Series of the Week: St. Cloud State vs. Denver
The No. 2 team in the nation, the St. Cloud State Huskies, will play host to the No. 5 Denver Pioneers this weekend in the college hockey series of the week.
Both teams are coming off of sweeps last weekend, with St. Cloud State sweeping Denver’s cross-state rival, Colorado College, on the road, while the Pioneers took both games from Western Michigan.
Denver comes into this weekend’s series with a 3-1-1 record in the 2018-19 season. This weekend begins a grueling eight-game stretch in which Denver plays two games against the No. 1 ranked defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, two against the No. 4 ranked Providence Friars and two against the No. 11 ranked North Dakota Fighting Hawks, in addition to this weekend’s extremely tough road series.
The Huskies, which have been sizzling hot all year, began the year by winning two games at Alaska-Fairbanks and vs. Northern Michigan, and have slipped up just once.
While on a trip to Boston, they were upset by No. 15 Northeastern a day after shutting out Boston College 7-0. The Pioneers have also played a series against UAF, winning one and tying one but have won every other game, against Air Force and Alabama-Huntsville as well as the aforementioned Western Michigan series.
In order to succeed against St. Cloud State, Denver will rely heavily on Emilio Pettersen, a freshman forward who leads the team with 11 points in six games. The Flames draft pick, a rare Norwegian in NCAA hockey, has been unstoppable this year, scoring a goal in the majority of his team’s games and scoring at least one point in just a single game.
The Huskies will be led by a pair of upperclassmen in senior forward Patrick Newall and junior defenseman Jack Ahcan. The pair has combined for 22 points in 11 games, and Ahcan has supplied valuable defensive work as well.
A sleeper player they will need to defend on Denver is Jarid Lukosevicius, a senior forward who actually has a higher point per game (1.67, 10 points in six games) than anyone on SCSU.
The Huskies are the favorite in each game this weekend, which is to be expected as a higher ranked team playing at home. They will certainly be looking for revenge after not only losing the season series to Denver last year as previously mentioned but after losing 4-1 to them in the NCHC Conference Championship.
Visit NCHC.TV for TV viewing options for both games of this weekend’s set.
Jeremy Schooler is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and business. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.