OMAHA, Neb. — Brett Larson knew that one of his right-handed shooting defensemen scored the game-tying goal, but it turns out that he had the wrong one in his mind.
"Funny, I thought that Spencer Meier scored the tying goal and I just found out in the locker room that I was wrong on that one-timer," St. Cloud State coach Brett Larson said. "Maybe I'm the wrong guy to ask because I apparently didn't see what was going on out there or I was too busy drawing on a (white) board."
He ended up drawing up an improbable, but needed, win for the ninth-ranked St. Cloud State men's hockey team.
Nick Perbix blasted in a one-timer with 1:21 left in regulation and was the defenseman to tie the game. Sam Hentges blasted in a one-timer from nearly the same spot from the top of a faceoff circle for the game-winner at 1:37 of overtime. The Huskies rallied from a three-goal first period deficit to beat Colorado College 4-3.
Perbix, a Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick, scored his goal after Larson pulled goalie Jaxon Castor for an extra attacker. Then Hentges, a Minnesota Wild draft pick, scored his goal on the power play during the 3-on-3 overtime to win it.
"Six-on-5 is not really something we've had time to work on here in the bubble because you don't get a lot of time to practice," Larson said of having his goalie pulled. "We had to draw it up in the last few days and it's all been board work. I'm glad the guys executed that.
"Then 4-on-3 (power plays) are just something you don't spend a ton of time working on. Usually, you just some guys out there that you trust with their offensive instincts. You draw up one play and luckily, they ran the play. They defended it pretty well, but we still got the shot off and got the goal.
"Just a couple things you don't work on a ton, especially with limited practice time in the Pod."
Colorado College senior defenseman Zach Berzolla took a tripping penalty 1:22 into the overtime. The Huskies put forwards Nolan Walker, Kevin Fitzgerald and Hentges out on the ice with Perbix, a defenseman.
"It was a good pass by Perbix and I just hit it home," Hentges said of his fourth goal in eight games. "Luckily, it hit off the defenseman's leg and they all count."
As regulation time was winding down, St. Cloud State put in the extra attacker for Castor and Perbix, defenseman Seamus Donohue and forwards Veeti Miettinen, Jami Krannila, Easton Brodzinski, Walker and Hentges were on the ice for St. Cloud State.
"You just have to get pucks to the net because odds are, you're going to be able to retrieve it if you outwork them," Perbix said. "We got pucks to the net, kept it simple and they ended up going in."
St. Cloud State trailed 3-1 going into the third period. Miettinen scored a rebound goal on the power play at 5:10 of the third period to cut the deficit to 3-2.
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The late-game heroics were needed because the Huskies (5-3) trailed 3-1 after the first period. Colorado College scored on three of their first five shots of the game and took a 3-0 lead after junior Grant Cruikshank scored at 12:03.
"I thought we were aggressive, got after their 'D' and we took advantage of our opportunities," said Cruikshank, who also had an assist in the first period. "We played detailed, we played hard, we competed. Then we got into penalty trouble and maybe the ice starts to shift."
The first goal for the Tigers (2-3-1) came off a 2-on-1 rush that Logan Will scored on at 2:19. The second goal came after a blocked shot led to a 2-on-1 rush that Josiah Slavin scored on at 7:13. Then Cruikshank scored off a St. Cloud State turnover below its own goal line.
"We had a very terrible first period," Hentges said of the first 20 minutes in which the shots were 5-5. "We weren't getting pucks in. Then we started doing the right things and I think we just had a belief that we were going to come back from the start."
After the third goal, Larson replaced starting goalie Joey Lamoreaux with sophomore Jaxon Castor, who made 10 saves and did not give up a goal to pick up the win.
"I don't know if any goalie stops those," Larson said of the three goals surrendered. "We had blatant turnovers and let (Lamoreaux) down. Part of the resilience in the room just came from they knew they really let him down and they wanted to come back in that one.
"I felt really bad for Joey. He didn't really get a couple saves in to let him get warmed up. We gave up a 2-on-1 immediately ... he just really didn't have a chance to touch a puck. I feel bad for him, but I feel good for Jaxon Castor to go in there and play a calm, composed game the rest of the way while our guys found our game."
Special teams play big role
The Huskies were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill, including killing off a five-minute major penalty for to junior defenseman Brendan Bushy in the second period. Bushy also got a game misconduct on the boarding call for his hit on freshman center Jackson Jutting.
St. Cloud State, which gave up three shots on the penalty kill, is 29-for-32 (90.6%) killing penalties on the season.
"We were able to kill that off and get some momentum," Larson said. "We felt from there on, we were able to get more 'O' zone time, more pucks to the net and we started playing more downhill after that kill."
The Huskies also converted on two of their last three power plays after going 0-for-3 with no shots on goal on their first three of the game.
"We took two penalties — and we talked about how you can't put them on the power play — and then they get a power-play goal and get the momentum," said Colorado College coach Mike Haviland, whose team was outshot 15-5 in the third period. "They just kept coming and their No. 9 in the country for a reason and they're a good hockey team.
"Some of our older guys took some really undisciplined penalties and then we took one in overtime. We've got to figure that out. We can't take six penalties in this conference. The teams are too good."
No. 9 SCSU 4, Colorado College 3, OT
Col. Coll. 3-0-0-0—3
First period scoring — 1. CC, Logan Will 2 (Tyler Coffey 1) 2:19; 2. CC, Josiah Slavin 2 (Grant Cruikshank 2, Jack Millar 2) 7:13; 3. CC, Cruikshank 5 (Patrick Cozzi 2) 12:03; 4. SCSU, Sam Hentges 3 (Spencer Meier 2, Zach Okabe 4) 16:44. Penalties — CC, Connor Mayer (tripping) 2:32; SCSU, Nick Perbix (hooking) 3:16; CC, Mayer (interference) 8:07.
Second period scoring — None. Penalties — SCSU, Okabe (tripping) 5:35; SCSU, Brendan Bushy (boarding, major, game misconduct) 13:48; CC, Bryan Yoon (tripping) 17:04.
Third period scoring — 5. SCSU, Veeti Miettinen 3 (Easton Brodzinski 3, Nick Perbix 4) 5:10 (pp); 6. SCSU, Perbix 4 (Seamus Donohue, Miettinen) 18:39. Penalties — CC, Hunter McKown (interference) 3:13; CC, Ben Copeland (tripping) 5:35.
Overtime scoring — 7. SCSU, Hentges 4 (Perbix 5, Kevin Fitzgerald 3) 1:37 (pp). Penalties — CC, Zach Berzolla (slashing) 1:22.
Goalie saves — SCSU, Joey Lamoreaux 2-x-x—2 (3 GA), Jaxon Castor (in at 7:57 of 1st) 0-5-5-0—10 (0 GA). CC, Dominic Basse 4-5-13-1—23 (4 GA).
Penalties-minutes — SCSU 4-19; CC 6-12.
Power plays (shots) — SCSU 2-6 (4 shots); CC 0-3 (3 shots).
Faceoffs — SCSU 38-21.
Referees — Brian Hnkes and Andy Thackaberry.
Linesemen — Tony Aronson and Mike Eslinger.
Three stars of the game — 1. Hentges (SCSU), 2. Perbix (SCSU), 3. Cruikshank (CC).