ST. CLOUD — Rust? What rust?
Despite playing their first game in 20 days, St. Cloud State men's hockey looked right at home in their return to Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Friday night.
The Huskies notched four goals in the opening period, dominating from the jump as they won 11-1 over Miami. They added three goals in the opening five minutes of the second period, improving to 13-6 overall and 5-4 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
No. 6-ranked SCSU initially went ahead 1-0 less than two minutes into the first period, when Miami goalie Ludvig Persson couldn't control a shot from distance by SCSU defenseman Brendan Bushy.
Junior Zach Okabe found the puck and scored his seventh goal of the year, also netting a goal later in the period when he was left alone at the back post after another deflection wasn't tracked down by the Redhawks.
Senior Sam Hentges scored eight seconds into SCSU's first power play, while senior Nick Perbix scored his second goal of the season with 5:10 left in the opening period. A collision of three bodies behind the net gave Perbix space to wrap around towards goal, struggling to control the puck before beating Persson.
Miami managed to make it as close as 2-1 at 10:45 in the first period, catching the Huskies on their heels before Monte Graham batted in a deflected shot. SCSU responded with goals from Okabe and Perbix within four minutes to put the game out of reach.
Persson was an All-NCHC second team selection for Miami as a freshman last year, but the Huskies were able to put five goals past him within 32 minutes before he was pulled in an 8-2 win in Miami's last meeting in St. Cloud last January.
SCSU reached seven goals in under 25 minutes this time around, getting even strength goals from Nolan Walker, Easton Brodzinski and Jami Krannila in quick succession to begin the second period.
Junior Kyler Kupka added the cherry on top with a shorthanded goal when the Redhawks had a five-on-three advantage, while senior Micah Miller also skated through the defense for a shorthanded goal in the second period to lead 9-1. SCSU now leads Division I with seven team shorthanded goals this season.
Kevin Fitzgerald and Joe Molenaar added late goals in the third period to total 10 different goal scorers for the Huskies. SCSU had a 42-14 advantage on shots, including 16-2 in the second period alone.
Perbix led with five assists, becoming the first defenseman with five assists since Bret Hedican against Guelph in 1991. He's also the first SCSU player to record six points in a game since Tony Gruba against MSU-Mankato in 1993.
St. Cloud State wraps up their series with Miami at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.
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This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: St. Cloud State hockey shows no rust after break, wins 11-1 over Miami