All the talk about St. Cloud State entering Friday’s NCAA Hockey tournament East Regional semifinal concerned its three top scorers, all underclassmen, and its top-notch power play.
But against Clarkson, Huskies forwards Ryan Lasch, Andreas Nodl and Garrett Roe were quiet. And that led to a scoreless night on the power play for St. Cloud State.
The young-gun trio combined for just six shots and one point, and the Huskies’ power play went 0-for-6 in their 2-1 loss to the Golden Knights, ending their season.
Sophomores Lasch and Nodl and freshman Roe were the Huskies’ top three scorers. They combined for 33 of the Huskies’ 46 power-play goals.
But they came up empty against Clarkson. Nodl and Roe had three shots on goal each, and Lasch didn’t have any.
“The one thing that was disappointing was, even though they were being defended very well, their youth showed up a little bit because they really showed the frustration,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “You can’t do that in a game like that. That’s part of that process of underclassmen becoming upperclassmen. Those three have been outstanding this season, from an offensive standpoint.
“You could just tell that some things were happening that really frustrated them, and they couldn’t shake it.”
Roe got the trio’s lone point, setting up Garrett Raboin’s early second-period goal.
Clarkson coach George Roll was proud of the way the Knights shut down the Huskies’ trio and their power play.
“I thought it was the difference in the game,” Roll said. “We knew coming into it that it was going to be key for us. With them, you have to pick your poison and decide which guys you’re going to take out of the play. I think we did a great job with that.”
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Niagara coach Dave Burkholder.
He is just getting over a bout with pneumonia. Then, in practice Tuesday, the former Rochester Institute of Technology goalie got hit in the head by a puck.
“I hadn’t been hit in 12 years, and I took one off the head,” Burkholder said. “I was yelling at someone for missing a pass, and the goalie made a kick save and it hit me in the top of the head. It’s been a tough week. I’m feeling better, though.”
Clarkson, Michigan and St. Cloud State have a combined total of 25 players selected by NHL teams.
Michigan has the most players with 13, followed by Clarkson with seven and St. Cloud State with five. Niagara doesn’t have any NHL-drafted players.
Eighteen NHL teams have at least one player selected. The New York Islanders and Phoenix Coyotes have the most, with three each. All three of the Coyotes’ picks are on the Wolverines — senior forwards Chad Kolarik and Kevin Porter, sophomore defenseman Chris Summers.
The Islanders’ selections are junior forward Shea Guthrie and junior defenseman Tyrelll Mason of Clarkson, and St. Cloud State sophomore Jase Weslosky.
More from The Daily Gazette: