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Irish hockey loses to St. Cloud State

TOLEDO, Ohio – Joey Benik had two goals and an assist to help fourth-seeded St. Cloud State beat top-seeded Notre Dame 5-1 on Saturday in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals.

The Huskies (24-15-1) will face Miami (Ohio) or Minnesota State on Sunday for a spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

Benik, Cory Thorson and Jonny Brodzinski scored on three of St. Cloud State’s first seven shots of the second period to make it 4-0.

“We were relaxed,” Huskies coach Bob Motzko said. “We scored a few times in a short span and then we settled in and played a smart hockey game.”

Ben Hanowski also scored, and Ryan Faragher made 17 saves.

“We did a good job getting pucks and bodies to the net,” Hanowski said. “We capitalized on a lot of our opportunities.”

Mike Voran had a short-handed goal in the third period for Notre Dame (25-13-3), which was whistled for the game’s first six penalties and spent most of the last two periods in its own zone.

The Irish were outshot 23-18 and managed only eight in the final two periods.

“We didn’t execute as well in the neutral zone,” coach Jeff Jackson said. “That was the difference in the game.”

Steven Summerhays had 14 saves before being pulled for Mike Johnson at the start of the third period.

The Irish entered the game with a seven-game winning streak after winning the final Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament championship.

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