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3 transfers help lead SCSU to shutout win over St. Thomas

Dylan Anhorn had two assists, Grant Cruikshank had a goal and an assist and Dominic Basse made 14 saves to lead the Huskies to a 4-0 win and series sweep.

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St. Cloud State players celebrate their win against St. Thomas in the third period Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights.
Jason Wachter/The Rink Live

ST. CLOUD, Minn. β€” There were six players who made their St. Cloud State men's hockey debuts on Sunday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

That was one part of some sloppiness for the 13th-ranked Huskies, but three transfers played big roles in helping them beat St. Thomas 4-0 in a nonconference game and a series sweep.

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A referee drops the puck with St. Cloud State's Grant Cruikshank (19) taking the draw in the third period against St. Thomas on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights.
Jason Wachter/The Rink Live

Grant Cruikshank

Cruikshank played his first three college seasons at Colorado College and last season at the University of Minnesota.

Former Gopher, Colorado College forward will be a graduate student and plans to play his last season of college hockey with the Huskies.

On Sunday, the 24-year-old center from Delafield, Wis., had a goal and an assist for his first points with SCSU.

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"Honestly, I didn't think we played our best, but when we were playing well, we were getting (the puck) low and turning their 'D' and winning battles," Cruikshank said. "I think we got away from that at times. Moving forward, we've got to be better for a full 60 (minutes). It's great to build on β€” two wins on the weekend.

"I think we can be really, really effective down low (offensively). We just have to be a little better exiting our zone and through the neutral zone."

Cruikshank's first goal gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead and came at 19:01, 1:04 after Veeti Miettinen scored on the power play.

"It was a great pass from (Micah Miller) and he was kind of getting pounded there," Cruikshank said. "I just kind of got lucky and it trickled over the line there."

Cruikshank also had an assist on Miettinen's goal and helped the Huskies go 8-for-8 on the penalty kill in the series. He centered a line with Miller and Kyler Kupka and they combined for four points, seven shots and were a plus-3 on Sunday.

"I thought that line was really good and they weren't rewarded on the score sheet as much you'd hope, but I thought Micah, Kups and Grant were just really trustworthy at both ends of the ice," Huskies head coach Brett Larson said. "They created offense, Grant was good on faceoffs (28-19 in the series) and they all killed (penalties), so they put in a lot of minutes. I really like that line right now."

Sophomore from Minnetonka got checked and had his head hit the glass in a game against St. Thomas on Saturday

Basse picks up 1st SCSU shutout

Dominic Basse, a transfer from Colorado College, made his first start in goal for the Huskies. Basse, a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick, made 15 saves to pick up his second shutout in his 42nd career college game.

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"The team played great and made it easy on me," Basse said. "Overall, I think it's a good game to grow from.

"They were clearing out in front of the net, clearing out rebounds," Basse said of his teammates. "They were allowing me to see pucks a little bit easier. When I see it, it's a lot easier to stop it."

The 20-year-old goalie from Virginia played the last two seasons for the Tigers and is a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks

Basse's strong performance came a day after senior Jaxon Castor made 10 saves in a 3-1 win over the Tommies. So will the Huskies go with a platoon in goal when they play Oct. 14-15 at the University of Wisconsin?

"Those guys both made it tough," Larson said of the decision as to who would play against the Tommies. "It's probably going to be a day-by-day deal. We'll have to make the decision as to who will play Friday in Wisconsin and then go from there ... which I like.

"I'm glad that both those guys played well and made the decision tough. That's a better spot to be in rather than wondering who's going to be able to go in."

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Dominic Basse
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Basse said that he is settling in nicely with his new team.

"The team is great," he said. "You can, obviously, tell that it's tight-knit. The atmosphere in the arena is awesome. I think the new scoreboard is great. The fans are awesome with the chants and everything.

"The team has great chemistry and I look forward to seeing where it's going to lead us."

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Anhorn leads the team in points

Believe it or not, defenseman Dylan Anhorn leads the Huskies in points (one goal, four assists) after the first weekend. Anhorn, a transfer from Union, had assists on SCSU's first two power-play goals on Sunday.

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Dylan Anhorn
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

"He's been really good," Larson said. "Dylan has stepped right in and been a big part of this (team).

"You lose the offense of (defenseman Nick) Perbix and you hope that (Jack) Peart and Anhorn can kind of step up and fill some of that offensive void. I thought both of them had a really good weekend."

Anhorn had 20 points in 29 games last season for a Union team that finished 14-19-4.

Besides the three transfers, junior wing Veeti Miettinen had a goal and an assist and senior center Jami Krannila added a goal and an assist for the Huskies in the win. Both Finns had power-play goals and SCSU was 3-for-7 on the power play with 12 shots on goal.

SCSU 4, ST. THOMAS 0

SCSU 2-0-2β€”4
UST 0-0-0β€”0

First period scoring β€” 1. SCSU, Veeti Miettinen 1 (Dylan Anhorn 3, Grant Cruikshank 1) 17:57 (pp); 2. SCSU, Cruikshank 1 (Micah Miller 1, Kyler Kupka 1) 19:01. Penalties β€” UST, Josh Eernisse (elbowing) 1:42; SCSU, Chase Brand (hooking) 13:14; UST, Mack Byers (hooking) 16:38.

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Second period β€” No scoring. Penalties β€” UST, Carson Peters (slashing) 5:46.

Third period β€” 3. SCSU, Jami Krannila 1 (Anhorn 4, Miettinen 3) 8:39 (pp); 4. SCSU, Spencer Meier 1 (Krannila 2, Jack Peart 1) 13:10 Ipp). Penalties β€” SCSU, Anhorn (boarding) :38; UST, Luke Perunovich (hitting from behind, major) 4:35; SCSU, Joe Molenaar (goalie interference) 9:11; UST, Ethan Gauer (cross-checking) 9:45; UST, Tim Piechowski (hooking) 12:17; SCSU, Chase Brand (interference) 17:38; UST, Peters (faceoff violation) 17:38.

Goalie saves β€” UST: Ethan Roberts 9-16-9β€”34 (4 GA); SCSU: Dominic Basse 3-8-3β€”14 (0 GA).

Penalties-minutes β€” UST 7-17, SCSU 4-8.

Power plays (shots) β€” UST 0-4 (3 shots); SCSU 3-7 (12 shots).

Faceoffs β€” UST 35-27.

Three stars of the game β€” 1. Miettinen (SCSU), 2. Cruikshank (SCSU), 3. Basse (SCSU).

Attendance β€” 3,284.

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Referees β€” Tom Sterns, Sterling Egan.

Linesmen β€” Tony Aronson, Eric Standke.

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Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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