SCSU shuffles lines, bounces back with highlight-reel goal from Ingram in an emotional win over Bemidji State
A night after suffering its first loss of the season, St. Cloud State has 36 shots, scores two goals on special teams in 4-1 win over Beavers. It was the last game worked by SCSU equipment manager Jeremiah Minkel, who was honored several ways.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The game-winning goal was something for a highlight reel, there were new line combinations and it was an emotional night with a staff member.
The second-ranked St. Cloud State men's hockey team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 4-1 nonconference win over Bemidji State on Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. The second-ranked Huskies (7-1) open NCHC play next weekend with a series at Denver (2-0 NCHC, 6-2 overall).
The Huskies will go in with some momentum after a bounce-back win. The Beavers beat St. Cloud State 3-1 on Friday in Bemidji after outshooting the Huskies 28-18.
Tough talk, lineup changes
The morning of the second game of a series, the team meets in the morning, goes over video of the previous night's game and discusses adjustments it needs to make for that day's game. On Saturday, that meeting had some key points.
"It was tough," SCSU senior center Jami Krannila said of the meeting. "(Friday) night was awful, if I'm being honest. But we decided that we were going to play for ( equipment manager Jeremiah Minkel ) tonight and everybody showed up and wants the best for him. It was a great motivator for every single guy out there and I think that helped us play the way we did."
Minkel has been the full-time SCSU hockey equipment manager since 2000 and worked in the equipment room from 1995-2000 for his work-study as a student.
It is always tough to lose games, but the Huskies were not pleased with a lot of areas from their game on Friday.
"What I was really proud of with the guys was we really needed to bounce back tonight," Huskies head coach Brett Larson said. "There was a lot of emotion in the locker room. because of how poorly we played last night and we were all disappointed. I think everyone just assumed that we were going to come out and play great.
"Then when that penalty happened (too many players at 1:17) and they scored right away on the power play (at 2:17), I was really impressed that our demeanor didn't change. We got on the gas right away, I thought we pressured pucks all over the ice and I didn't think we sat back at all. I think we probably played our best 55-minute hockey game of the year."
Another thing that changed from Friday was the lineup. In a rare occurrence over the last three seasons, the International Exchange Line of Veeti Miettinen-Krannila-Zach Okabe was partially split up.
Miettinen, a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, played left wing on a line with freshman center Adam Ingram and freshman right wing Jack Rogers. Miettinen had a goal and Ingram had a goal, an assist and a team-leading seven shots.
"I think our line had a really good night and I think (Miettinen) played well," Ingram said. "I think we worked well and we had a lot of opportunities. I really enjoyed it."
Senior Chase Brand took Miettinen's spot on the left wing of Krannila's line. Freshman wing Ethan AuCoin was a scratch on Saturday after playing Friday and he was replaced by freshman Grant Ahcan. Ahcan took Brand's spot on the right wing on a line with sophomore center Mason Salquist and junior left wing Joe Molenaar. On defense, junior Brady Ziemer was a scratch after playing Friday and was replaced as the defensive partner of Jack Peart by freshman Mason Reiners.
"There were some guys we wanted to spark and we wanted to spark Veeti a little bit and, hopefully, Ingy a little bit and get Jami's line going," Larson said. "Small sample -- one game -- but I thought those guys really responded well to it and had good nights."
Krannila scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead at 8:56 of the third period and then had an assist on Okabe's goal at 12:03 of the third period that made it 4-1.
Oh my, Adam Ingram! 🤯— The NCHC (@TheNCHC) October 30, 2022
The freshman with the #NCHCTopPlay to put @SCSUHuskies_MH in front!
🎥: FOX9+ // https://t.co/ZyUdpPrI2J #NCHChockey // #HuskyHockey pic.twitter.com/65Ug3waq2H
Ingram scores a highlight-reel goal
Ingram, a third-round draft pick of the Nashville Predators, had the best game of the season. Besides his production, Ingram was 7-3 on faceoffs. He went into the game winning 35.3% in his first seven games.
"As we move along, I'm getting more comfortable out there," said Ingram, a 19-year-old from West St. Paul, Manitoba. "I'm feeling better every game we play. Tonight, I had a pretty good night. It was awesome and the crowd was awesome."
Ingram got the crowd to make some noise with a highlight reel goal. After being stopped on a breakaway, he stole the puck just inside the BSU blue line, did a toe drag between his legs and beat goalie Gavin Enright over his right shoulder with a backhand shot.
"I had a breakaway earlier and got stopped on the 5-hole (shot)," Ingram said. "I kind of stayed on it, kept going and got my opportunity again. This time, it went in.
"I kind of blanked out there, but it felt pretty good."
The backhand came from about 20 feet out. Does Ingram practice a lot of backhands?
"I don't work on my backhand too often, but I might have to start doing that more," Ingram said with a laugh.
The SCSU bench was left in amazement at the play.
"That was awesome," Krannila said. "You don't really have a play and then a toe drag, everyone is flying one way and he goes between his legs and takes a puck — that was on Veeti's tape pretty much — and goes top shelf and celly's about half the distance of the whole fricking ice."
No. 2 SCSU 4, BEMIDJI STATE 1
First period scoring — 1. BSU, Mitchell Martan 5 (Eric Martin 4, Jere Vaisanen 4) 2:18 (pp). Penalties — SCSU, Bench (too many men) 1:17; BSU, Vaisanen (holding) 9:08; SCSU, Jack Peart (tripping) 10:01, BSU, Bench (protocol violation) 20:00.
Second period — 2. SCSU, Veeti Miettinen 2 (Adam Ingram 2, Dylan Anhorn 7) 7:19 (pp); 3. SCSU, Ingram 2 (unassisted) 14:12. Penalties — BSU, Jakub Lewandowski (hooking) 6:44; SCSU, Chase Brand (interference, major) 7:53; BSU, Ross Armour (slashing) 10:31; BSU, Will Zmolek (slashing) 15:00; BSU, Zmolek (interference) 18:31.
Third period — 4. SCSU, Jami Krannila 2 (Kyler Kupka 6) 8:56 (sh); 5. SCSU, Zach Okabe 4 (Anhorn 8, Krannila 6) 12:03. Penalties — SCSU, Okabe (tripping) 4:47; SCSU, Anhorn (hooking) 8:32; BSU, Aaron Myers (slashing) 13:25; BSU, Armour (charing) 15:42.
Goalie saves -— BSU: Gavin Enright 10-15-7—32 (4 GA); SCSU: Dominic Basse 6-5-7—18 (1 GA).
Penalties-minutes — BSU 8-16, SCSU 5-13.
Power plays (shots) — BSU 1-5 (6 shots); SCSU 1-7 (13 shots).
Faceoffs — SCSU 49-21.
Three stars of the game — 1. Jeremiah Minkel (SCSU), 2. Krannila (SCSU), 3. Anhorn (SCSU).
Attendance — 4,023.
Referees — Brandon Schmitt and Sterling Egan.
Linesmen — Andrew Dokken and Elliott Bucholz.