UND Men's Hockey: Backup goalie Stuffs SiouxGrand Forks, ND - St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko revealed Friday afternoon that No. 1 goaltender Mike Lee didn’t make the trip to Grand Forks because of an injury and may be out for a lengthy period of time. A few hours later, the Huskies revealed that they have a perfectly capable backup.
By: Brad Elliott Schlossman, grandforkshearld.com
St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko revealed Friday afternoon that No. 1 goaltender Mike Lee didn’t make the trip to Grand Forks because of an injury and may be out for a lengthy period of time.
A few hours later, the Huskies revealed that they have a perfectly capable backup.
Freshman Ryan Faragher, making his second career start, stopped 44 shots — 39 of them in the first two periods — to lead St. Cloud State to a 4-0 win over UND in front of 11,743 in Ralph Engelstad Arena crowd.
The Sioux, who dropped to 2-4-1 and 0-3 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play for the first time since 1989, couldn’t convert on seven power-play chances, including two five-minute majors and a five-on-three for a full two minutes.
And despite outshooting their opponents by 27 and 21 in the last two games, the Sioux have a pair of losses to show for it.
“We just can’t catch a break right now — chance after chance after chance all night,” forward Danny Kristo said. “I think everyone’s frustrated starting from the goalies on out all the way to the coaching staff. I thought there was a lot of good tonight. Look at the shots. We dominated down low. We can’t get away from the things we’re doing well. You can’t try to cheat for other things.
“When you’re going through tough times, you have to stick together and keep going at it.”
Faragher, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Fort Frances, Ont., likely calmed any nerves that the Huskies had about him taking over for the injured Lee. He stopped Sioux alternate captain Corban Knight on three consecutive doorstep chances on the first shift of the game. From there, he settled in.
“I was relaxed — the crowd doesn’t really faze me,” Faragher said. “I listen to heavy metal music, so noise isn’t really a factor when I’m out there. In fact, I like playing in away barns like this. It was a fun game. I kept it simple, had fun and just watched the puck.”
St. Cloud State held a 1-0 lead through two periods on a goal by Jared Festler, who converted a two-on-one pass from Drew LeBlanc at 7 minutes, 16 seconds of the first period. But the Sioux dominated the chances, throwing 15 shots at Faragher in the first and 24 in the second.
The Sioux got several pucks to the crease area, but weren’t able to get any of them to go.
“They certainly aren’t bouncing in,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “They are finding a way to avoid that four-by-six. So, we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to find a way to get a greasy, ugly one and build from there.”
The Sioux attempted 71 shots through the first two periods and 85 for the game. They’ve attempted 168 shots to their opponent’s 72 in the last two contests. UND lost both of them.
“We’ve just got to keep going,” Knight said. “We can’t change our game too much. Maybe we can crash the net a little more and get some greasy goals. If you look at the shots we’ve had, they’ve been good shots, good quality chances. So, we can’t stray away from our game plan and try to break everything down. We’ve got to just keep doing what we’re doing and it’s going to come sooner or later.”
St. Cloud State finished off the victory with goals on point shots by Andrew Prochno and Sam Zabkowicz in the third period as well as an empty-netter by Travis Novak. Aaron Dell stopped 19 shots for the Sioux.
If there was one good piece of news for the Sioux it was that freshman Rocco Grimaldi suited up and looked a lot closer to 100 percent than his attempted to go earlier in the month. Grimaldi started on the fourth line but was moved to the second line in the second period.
“We have choice but to come out tomorrow and regroup,” Kristo said. “It’s a must-win tomorrow, for sure.”
Notes: St. Cloud State fourth-line wing Nick Oliver of Roseau was ejected for a checking from behind major just 7:35 into the game. The hit mangled the helmet of Mark MacMillan, who remained off the ice for several minutes while he waited to get a new helmet. Oliver’s penalty was later changed to a disqualification, meaning he will be suspended for tonight’s game. . . Ben Hanowski received a game misconduct for a hit-to-the-head of Mario Lamoureux. Hanowski will be eligible to return tonight. . . UND scratched Connor Gaarder, Brendan O’Donnell (injury), Taylor Dickin and Tate Maris.
St. Cloud State 4,
Key play: Andrew Prochno’s goal for a 2-0 Husky lead.
Key player: Ryan Faragher, 44 saves.