After two periods of controlling the play, Union was rewarded late in the third period to earn a 3-3 tie with 19th-ranked St. Cloud State on Friday at the National Hockey Center.
Greg Coburn and Adam Presizniuk scored one minute, 18 seconds apart to keep the Dutchmen unbeaten after three games.
Coburn tipped in a pass from Brian Yanovitch at 17:21. Presizniuk took a pass from Brock Matheson just behind a pair of St. Cloud State defenders and beat goaltender Mike Lee with a wrist shot between the pads at 18:39.
“It feels good to battle back, especially after we had a good weekend last weekend,” said Presizniuk. “It definitely builds confidence, and we need to keep going from here.”
It was the second straight strong third-period Friday for the Dutchmen (2-0-1), who scored three times in the third one week ago to beat Maine 4-1.
“Early on, we were back on our heels, but then we started to get more on our toes,” Yanovitch said. “As soon as we started to play our game, we took it to them a little bit.”
Goaltender Corey Milan, who made 53 saves in last weekend’s two-game sweep over Maine, was solid once again, stopping 33 shots, but he didn’t get much help on a trio of first-period goals.
A defensive turnover led to a Husky goal that snuck between Milan and the post, but Yanovitch took a cross-crease pass from Wayne Simpson and put the puck into an empty net to tie the game less than five minutes into the opening period. Simpson had two assists.
Alone in the right circle, Tony Mosey converted a perfect cross-ice pass on the power play to put St. Cloud State up, 2-1, midway through the first. The goal came less than 15 seconds after Milan robbed Mosey with a pad save on a similar pass.
With no defenders pushing two Huskies out from in front of Milan, Ryan Lasch scored late in the period for St. Cloud State (0-2-1), which lost twice at top-ranked Miami (Ohio) to start the season.
The Union defense played much better in the final two periods, limiting the quality scoring chances for St. Cloud State, and giving Milan good looks at the shooters. Meanwhile, the offense picked up its game.
That was done without forward Jeremy Welsh early in the second period when he was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind.
Welsh’s infraction came just nine seconds after a successful penalty kill for the Dutchmen. Instead of hanging their heads, Union not only killed off the penalty, but had a better scoring chance; however, a breakaway by Kyle Bodie was stopped by Lee.
“We faced a lot of adversity tonight with having to kill seven minutes of penalties to start the second, being a man short, but I thought the guys did a heck of a job battling through that,” Union coach Nate Leaman said.
Union 1 0 2 0 — 3
St. Cloud State 3 0 0 0 — 3
First Period — 1, St. Cloud State, Christian 1, 2:29. 2, Union, Yanovitch 2 (W. Simpson, J. Simpson), 4:42. 3, St. Cloud State, Mosey 1 (Roe, Raboin), 9:04 (pp). 4, St. Cloud State, Lach 1 (Gaudet, LeBlanc), 18:02. Penalties — Boileau, Uni (interference), 7:09; Festler, SCS (hooking), 12:43.
Second Period — None. Penalties — Valery-Trabucco, Uni (slashing), :48; Welsh, Uni, major-game misconduct (checking from behind), 2:57; St. Cloud State bench, served by Volpei (too many men), 4:37; Raboin, SCS (interference), 13:46; Marvin, SCS (slashing), 18:49.
Third Period — 5, Union, Coburn 1 (Yanovitch, W. Simpson), 17:21. 6, Union, Presizniuk 2 (Matheson, Forgaard), 18:39. Penalty — Forgaard, Uni (holding stick), 8:12.
Overtime — None. Penalties — Valery-Trabucco, Uni (goalie interference), 1:59; Hepp, SCS (interference), 1:59.
Shots on Goal — Union 13-10-10-4 — 37. St. Cloud State 13-11-10-2 — 36.
Power-play opportunities — Union 0 of 3; St. Cloud State 1 of 4.
Goalies — Union, Milan 2-0-1 (36 shots-33 saves). St. Cloud State, Lee 0-1-1 (37-34).
A — 6,171. T — 2:26.
Referees — Brian Thul, Jon Campion. Linesmen — Jared Moen, Chris Perrault.