Buoyed by a little home cooking, St. Cloud State finally owns a win in the NCAA Hockey Tournament.
The Huskies, playing at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., about an hour away from their campus, won their first tournament game in nine appearances dating to 1989 when Tony Mosey’s power-play goal 23 seconds into the second overtime gave them a 4-3 victory over Northern Michigan on Friday night in the NCAA West Regional semifinals
The second-seeded Huskies improved to 24-13-5 and will play top-seeded Wisconsin, a 3-2 winner over Vermont in the other semifinal, in the championship game on Saturday night. The winner will go to the Frozen Four in Detroit.
Mosey’s deflection of a pass by Garrett Roe went past NMU goaltender Brian Stewart on the Huskies’ 54th shot of the game and the first of the second overtime.
"It’s great for our program. It was a crazy hockey game," said St. Cloud coach Bob Motzko. "We’ve been building for five years."
Motzko coached the Huskies in two of the losses -- 4-1 against Maine in 2007 and 2-1 to Clarkson in ’08. Both of those games were played in the East.
St. Cloud led 2-0 before the game was 13 minutes old. Sophomore Travis Novak opened the scoring at 8:14 of the first period, and senior Ryan Lasch got his 20th of the season at 12:25.
Northern Michigan (20-13-8) cut the deficit to 2-1 when Justin Florek scored a power-play goal at 14:04, knocking in a rebound. But the Huskies regained their two-goal lead when Roe scored a power-play goal at 12:52 of the second period.
NMU made it a one-goal game again at 16:12 of the second with an unassisted goal by Ray Kaunisto, whose pass hit St. Cloud’s Taylor Johnson and went into the net. The Wildcats tied the game with 3:49 remaining in regulation when Erik Spady’s one-timer from the right point went though traffic and past goaltender Mike Lee.
"We’ve been a resilient team all season," NMU coach Walt Kyle said. "We haven’t been afraid to play from behind."
Lee made 42 saves for St. Cloud State, which outshot Northern Michigan 54-45, including 23-12 after regulation.
In the second game, Wisconsin dominated play for most of the game, outshooting the Catamounts (17-15-7) 42-30. But The Badgers trailed 2-1 after one period, as Dan Lawson scored his first goal of the season at 7:22 and set up Brian Roloff's power-play goal at 16:54.
However, Wisconsin (26-10-4) stepped up its play in the second period and scored twice against Vermont's Rob Madore. Michael Davies tied the game at 4:02, finishing off a passout from Derek Stepan. Blake Geoffrion, grandson of Hall of Famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, got the winner with 43 seconds left in the period with yet another power-play goal.
Material from school media was used in this report