State hockey in the WCHA, but the Huskies can now say they have been regular season champions.
A three goal third period gave St Cloud State a 4-2 victory at Wisconsin and with it the number 1 seed in the upcoming WCHA playoffs. They can finish no worse than in a tie for first.
The Badgers led 1-0 after the first period. The Huskies tied it on a Johnny Brodzinski power play goal midway through the second period. But the Badgers answered just under 3 minutes later on a Tyler Barnes goal to lead 2-1 after 2. But it was Brodzinski again for St Cloud State early in the third period to tie the game at 2 with his 19th goal of the season.
The game winning goal came from junior defenseman Nick Jenson. Jenson went end to end and put a puck on net from a tough angle that snuck through Badger goalie Joel Rumple. In that moment, the Huskies suddenly found themselves 3 and a half minutes from their first ever WCHA regular season title. And they salted it away with just under a minute to play with an empty net goal by Drew LaBlanc. It was somehow fitting that it was LaBlanc who had suffered a horrific compound fracture of his lower leg last season in a game against Wisconsin.
The Huskies can claim the outright title with a tie or win versus Wisconsin on Saturday. Or if Minnesota and North Dakota both lose or tie.
Congrats to all Huskies players, coach's and fans both past and present. It has been a job well done.