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Men's Hockey Sweeps Michigan Tech

01/10/2011 - 11:00 AM

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Men's Hockey Sweeps Michigan Tech

The St. Cloud State Men's Hockey team dispatched the struggling Michigan Tech Huskies this weekend with a two game sweep, winning 3-0 Friday and 5-1 Saturday at the National Hockey Center. 

Friday’s win was St. Cloud’s third consecutive victory, after a pair of wins in the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero, FL in late December. In that series, the Huskies defeated Cornell 4-3 in overtime after falling behind in the game 3-0 and despite going 0-7 on the power play. The second win was against Miami Unviersity, a team that beat SCSU twice earlier this season in St. Cloud.

It was an eventful week for the team as Chris Hepp, Tony Mosey and Bryce Johnson all left the program, and David Eddy was suspended for an indefinite period. Hepp left the Huskies to sign a pro contract with the Idaho Steelheads. Mosey was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, and Johnson left SCSU to skate with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL.

If the Huskies were distracted by the off-ice issues they didn’t show it this weekend against Michigan Tech, who entered the game as losers of 13 straight. Mike Lee had his third career shutout and SCSU fired 43 shots en route to a 3-0 win Friday.

The Huskies game plan was to shoot early and often at Michigan Tech goaltender Josh Robinson and Jared Festler was the first to break through halfway through the opening period. Festler’s shot from the left wing side resulted in his seventh goal on the season.

St. Cloud struck twice in the second period with goals from Ben Hanowski and Cam Reid. Hanowski’s goal was a re-direction of a Garrett Roe slap shot from the point, scored on the power play. Reid’s goal came courtesy of a Roe pass on a two-on-one rush.

On Saturday it was the Huskies of Michigan Tech getting on the board first. Team Captain Deron Cousens fired a shot past Lee to give his team the early lead. After that, it was all SCSU, as they scored 5 unanswered goals en route to the 5-1 victory.

Nic Dowd  tied the game for SCSU early in the second period, taking a nifty feed from LeBlanc and wristing one top-shelf on goalie Robinson.

As textbook as that goal was, it would be the second St. Cloud goal that most fans will probably remember. Festler tipped a puck high into the air in front of MTU’s Robinson. Just as the puck landed on the top of the goal, LeBlanc lost his balance and grabbed to post for support. As LeBlanc braced himself, his stick-hand pushed down on the netting causing the puck to pop into the air, trampoline-style. Robinson had no clue where the puck was as it rolled down his back and into the goal to give St. Cloud a 2-1 lead.

“I have no idea what happened there,” LeBlanc said. “It was just a scramble to the puck that ended up in the back of the net.”

LeBlanc had 3 assists and a goal for SCSU, and St. Cloud State’s freshmen continued to impress with Kevin Gravel, Reid, Nick Jensen and Dowd combining for five points. “The freshmen are playing with a ton of confidence and it’s really helping us down the stretch,” noted LeBlanc.

Jensen scored his first goal since November 6th against Bemidji State, Garrett Roe scored his fourth goal on the season and Mike Lee made 23 saves for a fourth straight win. With the win, Lee improved his record to 7-7-1.

The Huskies get a weekend off before heading to Bemidji January 21/22 for their first visit to Bemidji’s new Sanford Center. For updates all week long on all things SCSU hockey be sure to follow KVSCHockey on Twitter.