St. Cloud State defeated Miami (OH) 4-1 on Sunday afternoon to win the Midwest Regional. They will advance to the Frozen Four in a couple of weeks.
St. Cloud would get off to a hot start early on. Joey Benik, who has been an absolute stud in Toledo, scored his third goal of the regional on a rebound of a shot by Cory Thorson at 5:28 of the first period. That would be all the scoring for the first period as Miami turned on the offense in the second half of the period but could not get the equalizer. Miami outshot St. Cloud State 9-6 in the first period.
In the second period, St. Cloud State would get on the board almost exactly 20 minutes after their first goal. Benik would score again for his fourth goal of the tournament so far at 5:28 of the second period. Miami would cut into the lead over two minutes later when Blake Coleman scored his ninth goal of the season at 7:50 of the second period on the power play on a shot that deflected off the boards. But St. Cloud State would answer right back as Cory Thorson scored at 10:12 of the second period.
The third period would feature St. Cloud shutting down Miami with a combination of shot blocking and good goaltending by Ryan Faragher as he stopped 7 shots in the third period. Thorson would add an empty netter with 0.2 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.
What it means
St. Cloud State advances to play the winner of Union/Quinnipiac at the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh on April 11. This will be the first appearance at the Frozen Four for St. Cloud State. They now have 3 NCAA tournament victories in their school history.
3 stars of the game
3. Ryan Faragher- Faragher had a great tournament and allowed 1 goal in both of the games. He held up the 1-0 lead until St. Cloud could add on during the second period. Faragher was strong in the first and third periods as he made 16 saves and 20 saves on 21 shots against Miami.
2. Cory Thorson- Thorson had a great game. He had two goals and one assist. Thorson was also a plus four on the day and had five shots on goal. Thorson scored the goal in the second period to stretch the lead to two again.
1. Joey Benik- Benik had an amazing regional tournament. He had two goals today which was the same amount he had yesterday. Benik was clutch as he scored the game winner. Benik’s four goals doubled the three he had coming into the regional. Benik was a plus three and had five shots on goal.