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Ryan Fanti has 46 saves, SCSU ties UMD

Bulldogs pick up an extra point in the NCHC standings with 2-1 win in the shootout in battle for fourth place. Huskies trail Bulldogs by five points in the race for home ice with four games left.

Minnesota Duluth goalie Ryan Fanti (39) blocks a shot by St. Cloud State forward Kevin Fitzgerald (28) during the second period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Close, almost, not quite.

But it was not like the St. Cloud State men's hockey team did not get pucks to the net.

Ryan Fanti, a junior from Thunder Bay, Ontario, made 46 saves to celebrate being named a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award earlier in the day on Tuesday. The Richter Award goes to the top goalie in NCAA Division I.

The Huskies and Bulldogs tied 1-1 in their second straight Tuesday matchup at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

St. Cloud State's lone player to crack the Fanti code was graduate student center Kevin Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald knocked in a rebound of his own shot from close range at 3:50 of the third period to help the Huskies tie the game.


"(Zach Okabe) made a really good play, but Jami (Krannila) made a good play to get the puck in at the blue line," Fitzgerald said of what set up the goal. "Okie kind of bought some time coming up that left side. He saw we were changing (lines).

"I would have just dumped the puck in there. But Okie made a really nice play to hold onto that, get some pressure on him and take the puck behind the net. We had a similar play against Omaha, coming off a power play — he made a backhand pass out front to me and I put it into the 20th row. It was good to get this one on net and get a couple whacks at it."

St. Cloud State forward Micah Miller (15) and Minnesota Duluth defenseman Matt Anderson (3) try to get control of the puck behind goal during the third period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

In the third period, the Huskies (7-9-4 NCHC, 15-11-4 overall) outshot the Bulldogs (8-8-4, 15-13-4) 16-5 and had five shots on two power plays, but were not able to put across a second goal.

"I think we just played with desperation because our backs are against the wall, let's face it," SCSU senior defenseman Nick Perbix said, referring to trying to get home ice for the opening round of the NCHC playoffs. "We know it, everyone knows it. We've just got to find a way to play like that every game from here on out because we're going to need to."

Other than the lack of scoring more than one goal, Huskies head coach Brett Larson did not have a long list of things that he thought the team could have done better.

"We were just trying to think of a negative ....maybe the first three minutes of our five-minute major power play," Larson said. "We were moving it a little bit slow. Honestly, other than that, that was one of our best 57-minute games of the year. I can't ask much more out of the team than the way they played tonight."

Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) is recognized for playing for Team USA in the Olympics in Beijing before the start of the game against St. Cloud State Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Olympians honored

Before the game, UMD senior captain Noah Cates, SCSU senior forward Sam Hentges, Perbix and Larson were each recognized for their contributions to Team USA in the Olympics.


Cates ended up scoring one of the two goals in the shootout for UMD, had two shots on goal and a blocked shot in his first college game since Jan. 29.

St. Cloud State forward Sam Hentges (19) looks for a way around Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) during the second period Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Perbix had a shot on goal and was a plus-1 and Hentges had three shots on goal and a penalty in the game. Perbix and Hentges both played Saturday at Nebraska Omaha.

One week ago, Perbix had an assist on Hentges' goal and Cates had a shot on goal in a 3-2 loss to Slovakia in the quarterfinals of the Olympics.

"They looked really good tonight," Larson said of Hentges and Perbix.

Larson was asked if Perbix and Hentges were dealing with the jet lag from coming back from China.

"I think maybe their coach is, but they're a lot younger than me," Larson said with a laugh.

Perbix admitted it has been a lot to process in the last week.

"It's been a whirlwind, crazy trying to adjust to the time and I've never really dealt with major jet lag before, but I'm here with the boys and I'm happy to be here," he said. "We've got to find a way to win that game and I feel like I've got to play better.


"But that's in the past and you can't control the past. As far as the sleep schedule, I haven't (ever) had a normal sleep schedule, so that kind of helps," he said with a smile. "It's definitely different."

Between periods, St. Cloud State women's hockey players Jenniina Nylund (Finland) and Klara Hymlarova (Czech Republic) were also both honored for playing for their respective countries in the Olympics.

Minnesota Duluth forward Noah Cates (21) and St. Cloud State defenseman Nick Perbix (25) battle for the puck in the first period Saturday, March 6, 2021, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

No. 8 UMD 1, No. 10 SCSU 1

UMD 0-1-0-0—1

SCSU 0-0-1-0—1

First period scoring — None. Penalties — SCSU, Sam Hentges (tripping) 3:17; SCSU, Kevin Fitzgerald (interference) 19:08; UMD, Owen Gallatin (slashing)19:36.

Second period scoring — 1. UMD, Connor Kelley 2 (Quinn Olson 17, Luke Mylymok 1) 4:30 (pp). Penalties — SCSU, Fitzgerald (hooking) 2:43; UMd, Matt Anderson (roughing) 8:15; UMD, Louie Roehl (roughing, game misconduct) 8:15; SCSU, Easton Brodzinski (roughing) 8:15; UMD, Olson (slashing) 17:42; SCSU, Brodzinski (interference) 19:27.

Third period scoring — 2. SCSU, Fitzgerald 15 (Zach Okabe 14, Jami Krannila 12) 3:50. Penalties — UMD, Olson (holding) 9:13; SCSU, Brodzinski (tripping) 14:02; UMD, Dominic James (tripping) 14:02; UMD, Casey Gilling (slashing) 14:36.


Overtime scoring — None. Penalties — SCSU, Krannila (interference) 4:53.

Shootout goals — UMD: Noah Cates, Olson. SCSU: Brodzinski.

Goalie saves — UMD, Ryan Fanti 17-13-15-1—46 (1 GA). SCSU, David Hrenak 10-5-5-5—25 (1 GA).

Penalties-minutes — UMD 8-27; SCSU 7-14.

Power-play goals/opportunities (shots) — UMD 1-4 (5 shots); SCSU 0-4 (11 shots).

Faceoffs — SCSU 27-20.

Referees — Sterling Egan and Brandon Schmitt.

Linesemen — Elliott Bucholz and Andy Dokken.


Three stars of the game — 1. Fanti (UMD), 2. Kelley (UMD), 3. Fitzgerald (SCSU).

Attendance — 4,230.

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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