St. Cloud State’s power play stole the show in their 6-2 win over the Mavericks on Friday night. The Huskies’ power play was 3/5 on the night, while Omaha was unable to find the back of the net with the man advantage and finished 0/5.
“They won the special teams battle,” said Omaha head coach Mike Gabinet. “We went [0-for-5] on the power play, I think they had three power play goals. We knew going in with the skill that they have on their team, that’s not a team that you want to put on the power play. Usually, you got to win the special teams battle to win the hockey game.”
The Huskies struck first when Grant Cruikshank scored a power-play goal just over five minutes into the game. Adam Ingram received the pass from Veeti Miettinen and created the space on the power play before he dished the puck to Cruikshank who scored from the high slot. It was a tripping penalty committed by Jacob Slipec that led to the Huskies’ power play.
The Mavericks were not short of chances early; they had two power plays in the first period but could not find the back of the net on either one. On their first power play, Omaha had two shots on goal but neither were good enough to get past St. Cloud State’s netminder, Jaxon Castor. The Mavericks’ second power play came to an end less than a minute from when it began when Jonny Tychonick was called for interference.
“We had some looks there but they sniped some goals there, especially early and we didn’t,” said Coach Gabinet. “We got to find a way to put one of those in early and back them off a little bit.”
St. Cloud State scored again right before the end of the first period when Grant Ahcan was set up by Jack Rogers. Rogers wrapped around the Omaha net and passed the puck onto Ahcan’s stick, who scored from just outside of the crease. This was only Ahcan’s second goal of the season.
The second period was disastrous for the Mavericks as they conceded two goals in the first five minutes. Veeti Miettinen found the back of the net on a break-away goal after assisting the first Huskies’ goal of the night. St. Cloud State did not stop there, quickly extending the lead to four with a power-play goal from Adam Ingram.
Omaha would finally get on the board when the Huskies turned the puck over in their own zone and Matt Miller was able to beat the Huskies’ goaltender. The score would not hold for long however, Adam Ingram answered back with St. Cloud State’s fifth goal of the game just a minute and a half after Miller’s goal. The hot night by St. Cloud State’s Miettinen continued with an assist and his third point of the night on Ingram’s second goal.
St. Cloud State’s goal scoring efforts ended the same way that it started. Kruikshank scored a goal that was eerily similar to his first of the night, on the power play, and from the high slot.
Jack Randl scored his 18th goal of the season when he received a pass from Victor Mancini and toe dragged past his defender before beating the Huskies’ goalie. All in all, the goal did not change the end result as the damage was already done.