ST CLOUD, Minn. (CBS4) — St. Cloud State defeated the University of Denver 4-2 Saturday night to clinch the National Collegiate Hockey Conference regular-season championship.
St. Cloud’s Ryan Poehling scored the go-ahead goal at 12:25 of the third period. It proved to be the game-winner. Jon Lizotte iced the game with 40 seconds remaining with an empty net goal.
The Huskies were ranked No. 1 in both national polls going into this weekend’s action that pitted the top two conference teams against one another. The Pioneers, ranked third and fourth nationally, gained a 1-1 tie on Friday night.
“I thought we were a better hockey team than we were last night and St. Cloud State was too,” Denver coach Jim Montgomery said told denverpioneers.com. “They deserve the Penrose Cup, they were the best and most consistent team in the NCHC, so congratulations to them. We have to learn from this tonight and continue to get better. We can’t have bad results anymore.”
Both teams finish out the NCHC season with two games next weekend, then host first-round matches in the NCHC tournament that begins March 9-11. DU hosts the conference’s last place team, Miami of Ohio, Friday and Saturday.
St. Cloud (21-6-5, 15-4-3) was awarded the Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup following the game.
DU (17-8-7, 11-6-5) swept SCSU in Denver in November.