CHICAGO — The Blue Demons are headed into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Regional competition set to begin Saturday, February 25th, 2012 at the North Shore Ice Arena. DePaul who was ranked No. 3 in the Central Region on Friday by the ACHA are set to play No. 10 ranked St. Cloud State at 5:00 PM on Saturday.
The Blue Demons Friday night match up got off to a fast start with Kurt Akers scoring at 30 seconds into the first frame on assists from Andy Ritter and Bill Allen.
The Huskies answered at 8:35 in the period with a goal from Jacob Tresnak who got an assist from teammate Jack Nagle.
Tony Klonowski found the net one more time in the first period for DePaul with 5:23 left in the period combining with Ritter and Akers.
The second period was fast and furious with both teams getting good looks on rushes at each other’s goalie. DePaul’s goalie Ben Campbell kept the Huskies at bay throughout the frame.
With 5:30 remaining in the second period DePaul began a goal scoring run with three different offensive combinations to get the puck past Huskie goalie Justin Frank. First, David Pukszta scored on assists from Jeff Fehrmann and Tom Jepsen.
The Blue Demon’s Jack Rezente combined with Joe Gatto next to find the net with 4:19 left in the frame. Senior Bill Allen scored on an assist from Jepsen with 2:25 on the clock to close out the scoring for the second period.
The Huskies answered quickly at the top of third frame with Tyler Lenake scoring at 19:22 on assists from Jacob Gefroh and Brent Vuglar.
Campbell was perfect in front of the net for DePaul the remainder of the frame while Klonowski scored again for the Blue Demons on an assist from Allen with 10:04 left in the game.
Huskies Thomas Friedrich sat two minutes of the first frame for slashing.
Pukszta sat two minutes in the second period for tripping.
Goalies Ben Campbell stopped 30 of 32 shots for the Blue Demons while Justin Frank stopped 32 of 38 shots for the Huskies.
Before the puck dropped on their Saturday game DePaul’s Head Coach Jerry Fronek said that, “the longer this game goes without a score the worse it will be for us” referring to finishing the season with a 0 in the team's loss column record.
While Fronek was clearly hoping that it would be DePaul scoring early Michigan Tech was not about to accommodate the Blue Demons as they came out flying. The Huskies Brent Vuglar began the scoring at 19:18 in the opening frame on an assist from Zach Herch.
Vuglar was back at DePaul’s net at 17:33 in the period for his second goal assisted by Chris Thomas and Jacob Gefroh for the Huskies to put the Blue Demons down 2-0.
Both Michigan Tech goals were scored at even strength but for the remainder of the regular season DePaul’s goalie Corey Netrefa stopped every look the Huskies got at him.
Vince Volpe got DePaul on the score board first at 13:36 in the opening frame on an assist from Brian Zmarlicki leaving them down only one goal.
Dan Pietro evened the score at 12:32 on power play assists from Tony Klonowski and Andy Ritter.
Klonowski combined with Kurt Akers and Ritter on a second power play goal to close out the period putting the Blue Demons up 3-2 to end the first period.
Each team served four penalty minutes in the first period. At 12:44 in the period the Huskies Tyler Lemke sat two minutes for roughing and Chris Thomas sat two minutes at 5:05 for tripping. DePaul’s Pietro sat two minutes for interference and Pierce Baron sat two minutes hooking.
Ritter put the puck past Huskie goalie Justin Frank at 8:38 in the second period on an assist from Netrefa extending their lead 4-2.
The third period started with DePaul working shorthanded for 1:45 on an elbowing penalty given Zmarlicki with 0:15 seconds left in the second frame. Akers scored a power play goal at 8:19 in the frame, then Ritter and Akers combined with 1:10 left making the final score 6-2, DePaul over Michigan Tech.
Michigan Tech’s Luke Lemke sat two minutes for an unsportsmanlike penalty at 10:10 in the third period.
DePaul’s Tom Jepsen sat two minutes in the third period for an interference penalty.
Goalies Justin Frank stopped 33 of 39 shots for the Huskies and Corey Netrefa stopped 34 of 36 shots for the Blue Demons.
ACHA REGIONAL COMPETITION COMING UP:
The No. 3 ranked Blue Demons will head into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Regional competition with a record of 24-0-3. With a win over St. Cloud State they will have to win again on Sunday at 3:40 PM to get to the 2012 ACHA Division II Nationals in Fort Myers, Florida which set for March 16th-20th, 2012.
Tags: ACHA, Andy Ritter, Ben Campbell, Bill Allen, Blue Demons, Brent Vuglar, Brian Zmarlicki, Chris Thomas, Dan Pietro, David Pukszta, DePaul Hockey Club, Jack Nagle, Jack Rezente, Jacob Gefroh, Jacob Tresnak, Jeff Fehrmann, Jerry Fronek, Joe Gatto, Justin Frank, Kurt Akers, Michigan Tech, Michigan Tech Huskies, Pierce Baron, Thomas Friedrich, Tom Jepsen, Tony Klonowski, Tyler Lemke, Tyler Lenake, Vince Volpe, Zach Herch