St. Cloud State took a huge step back in 2019-20, finishing fifth in the NCHC after winning back-to-back regular season championships the previous two campaigns.
SCSU’s win total dropped from 30 to 13, and coach Brett Larson – in his third season – hopes to reverse that trend as his recruits begin to take hold.
The Bulldogs went 4-0 vs. Miami last season, and these teams play six times in 2020-21 – three games on each campus.
Part VI of our seven-part, NCHC opponent snapshot series focuses on the Huskies.
ST. CLOUD STATE HUSKIES
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Brett Larson (third season, 43-21-6, .657).
2019-20 RECORD: 13-15-6 (10-12-2 NCHC, fifth place).
RINK (capacity): Herb Brooks National Hockey Center (5,159), St. Cloud, Minn.
MIAMI VS. ST. CLOUD STATE LAST SEASON: 0-4.
ALL-TIME SERIES: St. Cloud State leads, 24-17-4.
2020-21 SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: At St. Cloud State – Jan. 21, 23, 24; At Oxford – Feb. 11, 13, 14.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: F Easton Brodzinski, F Sam Hentges, F Micah Miller, D Luke Jaycox, D Nick Perbix, G David Hrenak.
KEY NEW FACES: F Veeti Miettenen, F Joe Molenaar, D Brady Ziemer.
KEY LOSSES: F Nick Poehling, F Jack Poehling, F Jake Wahlin, D Jack Ahcan.
NOTES: St. Cloud State only had five skaters reach 20 points last season, and three of them graduated.
Team points leader Easton Brodzinski is back for his senior season after going 12-15-27, including a team-best five power play goals.
So is Nick Hentges, who has netted 17 goals in his first seasons and notched 24 points overall in 2019-20. He’s a draft pick of the Minnesota Wild.
Micah Miller returns up front after spiking from seven points as a freshman to 18 last season, and key contributors Jami Krannila, Kevin Fitzgerald, Chase Brand and Nolan Walker are also back.
Tampa Bay selection Nick Perbix, who went 4-11-15, is one of St. Cloud State’s key returning defensemen. Luke Jaycox and Spencer Meier netted four goals each from the blue line.
Senior David Hrenak logged 87 percent of St. Cloud State’s minutes in net, and he finished 12-11-6 with a 2.76 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
Joey Lamoreaux may become the starter next season, but he looks to earn more ice time after posting a 3.25 GAA and .893 save percentage as a freshman.