Saturday afternoon Minnesota met with St. Cloud State on Ridder ice to finish the series. From the moment they took to the ice the Gophers were in charge and their first line buzzing for a goal. This go getter attitude was soon rewarded when Sarah and Amy Potomak did a little back and forth down the center before Amy Potomak buried the puck on goaltender Janine Alder’s glove side at 2:10. The Huskies had a few shot attempts that went wide, but didn’t manage an actual shot until the second half of the period—eventually managing 2 to Minnesota’s 15 total.
Alder was relentlessly harried in her crease and had to fend off several wrap around attempts in quick succession. Taylor Heise made the third or so attempt, which bounced off Alder, but Emily Oden caught the rebound and with a little spin scored at 11:00. Alex Woken had the second assist. Shortly there after Nicole Schammel flew up the right side, made a lateral pass to Grace Zumwinkle, and Zumwinkle knocked it home from the doorstep at 12:52. Taylor Williamson then took an interference penalty, but St. Cloud’s power play ended abruptly when Laura Kluge elbowed a Gopher into her team’s boards at 16:12. With 4-on-4 play Sarah Potomak nearly poked the puck into goal from the crease, but Alder denied her then denied her on an even strength deflection.
Second period Hannah Potrykus cross-checked Oden and went to the box at 2:46. On the power play Zumwinkle had a left dot shot that hit Alder, flipped the puck up into the air, and then Alder yanked it to her chest, but that was the best chance Minnesota had before St. Cloud killed the penalty. Sarah Potomak had a great chance that went into Alder’s central mass. Half a minute later Jenniina Nylund took a slightly delayed high sticking penalty at 5:22, which harmlessly expired two minutes later.
Getting their skater back didn’t give the Huskies any sort of advantage, as they were still trapped in their zone by the Minnesota onslaught. As shot after shot came, some of which missed the crease entirely and many others were blocked by defense, the attack became more chaotic, less focused. They almost seemed to be functioning under the idea that any ole shot might be the one to break through St. Cloud’s defenses when Taylor Heise tripped Julia Tylke at 15:46.
With Minnesota on the PK, goaltender Sydney Scobee was likely excited to finally get some action up close, since most of the game had happened at the opposite end of the ice. If so, she soon regretted it, as the Huskies started puck cycling and Taylor Wemple put the puck across the crease faster than Scobee could slide after it, resulting in a backdoor goal by Nylund at 16:55. Rachel Herzog had the second assist on this goal, which also happened to be St. Cloud’s only shot of the period.
There was some end-to-end puck chasing with a few shots on Alder to start third period. Tylke took a roughing penalty at 3:18, but Minnesota was unable to convert on the power play. Instead they managed it after Catie Skaja zoomed up the right side, passed back to Oden when she reached the goal line, and Oden netted her second of the night as she fell at 5:55. A little later Ivy Dynek came down the left side and, despite a defender dogging her every stride and hampering her movements, made it to the crease where she tried to fake out the goaltender, but Scobee made the save.
Minnesota made quite a few more attempts on goal before Tylke intercepted a pass and made a shot on goal without interference that went wide. Then at the opposite end of the rink a Zumwinkle shot left a pile up at the crease. When Scobee blocked Hallie Theodosopoulos’s shot, it deflected to the opposite end of the crease and Scobee lunged after it, refusing to allow a repeat of St. Cloud’s earlier goal, though a follow up shot never came. Katie Robinson earned an interference penalty at 19:09, which put the Gophers on the PK for the rest of the game. Huskies through everything they had at the net, but Minnesota’ defense came up big, especially when a play left Scobee spinning on her back like a starfish, though she was back on her skates in time to glove the last shot of the game out of midair.
Minnesota won 4-1, finishing the St. Cloud sweep and outshooting them 45-6. After the three starts were announced—Zumwinkle getting third, Amy Potomak second, and Oden first—the Gophers headed to their locker room to celebrate. This left the ice open for the post-game open skate. A decent number of people took to the ice on their skates from home and fun was had by all, though it likely didn’t beat the singing and dancing by the team.