Archive for NCAA – St. Cloud State

Union College Conclude St. Cloud State Series Unbeaten


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After falling behind by a couple of goals halfway through the contest, it was only a pair of power play strikes in the final period, the second of which arrived with but a mere 20 seconds remaining on the game clock, that allowed the hosts to escape with a share of the spoils as # 1 ranked ST. CLOUD STATE rallied late to tie visiting UNION COLLEGE and avoid an embarrasing two-game sweep in the NCAA non-conference series this weekend.

The two-time defending ECAC Conference tournament champions, after registering a big 4-1 victory on Friday night, looked to be in great shape on Saturday evening, as well, after scoring three unanswered goals in the second period. A power play strike from Canadian legionnaire DANIEL CIAMPNI, the junior left wing from Concord, Ontario, who is tied for the Union College team lead with nine goals this term, a beautiful backdoor tap-in from Canadian legionnaire DANIEL CARR, the senior left wing from Sherwood Park, Alberta, who leads the Dutchmen with 22 points (nine goals) in 16 NCAA games this season, and an accurate shot off a faceoff from Canadian legionnaire ELI LICHTENWALD, the towering (6’6″ 235 lbs) freshman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who has now scored seven goals in his first eleven collegiate contests, erased an early deficit and provided the in-form Dutchmen with a 3-1 lead after forty minutes.

After being heavily outshot in the second period of play, St. Cloud State turned the tables completely on Union College in the the final frame. JOEY BENIK, the homegrown sophomore left wing from Andover who his the fifth-leading scorer for the Huskies this season with 12 points, bagged his second goal in as many games against the visiting Dutchmen and provided the Huskies with legitimte hope after Union College defenseman SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE, the talented junior who was the third round pick (# 78 overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, went to the sin bin for hooking. The hosts continued to press for an equalizer but, thanks to the work of visiting goaltender COLIN STEVENS, the junior from Niskayuna, New York, who remains unbeaten in his last nine starts this season, would have to wait until the very end.

St. Cloud State finally leveled dramatically in the waning moments when prolific center JONNY BRODZINSKI, the homegrown sophomore from Blaine who led the Huskies with 22 goals in 42 NCAA games as a freshmen and was then selected in the fifth round (# 148 overall) of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2013 NHL Draft this past summer, slammed the puck into a wide open net at close range to score his eighth goal this term after controlling a fine centering pass from his linemate Benik.

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Union College center ELI LICHTENWALD (12), the emerging freshman from Canada who has now collected points in ten of his first eleven collegiate contests in the United States after sitting out seven of the Dutchmen’s first eight games to begin this season, raises his stick after scoring his seventh goal of the season halfway through the NCAA non-conference match with host St. Cloud State at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
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December 14, 2013
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center – St. Cloud, Minnesota
Attendance : 4,327

UNION COLLEGE 3 – ST. CLOUD STATE 3

12:26 … SCS – Holka (Dowd, Murray)
26:06 … UC – Ciampini (Gostisbehere, Vecchione) – ppg
29:03 … UC – Carr (Taylor, Wilkins)
30:07 … UC – Lichtenwald (Carr)
43:32 … SCS – Benik (Brodzinski, Kossila) – ppg
59:40 … SCS – Brodzinski (Benik, Dowd) – ppg

shots-on-goal : St. Cloud St 38 (14 + 7 + 13 + 2) – Union 26 (7 + 13 + 4 + 2)

penalty minutes : Union College 10 – St. Cloud St 4

ST. CLOUD STATE : Faragher – Gravel, Daly ; Prochno, Prow ; Nevalainen, Rabey – Benik, Kossila, Brodzinski ; Murray, Dowd, Holka ; Milan, Thorson, Bertsch ; Belisle, Morley, Papa

UNION COLLEGE : Stevens – Gostisbehere, Taylor ; Bodie, Vasaturo ; Henry, Gingras – Carr, Lichtenwald, Coatta ; Ciampini, Novak, Cruice ; Sullivan, Vecchione, Pontarelli ; Hatch, Bennett, Wilkins

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Union College defenseman JEFF TAYLOR (2), the homegrown freshman from Clifton Park, New York, who made a very nice play in the offensive zone to set up a tap-in goal for teammate Daniel Carr against the Huskies and now counts seven assists after 19 NCAA appearances this season, competes for the puck with St. Cloud State left wing JOEY BENIK (9) during the NCAA non-conference series at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

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Friday the Thriteenth – # 10 Union College Topples # 1 St. Cloud State


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The ambitious visitors struck twice on the power play late in the first period to seize the advantage and then assumed total control with two more unanswered tallies in the final frame as # 10 ranked UNION COLLEGE upended # 1 ranked ST. CLOUD STATE on home ice 4-1 in the first game of a high profile, NCAA non-conference series.

Union College head coach RICK BENNETT, the former Providence College right wing who once skated fifteen games in the National Hockey League for the New York Rangers, made a courageous decision to start a heretofore unspectacular freshman goaltender on the road against the number one ranked team in all of college hockey. But the contest with St. Cloud State represented a fourth game in the last eight days for the traveling Dutchmen plus COLIN STEVENS, the homegrown junior from Niskayuna, New York, had just started the previous eleven matches on the trot for streaking Union College, anyway. And so ALEX SAKELLAROPOULOS, 19-year-old netminder from Tinley Park, Illinois, who brought a less-than-overwhelming save percentage of .860 after his first six appearances of this season with him on the plane to Minnesota, simply responded to the challenge of the situation at hand with a career high 34 saves in what was easily his most sensational performance this term for the defending ECAC Conference tournament champions.

Union College center MAX NOWAK, the junior from Oak Ridge, New Jersey, who netted twice when the Dutchmen defeated Brown University 3-1 in the ECAC Conference Touranment Final last spring, and Canadian legionnaire ELI LICHTENWALD, the towering (6’6″ 235 lbs) freshman center from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who has now notched six goals in ten games for the Dutchmen since being inserted as a regular in the line-up by Bennett, both got their names on the scoresheet late in the first period of play at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Huskies left wing JOEY BENIK, the homegrown sophomore from Andover, did bring St. Cloud State back to within a goal halfway through the contest, though, after Union College defensemen CHARLIE VASATURO, the blue-collar junior from Sewell, New Jersey, was sent to the penatly box for cross checking. But the visitors benefited from a bit of a break only 43 seconds into the final frame and never looked back.

A long wrist shot from out along the boards by Canadian legionnaire MAT BODIE, the senior defenseman from East St. Paul, Manitoba, who was selected as an NCAA (East) Second Team All-America for Union College after his sophomore campaign in 2012, was deflected in front by a St. Cloud State defender and wound up in the back of the Huskies’ net. A fitting reward for the skillful Bodie, who had also assisted on each of the Dutchmen’s first two goals earlier. As for the Huskies starter, RYAN FARAGHER, about seven minutes after this debacle the junior Canadian legionnaire from Fort Frances, Ontario was lifted in favor of 19-year-old CHARLIE LINDGREN, the homegrown freshman from Lakeville, for the remainder of the third period.

Any hope St. Cloud State was holding onto was lost when Canadian legionnaire DANIEL CIAMPINI, the junior left wing from Concord, Ontario, stole the puck behind the net in the offensive zone and sent a perfect pass out in front to right wing NICK CRUICE, the sophomore from Dresher, Pennsylvania, who promptly netted his fifth goal this season with less than eight and a half minutes to play.

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Union College goal-scorer MAX NOVAK (18) chases after the puck with St. Cloud State rearguard ANDREW PROCHNO (28), the homegrown junior from Minnetonka who was the second-leading scorer among all Huskies defensemen with 28 points (five goals) in 41 NCAA games last season, trailing on the play during the important non-conference meeting at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in Minnesota.
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December 13, 2013
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center – St. Cloud, Minnesota
Attendance : 4,265

UNION COLLEGE 4 – ST. CLOUD STATE 1

15:01 … UC – Novak (Bodie, Carr) – ppg
16:15 … UC – Lichtenwald (Bodie, Novak) – ppg
30:29 … SCS – Benik (Nevalainen, Kossila) – ppg
40:43 … UC – Bodie (unassisted)
51:40 … UC – Cruice (Ciampini)

shots-on-goal : Union College (12 + 9 + 14) – St. Cloud St 35 (9 + 15 + 11)

penalty minutes : St. Cloud St 12 – Union College 6

ST. CLOUD STATE : Faragher (Lindgren 47:50) – Gravel, Nevalainen ; Prochno, Prow ; Storm, Rabey – Benik, Kossila, Brodzinski ; Thorson, Dowd, Murray ; Oliver, Rehkamp, Bertsch ; Tedesco, Morely, Papa

UNION COLLEGE : Sakellaropoulos – Gostisbehere, Taylor ; Bodie, Vasaturo ; Henry, Gingras – Carr, Lichtenwald, Coatta ; Ciampini, Novak, Cruice ; Sullivan, Vecchione, Pontarelli ; Hatch, Bennett, Wilkins

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Union College freshman goaltender ALEX SAKELLAROPOULOUS (1) enjoyed a magnificent evening on the road at number one ranked St. Cloud State and lowered his goals-against-average to 2.79 while improving his save percentage to .886 after seven total appearances for the Dutchmen during this current 2013/14 NCAA season in the process.

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St. Cloud State Throttles # 4 Notre Dame


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St. Cloud State defenseman NICK JENSEN (14), the homegrown junior from Roger who was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round (# 150 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, sweeps the puck away from Notre Dame’s imported Austrian right wing PETER SCHNEIDER (15) during the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal match watched by the crowd of 2,988 spectators at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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Three goals inside of a five and a half minute span in the middle of the second period broke open a closely-checked, defensive-oriented struggle as WCHA runners-up ST. CLOUD STATE stormed to a convincing 5-1 triumph over reigning CCHA champion and # 4 ranked NOTRE DAME in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.

Notre Dame, who have now qualified for the annual NCAA tournament five times in the last seven seasons under head coach JEFF JACKSON and advanced to the Frozen Four on its last appearance in 2011, entered this year’s Midwest Regional Semifinal clash with St. Cloud State in the midst of a nine-game unbeaten streak. Furthermore, the Fighting Irish featured no fewer than a dozen skaters who have already been drafted by National Hockey League clubs. Meanwhile, the Huskies, who were only promoted from Division II to the elite level of college hockey in the late 1980s, had already qualified for the annual NCAA tournament on eight occasions prior to this season but had done very little as the school’s historical record of one win against eight losses would indicate.

Nevertheless, it would be St. Cloud State, who have five skaters that have already been reserved by NHL teams, scored the only goal of what was, relatively-speaking, a wide-open first period that saw the shots-on-target finish 11-10 in favor of the Huskies; left wing BEN HANOWSKI, the homegrown senior from Little Falls who was selected in the third round (# 63 overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, cashed in on a rebound at the 11:32 mark and tallied his 17th goal of the season for St. Cloud State.

Notre Dame appeared to have tied the game less than half a minute later through its captain ANDERS LEE, the prolific junior from Edina, Minnesota, who led the Fighting Irish with both 20 goals and 38 points this, but the referees correctly disallowed the goal after the video evidence confirmed the New York Islanders’ prospect had kicked the puck into the net.

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Notre Dame goaltender STEVEN SUMMERHAYS, the undrafted junior from Anchorage, Alaska, who appeared in 36 games (2.01 avg, .919 save pct) for the Fighting Irish this season, has no chance as St. Cloud State left wing JOEY BENIK (9), the 21-year-old freshman who spent the previous two seasons on the other side of the border skating for the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League, nets the first of his two goals in the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal contest at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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St. Cloud State doubled its lead on the power play roughly nine and a half minutes into the second period after a shot from the point right to left wing JOEY BENIK, the homegrown freshman from Andover who had scored just three goals in his first 21 games for the Huskies this season. The WCHA representatives from Minnesota struck again a little over four minutes later after Notre Dame turned the puck over behind its own goal line and St. Cloud State center CORY THORSON, the homegrown junior from Crystal, emerged at close range with the little black disc. Right wing JONNY BRODZINSKI, the homegrown freshman from Ham Lake, concluded the burst on an odd-man rush and netted his team-leading 22nd goal of the season to leave the Fighting Irish facing a massive 4-0 deficit with just over five minutes to skate in the second period.

Jackson attempted to rally his troops and, in a bid to change the sagging fortunes of the Fighting Irish, replaced the starting goaltender Summerhays, who had permitted three goals on only seven shots faced in the second period, with MIKE JOHNSON, the senior from Verona, Wisconsin, who appeared in exactly eight games (2.39 avg, .904 save pct) this season after having made 91 appearances his first three years at Notre Dame, to begin the final frame.

Three undisciplined penalties in the first six minutes of the last period made it very difficult for constantly-outmanned Notre Dame, who generated only three shots on target in the entire second period and just five in the final frame, to muster any kind of sustained attack. The Fighting Irish did, however, finally get on the scoreboard after right wing MIKE VORAN netted a shorthanded goal nearing the eight-minute mark of the third period but Notre Dame, who concluded its 2012/13 campaign with a record of 25 victories against 13 defeats with three draws, would come no closer. Yet another penalty to the Fighting Irish, in fact, would enable Benik to collect his second power play goal for unstoppable St. Cloud State.

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St. Cloud State captain DREW LEBLANC (19), the homegrown senior from Hermantown who would be selected as one of three finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award this season, passes the puck before Notre Dame right wing MIKE VORAN (16), the undrafted junior from Livonia, Michigan, who totaled five goals and a dozen points in 32 games for the Fighting Irish this term, can intervene during the NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal contest at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
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NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal
Huntington Center – Toledo, Ohio
ST. CLOUD STATE 5 – NOTRE DAME 1

11:32 … STC – Hanowski 17 (Prochno, Kossila)
29:28 … STC – Benik 4 (Jensen, Hanowski) – ppg
33:35 … STC – Thorson 11 (Bertsch, Benik)
34:53 … STC – Brodzinski 22 (Murray)
47:44 … ND – Voran 5 (Rust) – shg
51:07 … STC – Benik 5 (Prow, Prochno) – ppg

NOTRE DAME : Summerhays (M. Johnson) – Lind, Johns ; E. Johnson, Russo ; Taker, Calabrese – Costello, Lee, Rust ; Lucia, Tynan, Wuthrich ; Larson, Gerths, Voran ; Di Pauli, Fogarty, Schneider

ST. CLOUD STATE : Farragher – Prochno, Jensen ; Gavel, Daly ; Rabey, Prow – Hanowski, LeBlanc, Kossila ; Murray, Dowd, Brodzinski ; Benik, Thorson, Bertsch ; Oliver, Morley, Holka

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Wisconsin Skates Past St. Cloud State


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Wisconsin right wing and 2013 Big Ten goal-scoring champion MICHAEL MERSCH (25), the junior from Park Ridge, Illinois, who was the fourth round selection (# 110 overall) of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings at the 2011 National Hockey League Draft, watches St.Cloud State’s butterflying netminder RYAN FARAGHER protects his face as the puck (just above the Kellogg’s advertisement on the boards behind) whistles over top of the goal cage during the WCHA playoff semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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A penalty shot not given and a pair of power play goals in the second and third periods all played major roles as six-time NCAA champion but slight underdog WISCONSIN defeated regular season conference co-champion and # 11 ranked ST.CLOUD STATE 4-1 in the semifinal round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association post-season playoffs.

St. Cloud State earned a share of the WCHA regular season title for the first time since joining the conference a little more than twenty years ago and were certainly hoping to lift the Broadmoor Trophy for only the second time in school history; the Huskies’ aspirations of berth in the NCAA tournament now bow before the mercy of the selection committee, however.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, had arrived at the WCHA Frozen Five tourney ranked # 16 on the “Pairwise Comparison Ratings” chart and realistically aware that only the first Badger playoff title since 1998 would be enough to guarantee a 24th all-time appearance at the annual NCAA tournament this spring. Thus properly motivated, Wisconsin went out and stomped # 12 ranked Minnesota State 7-2 on Thursday night. Right wing TYLER BARNES, the undrafted junior from Eagan, Minnesota, as well as center JEFFERSON DAHL, the homegrown junior from Eau Claire, each had two goals for the Badgers in the momentum-building rout of the Mavericks.

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CONTROVERSIAL CALL — Television replays appeared to show that St. Cloud State center NIC DOWD (26), the seventh round choice of the Los Angeles Kings at the 2009 NHL Draft who finished second on the Huskies with 39 points this term, was only denied a 15th goal of the season by a stick which had been thrown by a desperate Wisconsin netminder JOEL RUMPEL (33). After a very lengthy review, the officials dismissed all claims for a penalty shot and concluded that the Badgers goaltender had his stick dislodged as a result of contact from another player. “It could have been a turning point for us,” the Wisconsin head coach MIKE EAVES later confessed.
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Wisconsin left wing JOSEPH LABATE, the sophomore from Eagan, Minnesota, who was the fourth round pick (# 101 overall) of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2011 NHL Draft, gave the Badgers the lead less than eleven minutes into the semifinal match with St. Cloud State. It was the in-form LaBate had also netted the final Wisconsin goal in the hammering of Minnesota State, as well. The Huskies soon equalized, though, after senior left wing BEN HANOWSKI, the homegrown native of Little Falls who was the third round selection (# 63 overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2009 NHL Draft, scored his 16th goal of the season at the 14:29 mark.

Wisconsin captain JOHN RAMAGE, the senior defenseman from St. Louis who was chosen in the fourth round (# 103 overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, scored his eighth goal of the season barely two minutes into the second period as the Badgers re-established a lead it would never relinquish. Not that St. Cloud State did not have its share of scoring chances, as evidenced by the Huskies 31-21 advantage in the shots-on-goal department. But Wisconsin netminder JOEL RUMPEL, the 22-year-old sophomore from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, kept his nerve and the scoresheet clean over the final forty minutes.

Wisconsin left wing NIC KERDILES, the 19-year-old freshman from Irvine, California, who was tabbed the by in-state Anaheim Ducks in the second round (# 36 overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft last summer, posted a critical insurance goal on the power play halfway through the final period before Barnes, who is the second-leading goal-scorer for the Badgers this season, finished off unfortunate St. Cloud State with an empty netter.

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Wisconsin center BRENDAN WOODS, the sophomore native of Fairfax, Virginia, who was chosen by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fifth round (# 129 overall) of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft last summer, rejoices with goal-scorer NIC KERDILES (17) midway through the final third of the WCHA playoff semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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WCHA Semifinal
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minnesota
WISCONSIN 4 – ST. CLOUD STATE 1

10:46 … WIS – LaBate 9 (Woods, McCabe)
14:29 … STC – Hanowski 16 (Dowd, Jensen) – ppg
22:08 … WIS – Ramage 8 (Kerdiles, Woods) – ppg
50:29 … WIS – Kerdiles 9 (Ramage, LaBate) – ppg
58:49 … WIS – Barnes 14 (unassisted) – eng

ST. CLOUD STATE : Faragher – Prochno, Jensen ; Gravel, Daly ; Johnson, Prow – Kossila, LeBlanc, Brodzinski ; Hanowski, Dowd, Murray ; Oliver, Thorson, Bertsch ; Benik, Morley, Milan

WISCONSIN : Rumpel – Schulze, Ramage ; McCabe, Simonelli ; Wittchow, Faust – Kerdiles, Zengerle, Barnes ; LaBate, Woods, Mersch ; R. Little, Dahl, S. Little ; Navin, Meuer, Paape

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