NO. 19 ST. CLOUD STATE (9-5 WCHA, 12-10 OVERALL)
The Huskies are looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season tonight. This will be the 100th career college game for defenseman Nick Jensen. Jensen, a junior from Rogers, has 12 goals and 59 assists and has not missed a game in his career. Ben Hanowski needs 3 points to become the 26th SCSU player (in the Division I era) to reach 100 points. In 136 games, Hanowski has 52 goals and 45 assists. Coach Bob Motzko is one win away from his 150th college win. He is 149-119-34 in eight seasons for the Huskies. Motzko also needs one win to reach 100 WCHA wins (99-84-27). Drew LeBlanc leads Division I in assists (24) and ranks third in points (30). For his career, LeBlanc has 127 career points and needs three to move past Brandon Sampair (1997-2001, 49-80-129) on the school’s scoring list. LeBlanc has at least one point in 11 straight games.
|10-Ben Hanowski||19-Drew LeBlanc||11-Kalle Kossila|
|16-Jimmy Murray||26-Nic Dowd||22-Jonny Brodzinski|
|27-Nick Oliver||8-Cory Thorson||21-Brooks Bertsch|
|9-Joey Benik||13-David Morley||17-Joey Holka|
|28-Andrew Prochno||14-Nick Jensen||29-Ryan Faragher|
|7-Kevin Gravel||12-Ethan Prow||33-Joe Phillippi|
|40-Tim Daly||2-Jarrod Rabey||35-Rasmus Reijola|
The Pioneers are 4-0-1 in their last five games and those five games are against Boston University, Cornell and Nebraska-Omaha. That came on the heels of an 0-5-3 stretch against Colorado College, Yale, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Bemidji State.
“We certainly had a little bit of a challenge with that tailspin in late November and early December – winless in 8 games, 6 in the league. It certainly didn’t help us,” Denver coach George Gwozdecky said. “We’ve been able to start to play better here post-Chirstmas, giving ourselves a chance in every game. It helps when you have the kind of goaltending we’ve had. We haven’t been great defensively.”
So what was Denver doing poorly in that eight-game stretch?
“It’s always more than one thing. Suffice to say, when you’re playing shinny hockey you’re not going to have a lot of success at this level,” Gwozdecky said. “In shinny hockey there’s not a lot of equipment, maybe elbow pads and shinpads and have fun.”
The Pioneers’ defensemen have accounted for 31.7 percent (68) of the team’s points and 24.3 percent (20) of the team’s goals.
Freshman Quentin Shore has 4 goals in his last 5 games and has been named WCHA Rookie of the Week each of the past two weeks.
Denver has seven NHL Draft picks on its roster: Scott Mayfield (2nd round, New York Islanders), Nick Shore (3rd round, Los Angeles), Sam Brittain (4th round, Florida), Josiah Didier (4th round, Montreal), Joey LaLeggia (5th round, Edmonton), Paul Phillips (7th round, Chicago) and Zac Larraza (7th round, Phoenix).
|12-Ty Loney||23-Nick Shore||11-Chris Knowlton|
|16-Zac Larraza||26-Shawn Ostrow||19-Daniel Doremus|
|14-Larkin Jacobson||27-Quentin Shore||25-Matt Tabrum|
|39-Grant Arnold||9-Gabe Levin||17-Garrett Allen|
|7-Paul Phillips||10-David Makowski||31-Juho Olkinuora|
|8-Nolan Zajac||2-Scott Mayfield||1-Sam Brittain|
|21-Joey LaLeggia||4-Josiah Didier|
SCSU STATISTICAL LEADERS
DENVER STATISTICAL LEADERS
|Shots per game||29.1||29.7|
|Opponent shots per game||25.2||31.7|
|Goals per game||3.2||3.6|
|Opponent goals per game||2.6||2.5|
|Power play %||16.8||22.3|
|Penalty kill %||83.8||86.3|
|Short-hand goals for||2||2|
|Short-hand goals against||5||6|
|Penalty minutes per game||9.4||16.7|
|Opponent penalty minutes||12.8||22.6|