ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The decade of the 2010s was the most successful decade in the history of NCAA Division I men's hockey at St. Cloud State ... and there is not another that is really close.
Going into the 2010-11 season, the Huskies had never won a regular season conference title, won one conference playoff championship and won one NCAA tournament game.
Since the 2012-13 season, St. Cloud State won a WCHA regular season title, three NCHC regular season titles, an NCHC Frozen Faceoff title, reached its first Frozen Four and played in three NCAA regional championship games.
Any time a team has success, it is due to having some great talent on its roster. The Huskies had nine All-Americans, a Hobey Baker Award winner, 10 players earn first team all-conference honors and three players be named conference player of the year in the decade.
Here is St. Cloud State's Team of the Decade. As always with any list like this, there are some very good players who were tough to not put on the team.
To qualify for the team, a player must have played at least one season from 2010-11 through 2019-20. Teams typically dress 19 skaters and three goalies for home games, so that is how many are included on this team and players are listed in alphabetical order.
Joey Benik, St. Francis, Minn., 2012-16
Benik overcame a broken leg in his first official college practice to become one of the top goal scorers and producers in program history. A sharpshooter in the truest sense, this wing could seemingly score from any angle on the ice and helped the Huskies win two conference regular season titles, an NCHC Frozen Faceoff title and played on four NCAA tournament teams. He is No. 2 on the program's list of shots-per-game (3.23), tied for 6th in game-winning goals (11) and tied for 13th in power-play goals (19).
Accolades — All-NCHC Second Team (2015-16), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2015), NCAA Midwest Regional MVP (2013).
Best season — 2015-16: 23 goals, 25 assists, 48 points, + 28 in 41 games.
Career totals — 59 goals (11th in program history), 67 assists (27th), 126 points (13th), +43 (tied for 8th) in 137 games.
Jonny Brodzinski, Blaine, Minn., 2012-15
They don't have contests for it in college, but Brodzinski shot the puck with as much velocity as anyone to play for the Huskies. A great one-timer shot from the wing, had 11 power-play goals in 2014-15 (21 power-play goals in his career, 10th) and that great quick release still has him as the program's leader in shots-per-game (3.56). An underrated defensive player, he led the nation in plus/minus (plus-28) as a freshman.
Accolades — All-NCHC First Team (2014-15), All-NCHC Honorable Mention (2013-14).
Best season — 2013-14: 21 goals, 20 assists, 41 points, +15 in 38 games.
Career totals — 64 goals (8th), 48 assists (55th), 112 points (25th), +42 (tied for 11th) in 120 games.
Nic Dowd, Huntsville, Ala., 2010-14
Dowd got to St. Cloud State as a lanky, talkative wing who had played for three junior teams in two leagues. He worked his way into being a clutch performer, excellent defensive center and is in the conversation for the best captain of the decade for the Huskies. Had 12 game-winning goals (tied for 4th) in his career. A Los Angeles Kings draft pick, came back for his senior season and led SCSU to the first NCHC regular season championship and scored the game-winning goal in the Huskies' NCAA opening round overtime win over Notre Dame.
Accolades — Hobey Baker Award Top 3 finalist (2013-14), AHCA First Team All-America West (2013-14), All-NCHC First Team (2013-14), NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year (2013-14), NCHC Student-Athlete of the Year (2013-14).
Best season: 2013-14: 22 goals, 18 assists, 40 points, + 17 in 38 games.
Career totals — 52 goals (tied for 16th), 69 assists (tied for 24th), 121 points (tied for 17th), +28 (tied for 24th) in 155 games (tied for 10th).
Ben Hanowski, Little Falls, Minn., 2009-13
Hanowski is a rarity in the decade, coming directly from high school to play for the Huskies. Because of injuries to key players (Drew LeBlanc and Mike Lee), a player going back to juniors and a another deciding to transfer at midseason, St. Cloud State was limping through the 2011-12 season. As the lone remaining healthy captain, Hanowski had 11 goals in the last 13 games to help the team rally to home ice for the first round of the WCHA playoffs and win the series. The Huskies would go on to make the Frozen Four the next season when he was a senior. His 22 career power-play goals are 9th in program history.
Accolades — CLASS All-Senior All-America Second Team (2012-13).
Best season: 2011-12: 23 goals, 20 assists, 43 points, +2 in 39 games.
Career totals — 62 goals (9th), 51 assists (tied for 47th), 113 points (23rd) in 156 games (tied for 5th).
Robby Jackson, Alameda, Calif., 2015-19
Jackson got to St. Cloud State as an 18-year-old, who had set the United States Hockey League record for a 16-year-old with 28. With his quick wrists, he got rid of the puck quickly on wrist shots and snap shots, but he is often overlooked as a passer and his 6 career short-handed goals are tied for 4th in program history. Jackson led the Huskies in points as a junior, when the team tied His last two seasons, he had 34 goals and 82 points.
Accolades — NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2019), All-NCHC honorable mention (2017-18).
Best season — 2017-18: 15 goals, 27 assists, 42 points, +10 in 40 games.
Career totals — 52 goals (tied for 16th), 69 assists (tied for 24th), 121 points (tied for 17th), +46 (6th) in 149 games (tied for 22nd).
Kalle Kossila, Kauniainen, Finland, 2012-16
Kossila played wing and center during his career with the Huskies and excelled at both. He played on a line with Brodzinski and Drew LeBlanc as a freshman in 2012-13 (15 goals, 33 points, +17) and then put together one of the program's best seasons as a senior center in 2015-16. His 40 assists that season are a program record. He was also a great defensive player and won 58.1 percent of his faceoffs as a senior. He is tied for 2nd in program history in assists despite playing his junior season with an injury.
Accolades — All-NCHC Second Team (2015-16).
Best season — 2015-16: 14 goals, 40 assists, +29 in 41 games.
Career totals — 48 goals (23rd), 105 assists (tied for 2nd), 153 points (6th), +43 (tied for 8th) in 157 games (4th).
Drew LeBlanc, Hermantown, Minn., 2008-13
LeBlanc overcame a career-threatening broken leg early in the 2011-12 season to become the program's first Hobey Baker Award winner in 2012-13. Former head coach Bob Motzko's one complaint about LeBlanc was that he did not utilize his good shot enough. But he is in the conversation as the best passer in the program's history and led the Huskies to their first WCHA regular season title and its first Frozen Four appearance with his tireless work ethic. LeBlanc was a college rarity in that his skating skills improved throughout his career.
Accolades — Hobey Baker Award winner (2012-13), AHCA First Team All-America West (2012-13), WCHA Player of the Year (2012-13), WCHA Student-Athlete of the Year (2012-13), All-WCHA First Team (2012-13), All-WCHA Third Team (2010-11).
Best season — 2012-13: 13 goals, 37 assists, 50 points, +14 in 42 games.
Career totals — 42 goals (tied for 32nd), 105 assists (tied for 2nd), 147 points (7th), +18 (tied for 38th) in 171 games (1st).
Blake Lizotte, Lindstrom, Minn., 2017-19
The 5-foot-7 Lizotte came to the Huskies after being named the North American Hockey League Rookie of the Year (2014-15) and being named to the United States Hockey League Second All-Star Team (2016-17) in three junior seasons. A relentless center, Lizotte quickly moved into top-6 forward playing time as a freshman and became one of the most sought-after free agents his sophomore season, eventually signing with the Los Angeles Kings. As a sophomore, he won 62 percent of his faceoffs, which was 5th in the country. As a freshman, he was 10th in the nation in faceoff win percentage (.587).
Accolades — AHCA First Team All-America West (2018-19), All-NCHC First Team (2018-19), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2019), All-NCHC Rookie Team (2017-18).
Best season — 2018-19: 14 goals, 28 assists, 42 points, +28 in 37 games.
Career totals — 22 goals, 47 assists (tied for 57th), 69 points, +44 (7th) in 76 games.
David Morley, Richmond Hills, Ontario, 2011-16
After sitting out a season because of lingering concussion symptoms, Morley got back on the ice for the 2012-13 season and played wing and center for the Huskies. He was not the fastest skater, but 5-foot-7 forward's creativity with the puck made him a consistent producer and distributor. He was also clutch: his 13 game-winning goals are tied for the program lead. He was 4th in the nation in faceoff win percentage in both 2012-13 (.606) and 2013-14 (.620).
Best season — 2015-16: 14 goals, 23 assists, 37 points, +19 in 41 games.
Career totals — 51 goals (tied for 19th), 67 assists (tied for 27th), 118 points (21st), +43 (tied for 8th) in 150 games (tied for 20th).
Patrick Newell, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2015-19
Newell was having a solid career until his senior season, when he was an All-NCHC First Team pick and was in the top 10 in the Hobey Baker Award voting. He was known as a pass-first wing until his senior season when he erupted for 21 goals and led the nation in plus/minus (plus-35). He also had breakaway speed, which helped him sail past opponents when going up the wing. A relentless backchecker who is second in program history in career plus/minus (plus-66).
Accolades — AHCA First Team All-America West (2018-19), NCHC Forward of the Year (2018-19), All-NCHC First Team (2018-19), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament team (2019), NCHC Sportsmanship Award (2018-19).
Best season — 2018-19: 21 goals, 26 assists, 47 points, +35 in 39 games.
Career totals — 38 goals (tied for 37th), 82 assists (10th), 120 points (19th) in 145 games (tied for 38th).
Garrett Roe, Vienna, Va., 2007-11
With his senior season the first of the decade, the school's all-time leader in assists is 3rd on its career points list is an easy choice. Roe had 27 assists and 45 points in his freshman season to show that he was going to be an impact player. A 5-foot-7 center, he played with an edge (240 penalty minutes, 6th) and helped the program win its first NCAA tournament game as a junior with a goal and two assists in a 4-3 double overtime win over Northern Michigan in 2010. He is tied for 4th in program history in power-play goals (26) and tied for 6th in game-winning goals (11).
Accolades — All-WCHA Third Team (2009-10), All-WCHA Third Team (2008-09), All-WCHA Second Team (2007-08), All-WCHA Rookie Team (2007-08).
Best season — 2009-10: 20 goals, 29 assists, 49 points, +9 in 41 games.
Career totals — 65 goals (7th), 113 assists (1st), 178 points (3rd) in 156 games (tied for 5th).
Patrick Russell, Bikerod, Denmark, 2014-16
Russell had been a member of Danish national teams before spending one season in the United States Hockey League with Waterloo when St. Cloud State recruited him early in the season. He was a physical force on the boards and in front of the net with a strong shot, strong hockey sense and a was good defensive wing. Russell signed a pro deal with the Edmonton Oilers organization as a free agent after his sophomore season.
Best season — 2015-16: 20 goals, 21 assists, 41 points, +24 in 41 games.
Career totals — 30 goals (tied for 53rd), 36 assists, 66 points, +19 (tied for 36th) in 81 games.
Jack Ahcan, Savage, Minn., 2016-20
Ahcan is one of the most creative defensemen with the puck in program history. A great passer and skater, he also plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8 frame and is the most physical defenseman on this season's roster. He helped Team USA win the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships gold medal. Arrived at St. Cloud State after being an All-USHL First Team selection playing juniors for Cedar Rapids. He came back for his senior season after turning down pro offers as a free agent, is 7 points away from 100 in his career and needs 6 assists to become the program's leader in career assists for a defenseman.
Accolades — AHCA Second Team All-America West (2018-19), All-NCHC Second Team (2018-19), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2018), All-NCHC Rookie Team (2016-17).
Best season — 2018-19: 6 goals, 28 assists, 34 points, +30 in 39 games.
Career totals — 18 goals, 75 assists (tied for 17th), 93 points (tied for 37th), +11 in 129 games (active, through Jan. 8).
Will Borgen, Moorhead, Minn., 2015-18
A physical force, despite his lanky 6-foot-2, 185-pound body, Borgen played in just 18 games of junior hockey after graduating from Moorhead High School before joining St. Cloud State. His physical play (164 career penalty minutes, tied 29th) could overshadow what a terrific skater, puckhandler and passer that he was for the Huskies. He helped Team USA win the bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships. He missed time as a junior to be on the American roster for the 2018 Winter Olympics and signed with the Buffalo Sabres after the season.
Accolades — NCHC Defefensive Defenseman of the Year (2017-18), All-NCHC honorable mention (2017-18).
Best season — 2017-18: 2 goals, 13 assists, 15 points, +9, 68 penalty minutes in 36 games.
Career totals — 5 goals, 36 assists, 41 points, +30 (19th) in 106 games.
Nick Jensen, Rogers, Minn., 2010-13
Maybe the best skater of the decade for the Huskies ... and that's saying something. He could make a mistake deep in the offensive zone and seemingly get back to fix the problem in just a few strides. Jensen could also really handle the puck and distribute it and was the first dynamic offensive defenseman of the decade for the Huskies. As a junior, Jensen became the first St. Cloud State player to be named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and signed with the Detroit Red Wings after the season.
Accolades — AHCA First Team All-America West (2012-13), WCHA Defensive Player of the Year (2012-13), All-WCHA First Team (2012-13) and All-WCHA Third Team (2011-12).
Best season — 2012-13: 4 goals, 27 assists, 31 points, +19 in 42 games.
Career totals — 15 goals, 71 assists (tied for 20th), 86 points (tied for 45th), +28 (tied for 24th) in 119 games.
Jon Lizotte, Grand Forks, N.D., 2015-19
One of the great stories of the decade. After two junior seasons in the North American Hockey League, Lizotte went from being a walk-on to being on the Huskies' No. 1 defensive pairing for the top-ranked team in the country each of his last two college seasons. He was steady, tenacious, a great penalty killer and a quiet leader. There are no statistics to back this up, but his senior season, he easily averaged more than 30 minutes-per-game. Led the team in plus/minus (+20) as a junior. A key member of two straight NCHC regular season title teams and is tied for 5th at the school in career plus/minus (+47).
Best season — 2017-18: 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points, +20 in 40 games.
Career totals — 10 goals, 36 assists, 46 points, +47 (tied for 5th) in 147 games (tied for 30th).
Andrew Prochno, Minnetonka, Minn., 2011-15
For four seasons, Prochno was a part of St. Cloud State's top defensive pairing and on the power play. He may be underappreciated because he was so efficient, not flashy. He was a very good skater, excellent passer and defender and once shot a puck so hard in junior hockey that it split in half. How he managed to be left off an all-conference first or second team in his four seasons is a mystery. Prochno played in three straight NCAA tournaments, helped the Huskies to their first two regular season conference titles and is tied for 3rd at the school in career plus/minus (+51).
Accolades — All-NCHC honorable mention (2014-15), All-NCHC honorable mention (2013-14), All-WCHA Rookie Team (2011-12).
Best season — 2012-13: 5 goals, 23 assists, 28 points, +20 in 41 games played.
Career totals — 16 goals, 75 assists (tied for 17th), 91 points (tied for 39th), +51 (tied for 3rd) in 147 games (tied for 30th).
Ethan Prow, Sauk Rapids, Minn., 2012-16
Prow was a player who got better every season he was in college. He was not blessed with the skating or shooting ability of most of the players on this list, but was an exceptional passer who played with so much hockey smarts and worked so hard on his deficiencies that he was a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as a senior. As a senior, he led the Huskies in power-play points (20) and led all Division I defensemen in assists (30) despite missing four games due to injury. After not garnering much recruiting interest at Sauk Rapids High School, Prow is tied for third on the school's career plus/minus list (+51) and played in his first American Hockey League All-Star Game last season.
Accolades — Hobey Baker Award Top 10 finalist (2015-16), AHCA First Team All-America West (2015-16), NCHC Player of the Year (2015-16), NCHC Defenseman of the Year (2015-16), NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year (2015-16), All-NCHC First Team (2015-16), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2016).
Best season — 2015-16: 8 goals, 30 assists, 38 points, +29 in 37 games.
Career totals — 19 goals, 80 assists (tied for 11th), 99 points (tied for 34th), +51 (tied for 3rd) in 149 games (tied for 22nd).
Jimmy Schuldt, Minnetonka, Minn., 2015-19
The most decorated player of the decade for St. Cloud State. Schuldt is the first three-year captain in program history, the first to be a two-time First Team All-American, the 1st to be a two-time top 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award and is the program's all-time leader in consecutive games played (156), plus/minus (+68), career goals by a defenseman (38), career power-play goals by a defenseman (19, tied for 13th) and career points by a defenseman (118). He was in the top defensive pairing for the Huskies all four of his seasons and was on the power play and penalty kill all four seasons. Maybe the most complete player on the list, Schuldt was a powerful skater, could play physical, block shots, shoot the puck, handle it and pass it. A free agent, he turned down pro opportunities after each of his first three seasons to stay in college.
Accolades — Hobey Baker Award Top 3 finalist (2018-19), Hobey Baker Award Top 10 finalist (2017-18), AHCA First Team All-America West (2017-18 and 2018-19), All-NCHC First Team (2017-18 and 2018-19), NCHC Player of the Year (2018-19), NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year (2018-19), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2019), All-NCHC honorable mention (2016-17), All-NCHC Rookie Team (2015-16).
Best season — 2018-19: 10 goals, 25 assists, 35 points, +24 in 39 games.
Career totals — 38 goals (tied for 37th), 80 assists (tied for 11th), 118 points (tied for 21st), +68 (1st) in 156 games (tied for 5th).
Ryan Faragher, Fort Frances, Ontario, 2011-14
Faragher has won more NCAA Division I tournament games (3) than any goalie in program history. As a freshman, he stepped into the starting role for a good portion of the 2011-12 season after Mike Lee went down with a hip injury. He went 9-11-3 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .915 save percentage that season. Lee signed a pro deal after that season and Faragher set a school record when he played in 40 of the 44 games as a sophomore and helped lead the Huskies to their first WCHA regular season title and lone Frozen Four appearance. In the NCAA Midwest Regional, he stopped 37 of 39 shots to beat Miami and Notre Dame. The next season, he helped the Huskies win their first NCHC title and made 39 saves in a 4-3 overtime win over Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA West Regional. As a sophomore, his 24 wins are 3rd in program history, his 2.28 GAA is 11th and his .914 save percentage is 13th.
Accolades — All-NCHC Second Team (2013-14).
Best season — 2012-13: 24-14-1, 2.27 goals-against average, .914 save percentage, 3 shutouts in 40 games.
Career totals — 53-34-8, 2.58 GAA, .911 save percentage, 5 shutouts (tied for 5th) in 99 games (2nd among goalies). His 53 wins are second in program history and he is 7th in career save percentage and 4th in career GAA.
Mike Lee, Roseau, Minn., 2009-12
Prior to joining the Huskies, Lee helped lead Roseau High School to a state title in 2008 and then the expansion Fargo Force reach the Clark Cup Finals of the United States Hockey League playoffs in juniors in 2009. His freshman season, he picked up the first NCAA Division I tournament win in program history, stopping 42 shots in a 4-3 double overtime win over Northern Michigan. As a sophomore, Lee stopped 60 of 63 shots in an overtime playoff loss at Minnesota Duluth, which went on to win the NCAA title. His junior season was derailed by hip surgery, but he came back to finish the season and sign with the Arizona Coyotes after the season. Lee saw more shots-per-game (28.5) than any other goalie in program history. He also helped Team USA win the IIHF World Junior Championships gold medal in 2010.
Best season — 2011-12: 8-6-2, 2.23 GAA, .930 save percentage in 16 games.
Career totals — 32-29-9, 2.65 GAA (6th), .917 save percentage (5th), 4 shutouts in 74 games (tied for 7th). His 32 wins are 11th in program history.
Charlie Lindgren, Lakeville, Minn., 2013-16
The first First Team All-American goalie in program history. He was the first in what turned into a long line of former Lakeville North High School players to play for the Huskies in the decade. A left-handed goalie, Lindgren helped the Huskies win an NCHC regular season title (2013-14), an NCHC Frozen Faceoff title (2015-16) and made 36 saves in a 3-2 overtime win over Notre Dame in the 2014 NCAA West Regional. In the Frozen Faceoff title game, he made 33 saves in a 3-1 win over Minnesota Duluth. A tall (6-2), athletic goalie, Lindgren would help lead St. Cloud State to a No. 1 regional seed as a junior after setting single-season program records for wins (30) and games played (40), having the second-most shutouts (5) and the fourth-best goals-against average (2.26) and fourth-best save percentage (.925) in a season. As a free agent, Lindgren signed after his junior season to play in the Montreal Canadiens organization.
Accolades — AHCA First Team All-America West (2015-16), NCHC Goaltender of the Year (2015-16), All-NCHC First Team (2015-16), NCHC Frozen Faceoff All-Tournament Team (2016 and 2015), All-NCHC honorable mention (2014-15), All-NCHC Rookie Team (2013-14).
Best season — 2015-16: 30-9-1, 2.13 GAA, .925 save percentage, 5 shutouts in 40 games.
Career totals — 51-29-3, 2.21 GAA (1st), .921 save percentage (2nd), 8 shutouts (2nd) in 88 games (5th). His 51 wins are 3rd in program history.