MacNaughton Cup win
Friday, March 8, 2013
A put-the-puck-on-net goal by junior Nick Jensen (Rogers), 26 saves by junior goalie Ryan Faragher (Fort Frances, Ontario) and a pair of goals by frosh forward Jonny Brodzinski (Ham Lake) helped St. Cloud State earn its first NCAA Division I trophy March 8 in Madison, Wis.
At worst, St. Cloud State will share the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) title, represented by the 100-year-old sterling silver MacNaughton Cup.
The Huskies (21-13-1, 18-8-1 in the WCHA) have a rematch with the Badgers 7:07 p.m. March 9 in Madison. A tie or win and the 40-pound cup is solely St. Cloud State's.
KNSI radio commentator Don Lyons made the call just seconds after senior captain Drew LeBlanc scored an empty-net goal to make the score 4-2: "Count it down! 4-3-2-1! Champions!"
Lyons' broadcast partner, Husky Hockey alumnus Dave Reichel, crowed during a post-game interview: "You can take that baby to the bank."
Trailing 2-1 early in the third period, the Huskies' Brodzinski fooled Wisconsin netminder Joel Rumpel on a knuckling shot with 18:59 on the clock. The game-tying tally was Brodzinski's second of the game and team-leading 19th of the season.
Jensen, the speedy junior alternate captain, scored on a low-angle shot with 3:33 remaining.
"It goes back to the old saying. Put the puck on net and good things happen," Jensen told KNSI Radio.
Senior captain Drew LeBlanc scored the empty-netter with 55 seconds left on a nifty pass from Minnetonka sophomore defenseman Andrew Prochno.
LeBlanc recorded a goal and an assist. The Hobey Baker Award candidate math education major from Hermantown leads the nation with 34 assists and is third in the college hockey scoring race.
Coach Bob Motzko told KNSI: ""We don't want to stop there. There are other banners and trophies to play for."
The Huskies are the top seed for the WCHA playoffs. At stake: The Broadmoor Trophy, last won by St. Cloud State in 2001 when the Huskies were lead by coach Craig Dahl, forward Brandon Sampair, All-American goalie Scott Meyer, junior defenseman Duvie Westcott, junior forward Mark Hartigan and Final Five MVP Tyler Arnason.
The Huskies' opponent in a March 15-17 home series is the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
Also at stake: A run for the Frozen Four, the national championship April 11 and 13 in Pittsburgh. The Huskies are tied for fourth in the PairWise Rankings, which mimics the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine 16 participants for the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament.
View postgame interviews with Brodzinski and LeBlanc.
[Cover photo courtesy of KVSC 88.1 FM and Bryan Kangas.}