WCHA: St. Cloud State earning points despite kep injuries
- Blog Post by: Roman Augustoviz
- November 14, 2011 - 11:09 AM
Maybe Ben Hanowski should be extra careful whatever he does? He is the only St. Cloud State hockey captain still playing.
Hanowski and the Huskies will face the Gophers this weekend in a home and home series. The first game is in the Granite City, the second at Mariucci Arena.
The Huskies, like the Gophers, are coming off a WCHA split. They were in Mankato last weekend where they lost the first game with the Minnesota State Mavericks 4-2, but won the second 3-2.
The biggest news around the SCSU program is the injuries to its two other captains, forward Drew LeBlanc and goalie Mike Lee.
LeBlanc broke two bones in one of his legs in a 3-3 tied with Wisconsin at the National Hockey Center on Nov. 5. He had surgery the next day.
He is out indefinitely although, depending on how the bones heal, there is a chance LeBlanc might be able to play late in the season, according to a St. Cloud Daily Times story. LeBlanc, a senior, had a team-high 39 points last season. He is still the Huskies' second-leading scorer with two goals and 10 assists for 12 points.
Then there is the mysterious case of junior goalie Mike Lee of Roseau. He suffered a lower body injury in practice the last week of October and has not played since. He is having arthroscoptic surgery on Tuesday -- for another lower-body injury possibly related to the first. That's all SCSU is saying.
He is out indefinitely, too, although coach Bob Motzko has not ruled him out for the season.
Freshman Ryan Faragher has stepped in to replace him. Faragher, 21, is a big goalie at 6-2, 205. He played for Bismarck of the North American Hockey League the past two seasons and in 2010-11 was 30-20-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
With the Huskies, Faragher, who is from Fort Frances, Ont., is 3-3-1 with a 2.43 gaa and a .925 save percentage.
Lee was 2-2-1 with a 3.34 gaa and a .896 save pct. The only clue Motzko offered about the surgery on Lee was: it's "an injury common to goalies."
After a 1-3-0 start, the Huskies seem to have stabilized despite the injuries. The past three weekend there were 1-1-0 with North Dakota, 1-0-1 with Wisconsin and 1-1-0 with Minnesota State.
ESCAPING MSU WITH WIN
SCSU lost the first game to the Mavericks 4-2 when their top line of Nic Dowd, Hanowski and David Eddy has zero points and was a minus-10. Ouch.
The Huskies (5-5-2, 3-2-1) won the second game 3-2 by scoring their three goals on their first four shots at the Verizon Wireless Center. Hanowski had one goal and one assist, Eddy one goal.
Cory Thorson scored at 1 minute, 19 seconds, Hanowski 29 seconds later. Eddy at 9:07 to make the score 3-1 SCSU.
Eriah Hayes had a power-play goal for the Mavericks at 6:55. MSU (3-7-0. 2-4-0) outshot the Huskies 31-19, including 12-5 in the third period when they scored their second goal. Adam Mueller got a shorthanded breakaway at 6:30.
MSU was 1-for-3 on the power play with two shots in 5:46. The Huskies were 0-for-3 with just one shot and gave up a shorthanded goal in 6:00.
Mavericks goalie Austin Lee finished with 16 saves.
After the Gophers play at St. Cloud State on Friday, they get the Huskies at home the next night which starts a string of five consecutive conference games at Mariucci. Minnesota State and resurgent Michigan Tech come in next.
Last season the Gophers played the Huskies only twice, both times at Mariucci, on Oct. 22 and 24. SCSU won the first game 5-2, the Gophers won the second 2-1.
* The Huskies had 14 Minnesota-raised players on their roster. ... Hanowski leads SCSU in scoring with seven goals and six assists for 13 points. Former Little Falls teammates Jared Festler has six goals and five assists for 11.
* The Gophers are 5-1 in WCHA road games this season, continuing a recent trend of playing well away. They are 12-5-3 in their last 20 away games. ... Their 7-1 start in the conference this season is their best since they opened the 1990-91 season with a 7-0-1 record.
* Senior forward Nico Sacchetti and sophomore defenseman Chris Student made the bus trip to Madison, Wis., last weekened but did not play in either game. Coach Don Lucia has used the exact same lineup the past three weekends.
* Freshman goalie Joel Rumpel played both games for Wisconsin and now the Gophers will probably see Faragher both games. If SCSU does switch, his backup is another freshman, Joe Phillippi, a former Hill-Murray goalie. Senior goalie Nate Hardy is also on the roster but he has strictly been a practice goalie.
* The Big Ten Networks annoucers Saturday were gushing about the Gophers after their 4-1 victory over the Badgers. Dan Kelly called them a dominant team. Rob Andringa, who played for UW's 1990 NCAA champions, said they were fantastic.
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