In what turned out to be a dramatic finish, Saint Cloud State finally has their first Division I NCAA Tournament win.
What started out as a dominant Huskies game with SCSU leading throughout and 3-1 at one point in the second period, Northern Michigan gained their legs, calmed their jitters and the game was tied at three at the end of regulation.
“We were very nervous early and we did not get in a rythm at all,” said NMU coach Walt Kyle. “It was a goalie battle tonight.” And it was NMU goaltender Brian Stewart that really kept the Wildcats in the game. With 50 saves he is my pick for player if the game.
SCSU was not going to be denied. Just as though it seemed a repeat of the game last Saturday when they took a lead against North Dakota and lost the game, the Wildcats took control of the game in the third period and eventually tied the score for overtime.
In the first overtime, it was just what a hockey fan would want, open skating and scoring chances on both ends. When asked about shootouts that are used in the CCHA that NMU is a part of, Kyle said, “Shootouts get old quick.”
A suspenseful first OT lead to a short second OT when Tony Mosey tipped in a Garrett Roe pass 0:23 into the period.
“Both goalies played great,” is how SCSU coach Bob Motzko summed it up. With a total of 99 shots on goal, the goalies were the key to the game for both sides.
The Huskies will play the winner of the Wisconsin – Vermont game tomorrow night for the West Region Championship.