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SCSU takes charge in second period, beats Wisconsin to remain unbeaten

10th-ranked Huskies score three goals in the second period, beat Badgers 5-1

2019 NCHC MEDIA DAY
Grant Cruikshank.
Clint Austin / The Rink Live

MADISON, Wis. — Grant Cruikshank made his first college game in his home state a memorable one, two freshmen had their first college goals and Jaxon Castor had another strong game.

That was a winning combination for the 10th-ranked St. Cloud State men's hockey team in a 5-1 nonconference win over Wisconsin on Friday at the Kohl Center. The two teams play the second game of their series at 7 p.m. Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, the Huskies (3-0 overall) scored three goals in the second period to take control. Cruikshank, a fifth-year center, was playing his first college game in the Kohl Center and had a memorable game.

Cruikshank, who is from Delafield, Wis., scored a rebound goal and had an assist on a short-handed goal by Grant Ahcan to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. Cruikshank cranked in a shot from a bad angle for his second goal of the season. Then with the Huskies killing a penalty, Cruikshank stole the puck in the corner and got it out front to Ahcan, who snapped it in.

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Grant Ahcan
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It was the first college goal for Ahcan, a freshman from Savage, Minnesota. Ahcan's brother, Jack, played for SCSU and his other brother, Roman, played forward for Wisconsin. Ahcan added his first college assist on the Huskies' fifth goal.

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The Huskies took a 3-0 lead on a goal by Cooper Wylie. Wylie took a shot from the Badgers blue line that found its way through traffic for his first college goal.

The Badgers (0-3) scored on a bouncing puck shot by Mathieu De St. Phalle that got past Jaxon Castor at 13:10 of the third period to cut the deficit to 3-1.

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Jaxon Castor
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

But SCSU captain Spencer Meier scored a rebound goal at 15:13 on the power play to give the Huskies a 4-1 lead. Then, on a rush, senior defenseman Dylan Anhorn scored on a shot from the slot at 16:27 off a nice pass from Ahcan. On Anhorn's goal, freshman Jack Rogers also picked up his first college assist.

Castor, a senior from Phoenix, stopped 25 of 26 shots to pick up his second win of the season.

SCSU 5, WISCONSIN 1

SCSU 0-3-2—5
Wisconsin 0-0-1—1

First period scoring — None. 

Second period — 1. SCSU, Grant Cruikshank 2 (Micah Miller) 3:56, 2. SCSU, Grant Ahcan 1 (Cruikshank 2) 13:11 (sh), 3. SCSU, Cooper Wylie 1 (Jack Peart 2, Jami Krannila 3) 14:12. 

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Third period — 4. UW, Mathieu De St. Phalle 1 (Daniel Laatsch 1, Brock Caufield 1) 13:10; 5. SCSU, Spencer Meier 2 (Zach Okabe 2, Krannila 4) 15:13 (pp); 6. SCSU, Dylan Anhorn 2 (Ahcan 1, Jack Rogers 1) 16:27.

Goalie saves — SCSU: Jaxon Castor 25; UW: Jared Moe 28.

Power plays — SCSU 1-2; UW 0-3.

Faceoffs — UW 29-24.

READ MORE ST. CLOUD STATE HUSKIES COVERAGE:
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2016 NCHC Goaltender of the Year shares stories about being a roommate of Nic Dowd, Kevin Gravel as a freshman, what it was like playing in Ovechkin's 800th goal game and his Washington teammates
A strong defender, Taylor Larson led the Beavers in blocked shots last season
Maddy Peterson played the last four seasons for RPI. She's looking forward to playing closer to home, working on a master's degree in criminal justice, being a leader for the Huskies.
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The defenseman is a free agent this summer after an AHL All-Star season for Providence. Ahcan talks about his close relationships in hockey, his development and more on the Huskies Hockey Insider podcast
CC Bowlby helped the Hornets win three Class AA state titles. She led Dartmouth in scoring as a senior and had other offers, but chose to try to help the Huskies take another step.
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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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