ST. CLOUD, Minn. — In what may have been the best all-around game of the season for No. 16 St. Cloud State, the Huskies finally seem to have righted the ship.
Jonny Brodzinski scored twice in the third period, allowing the Huskies to pull away and hang on for a 3-1 win over North Dakota. It was the first road loss of the season for No. 2 UND.
“Overall, it was a good game,” said SCSU forward Joey Benik, who had two assists.
Despite star center Drake Caggiula registering his nation-best 17th point of the season, North Dakota just couldn’t recover from its early third period deficit and fell to 1-6-1 in their last eight meetings with SCSU.
“They were the better team [tonight],” said North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol. “The important things of the game-they did better.”
The first period was scoreless, but there was plenty of action.
North Dakota came flying out of the gates, generating one scoring chance after another and keeping SCSU goaltender Charlie Lindgren busy. Lindgren finished with 26 saves.
“We withstood their first five [minutes],” said St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko.
“I thought we started off really strong,” said UND forward Stephane Pattyn. “We had a good push right off the bat.”
“I thought we had a good start,” added UND center Luke Johnson. “But [SCSU] kinda took over from there.”
Indeed they did.
After the 10-minute mark, it was all St. Cloud State as they got their forecheck going, turning the tide and peppering North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre, who finished with 31 saves.
One particular reason they were able to generate so many shots on goal was faceoffs. SCSU won many draws in the offensive zone and finished with an overall edge of 34-22 over UND.
“I thought [SCSU] generated quite a bit off their faceoffs,” said Hakstol.
“They’re very strong with their draws and they won a lot of battles,” Johnson said.
In the second period, the Huskies kept their momentum going as they drew first blood five minutes in. After Johnson drew an interference penalty, Ethan Prow made him and UND pay with his second goal of the season 44 seconds later to make it 1-0.
But North Dakota wouldn’t go down that easy with their perfect road record on the line. Caggiula added to his nation-leading point total when he blasted home a rebound eight minutes after Prow’s goal to tie the game at one after two periods.
“After the second period, we were playing our game,” said Brodzinski, who assisted on Prow’s goal. “We knew that the goals would come if we keep playing our game.”
In the third period, the Huskies turned to Brodzinski, who came into the game tied with Kalle Kossila and Benik for the team scoring lead. Brodzinski scored on a snipe from the slot just 1:38 into the third, and he batted in his second goal of the game on a power play eight minutes later. That goal not only gave him two in the game and seven for the season, but 50 as a member of the Huskies.
“In their terms, that’s sick,” Motzko said of Jonny’s second goal, laughing.
Brodzinski didn’t even have any idea he became the 18th St. Cloud State player to reach 50 goals in Division I play, but was nonetheless proud of it.
“It’s pretty special,” he said. “This is a great program, and to have that be done is awesome.”
Needless to say, Benik was also proud of his teammate’s milestone.
“The kid can shoot a puck,” Benik said. “He’s gonna get the chances, and when he does, not many goalies are going to stop him.”
SCSU was 2-for-4 on the power play and UND was 0-for-3.