Thursday, March 15, 2012

Final Five updates

North Dakota 4, St. Cloud State 1: Brock Nelson scored two goals — his 24th and 25th of the season — including an empty-netter to lead the Fighting Sioux (are we calling them that again?) past the Huskies and into Friday's semifinals against Minnesota. The Xcel Energy Center should be a packed house for that one.

Corban Knight started the scoring for North Dakota at 7:40 of the first period, and St. Cloud's Ben Hanowski tied it with a power-play goal with 3:46 left in the first. Nelson put the Sioux ahead with 4:09 remaining in the second period, and that lead held, even with a strong push by the Huskies late in the third.

Aaron Dell stopped 29 shots in the win. the Huskies' Mike Lee finished with 24 saves.

The Sioux added a second empty-netter by Danny Kristo to finished off the Huskies.

Denver 3, Michigan Tech 2 (OT): Jason Zucker's goal at 2:18 of overtime gave the Pioneers the win in the first game of the Final Five on Thursday afternoon in St. Paul.

Tech goalie Josh Robinson made 41 saves, and had a 2-1 lead late in the third period. But Denver's Luke Salazar tied the game with 4:32 to play in regulation. Denver outshot Michigan Tech 44-29.

The Pioneers' Drew Shore assisted on his team's first two goals, the first by Ty Loney. Blake Pietila scored for the Huskies, and Ryan Furne put them up by a goal just 18 seconds into the third period.

On the game-winner, Zucker — the Minnesota Wild draft pick playing in his future home rink — was all alone near the left post and took a nice pass from the WCHA's top rookie, Joey LaLeggia, and fired past Robinson.

Denver will play Minnesota Duluth at 2 p.m. on Friday. Tech's season ends with a 16-19-4 record. The Huskies were 4-30-4 a year ago.

"We changed the culture," first-year coach Mel Pearson said. "We raised the bar." Said senior Brett Olson, who had won just 15 games in his first three seasons at Tech: "This season was huge for our program. At the beginning of the year we talked about bringing pride back to the program."

1 comment:

hockeyfan said...

Congrats to the boys. Copper is gone too, not sure where. Interesting Schiller is going to play D. We should have kept him there all year. Any news if Lee is going to get a shot anywhere?