Article Written by Samantha Roering. Photo by Samantha Roering.

Last season, the St. Cloud State University men’s hockey team capped off their NCHC Frozen Faceoff journey with a triumphant win and a coveted spot in the national tournament. This year marked a different outcome as they concluded their season in the NCHC tournament’s semifinals with a 5-4 overtime loss.

They entered the semi-final game against Denver as the underdogs, having been swept by Denver three weeks prior. Their path getting to the Frozen Faceoff was a fight, but they took down Western Michigan to keep their tournament aspirations alive.

It likely would’ve taken winning the entire NCHC tournament to secure them a national spot. It was a daunting task, but they showed up ready to battle for it.

The Huskies struck first in the game, with a shot from Cooper Wylie giving them an early lead. However, Denver would equalize later in the first period.

This sparked the Huskies once again, and Nick Portz reclaimed their lead less than two minutes later. Yet again, Denver fought back, and the game was tied at two heading into the second intermission.

Adam Ingram and Barrett Hall both scored for the Huskies in the second period, but the back-and-forth nature of the game continued, with the score tied at four going into the third period. The Huskies even managed to kill off a five-minute major penalty, but Denver refused to relent.

The third period remained scoreless, though Denver had more possession and created better scoring opportunities. St. Cloud held them off, sending the game into overtime.

At 6:21 into overtime, the Huskies’ hopes were dashed as Zeev Buium scored his second goal of the game, leaving St. Cloud fans silent as they witnessed the end of the Huskies’ season.

“We did pretty much everything we could do tonight to give us a chance,” head coach Brett Larson said, “I don’t think the players have anything to hang their heads about.”

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