Huskies preparing for Colorado College with Benik in lineup

St. Cloud State’s Kevin Gravel (7) battles Nebraska-Omaha’s Bryce Aneloski for the puck Friday at the Naitonal Hockey and Event Center. Gravel suffered an upper body injury in Saturday’s game, but is expected to play this weekend against Colorado College. Times photo by Dave Schwarz, dschwarz@stcloudtimes.com

There is good news on the health front for the St. Cloud State men’s hockey team through the first two days of practice this week.

“This is the first two practices we’ve had our (whole) lineup all year,” Huskies coach Bob Motzko said after Tuesday’s practice. “We hope it stays that way.”

St. Cloud State freshman wing Joey Benik

Freshman wing Joey Benik wore a no contact jersey Tuesday, but that could be lifted for Wednesday’s practice. Benik, who suffered a broken leg the first practice of the season, went through all the drills with the team Tuesday and Motzko said that the team is expecting him to play this weekend against Colorado College.

 ”All indications are leading that he’s going to play,” Motzko said of Benik. “He’s going hard. They’ll give it one last look Wednesday to make sure it’s a good move or whether we’ll save him for RPI (Dec. 27-28).

St. Cloud State junior defenseman Kevin Gravel.

“We’re moving forward that he’s going to have an opportunity to play this weekend. If everything stays the course, we should be able to have our full lineup.”

Both redshirt freshman forward David Morley and junior defenseman Kevin Gravel left in the second period of Saturday’s game against Nebraska-Omaha, but should play this weekend. Gravel wore a no contact jersey in Tuesday’s practice; Morley did not. Both suffered upper body injuries against the Mavericks.

St. Cloud State redshirt freshman center David Morley

Morley, who missed all of last season because of lingering concussion symptoms, had three goals and an assist in Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Mavericks. Morley is sixth on the team in scoring with 4 goals, 6 assists and is a plus-2.

Gravel, who played for Team USA in the World Junior Championships last winter, has played in all 16 games this season and has a goal and four assists, 19 penalty minutes and is a plus-2. He is a Los Angeles Kings draft pick.

Benik is coming off a big season for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League and helped the Vees win three playoff titles: BCHL, Doyle Cup and RBC Cup. The RBC Cup in the Tier I junior championship in Canada and he had the game-winning goal in the championship game. Combining his regular season and postseason statistics, Benik had 46 goals and 79 assists in 86 games last season.

 

 

Mick Hatten

About Mick Hatten

I cover St. Cloud State hockey and I am a general assignment reporter for the sports department at the Times. 2012-13 was my third season covering the Huskies hockey programs. My wife Kristin and I have two boys (Luke, 5, and Josh, 3) and we live in St. Cloud. I have had two stints working at the Times. I worked here from 1986-91 as a part-time sports reporter and intern. I have been back since Aug. 1999. I spent one year as the prep sports coordinator, six years as the St. Cloud State reporter (football, men's and women's basketball and everything else but hockey) and spent four years as the Citizen Times editor. The last two years, I was also the editor of the Rocori Times and Sauk Rapids-Rice Times sections, which are mailed directly to people in those two school districts. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MickHatten or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sctimesmick. I do online chats about college hockey during the season from 1-2 p.m. Thursdays at www.sctimes.com.
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