Bob Motzko said it took a few days for the anticipation to build. By the middle of last week, the St. Cloud State coach felt a growing buzz, as players began talking to relatives and friends about the North Star College Cup tournament at Xcel Energy Center.
Motzko said he could really feel the excitement when the Huskies’ bus pulled into St. Paul — but that was nothing compared to the emotion that accompanied them on the way home. St. Cloud State beat Bemidji State 5-2 Sunday to win the tournament, hoisting the red oak trophy for the first time. The No. 3 Huskies ran up a 4-0 lead en route to their fourth consecutive victory, getting two goals from Joey Benik while shutting out the Beavers for the first 49 minutes.
Forward Mikey Eyssimont was named the tournament’s most valuable player, finishing with three goals and two assists in his team’s two victories. The North Star College Cup includes four of the state’s five Division I teams each year, and the Huskies won after sitting out in 2015.
“There’s a strong meaning behind this,’’ said Benik, who scored the game’s first two goals to cap a four-point weekend. “To get back to playing some of the old WCHA rivalries is important. And to sit out last year and then come back and have the outcome we did this year, that’s very important for us.’’
St. Cloud State improved to 22-5-1, while Bemidji State is 11-11-5. Attendance for Sunday’s games was announced at 10,993, and Saturday’s games drew an announced crowd of 12,591.