Denver Falls to St. Cloud State, 4-2
Huskies clinch the Julie & Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup
Feb. 24, 2018
St. Cloud, Minn. -
The St. Cloud State University Huskies (21-6-5, 15-4-3) defeated the University of Denver Pioneers (17-8-7, 11-6-5) 4-2 and clinched the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup, awarded to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) regular-season champion, on Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Ryan Poehling’s go-ahead goal at 12:25 of the third period proved to be the game-winner and the Huskies sealed the victory with an empty-netter.
“I thought we were a better hockey team than we were last night and St. Cloud State was too,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said. “They deserve the Penrose Cup, they were the best and most consistent team in the NCHC, so congratulations to them. We have to learn from this tonight and continue to get better. We can’t have bad results anymore. We know what the effort is going to take and we have to keep getting better. We have to play with more purpose and more determination like we did tonight and good things will happen for us.”
Denver nearly took the lead one (1) minute into the first period when Colin Staub took a pass from Logan O’Connor in the right circle and O’Connor fed Dylan Gambrell in front of the net. The Huskies were similarly stopped on an opportunity to score halfway through the frame on the power play as a shot rebounded off the pad of Tanner Jaillet to the bottom of the left circle where Easton Brodzinski’s shot and hit the blade of Jaillet’s stick.
St. Cloud State took the lead at 14:42 of the first period on a two-on-one rush with Judd Peterson and Robby Jackson. Jackson’s goal gave the Huskies the 1-0 lead for less than two minutes before the Pioneers responded. At 16:13 of the period, Denver strung together a string of passes in the offensive zone before finding Jarid Lukosevicius alone in front of the net to make it 1-1.
The Huskies regained the lead early in the second period as Jacob Benson skated into the zone from the left-wing side, cut to the middle and took a shot that went under the stick of Michael Davies and past Jaillet. Troy Terry had an opportunity to even the score on the man advantage with five (5) minutes left in the
St. Cloud State appeared to take a 3-1 lead less than three (3) minutes into the third period, but Jon Lizotte’s apparent goal was waived off due to goalie interference. Denver tied the game at 5:30 of the third period when O’Connor found Blake Hillman for a wrist shot from the point. The Huskies broke the tie with Poehling’s breakaway at 12:25 of the third period and iced the game with 40 seconds remaining on Lizotte’s empty net goal.
The Pioneers finished 0/2 on the power play and 4/4 on the penalty kill. Jaillet made 29 saves.
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