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.”
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).
“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.
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.