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  • Gopher Women Sweep Huskies


    Before Thursday’s game started head coach Brad Frost was honored for his 300th win on ice. After a few photos the teams were introduced and puck drop quickly commenced. Minnesota dominated puck possession throughout the entire game, but they spent chunk of first period cycling the puck around St. Cloud’s zone like they had the skater advantage. Kippin Keller had a great shot from the top of the crease, but Janine Alder deflected away the puck. Shortly thereafter Alder had make a sweet glove save when the Gophers sent yet another puck flying her way.

    Brooke Kudirka went to the box for hooking at 9:49, which gave St. Cloud the chance to display their penalty kill. In the two minutes the Huskies cleared their zone three times and kept Minnesota from setting up any decent chances on goal. However, they couldn’t keep it up for the rest of the period and at 16:10 Kelly Pannek scored with a low shot through traffic, possibly from the bottom of the left circle. Sarah Potomak and Dani Cameranesi had the assists. For the first time in ages the Gophers finished first period ahead and that had to feel pretty good to the team.

    While a couple of Huskies had pushed Pannek around during first period, one flipped Cara Piazza into the boards without a call shortly after the second started. Taylor Williamson made a close shot from in front of the net and then made another attempt by carrying up the right side and making a beautiful pass to Lee Stecklein on Alder’s backdoor, which just failed to connect. It was one of many instances this series where a Gopher was more or less in position, but she couldn’t quite complete the pass or catch the rebound on what otherwise appeared to be a perfect scoring opportunity from the stands.

    Luckily, the passing did occasionally work perfectly. Cameranesi carried the puck up the right side, was accosted by a Husky at the top of the circle. She spun in a circle and passed the puck diagonally back across the ice to Potomak, who then banged it home on the left side at 4:20. Pannek had the second assist. The Gophers continued pressing their advantage and buzzed around St. Cloud’s crease until Potomak nearly scored her second of the night. After that there was a mess at Minnesota’s crease and play was whistled down with goaltender Sidney Peters on her belly covering the puck. The Gophers continued their attack, with notable attempts by Caitlin Reilly and Lindsay Agnew, but they must have gotten too excited and threw too many players on the ice, which they got dinged for at 18:59. Kate Schipper served the penalty for the team.

    The Minnesota penalty expired harmlessly third period, but the Huskies got another chance on the power play when Pannek went for roughing at 1:23. On the penalty Potomak handed the puck off to Piazza and she zipped up the center. Alder lunged for the save, but Piazza swerved around her and tapped the puck in for a short-handed goal at 2:19. Then the penalty expired. Suvi Ollikainen knocked Alex Woken down along the St. Cloud backboards and shortly there after the Huskies were back on the attack after Minnesota misplayed a pass. Then Potomak made a shot from the left side, which Cameranesi tipped in on the right past Alder at 6:58.

    At this point Frost replaced Peters in goal with Serena D’Angelo to give the freshman goalie some hands on experience. A couple minutes later there were Huskies loose in Minnesota’s zone screening D’Angelo, which allowed Kayla Friesen to make a shot from the right side, have it go over the goalie’s shoulder and land in the bottom left corner at 8:38. Hannah Potrykus and Kelsey Saelens had the assists. A minute and a half later play was back around Alder’s crease when Payge Pena broke away with the puck, flew down center ice, and scored unassisted at 10:03.

    The Gophers caused a mess at St. Cloud’s crease. In the resulting chaos the puck slid through the crease, past Alder’s leg, and just barely crossed the goaline before defense fished it out, but it went far enough. Pannek scored her second of the night at 10:56 with Stecklein and Cameranesi getting the assists. Julia Tylke took a slashing penalty at 11:39, which put the Gophers on a solid two minutes of attack, but they couldn’t convert. Third period was most definitely St. Cloud’s best period offensively, both for goals and shots, but they couldn’t score and more and fell to Minnesota 5-2.

    Friday night Minnesota lost their captain to national team obligations—the 4 Nations Cup, which is being held in Finland this year. However, as much as they’ll missed Stecklein, at least Megan Wolfe is back in the line up after being out with an injury. Also of note it was Halloween Night at Ridder Area, so early arrival fans got goalie masks and Goldy ran around in a mask of his own.

    Minnesota had chances right out the gate, though they couldn’t get on goal. Cameranesi made a great falling shot on goal from just outside the crease, but Alder deflected it away as the Gopher landed behind the net with a Husky on top. Later Piazza chased the puck down behind St. Cloud’s goal line on the left side. She passed back to Schipper at the crease corner and she scored on the right side at 11:28. After the goal the Gophers’ play increased in intensity put a lot of shots on goal. Huskies also had a better first period compared to the night before, since they had multiple shots on goal, including one by Kudirka after she streaked up the left side, which went into straight into the gopher on Peters’s chest.

    Second period Huskies got more physical. When Woken when to slap the puck on goal from the crease she got shoved away by the defense. Then Alyssa Erickson took Nicole Shammel down along the backboards with no call. More Minnesota bodies hit the ice as they continued taking shots, though they seemed to mostly go down of their own accord. The Gophers became more protective of Peters in response to the aggressiveness. Patti Marshall zipped across the ice to keep the puck in St. Cloud’s zone and not only traded places with her defensive partner, but also got a shot off the point in the process. Then Julia Tylke, who had shown some fancy stick work in the game, took a hooking penalty at 19:02. During puck cycling on the resulting power play Agnew was body checked in the center of the zone, no call.

    Third period started with Sydney Baldwin making a wrap around Alder’s net, which ended with the puck in the crease, but her teammates couldn’t finish the play. At 3:35 Rachel Herzog went to the box for checking along the boards. On this power play Piazza was tripped by Emma Turbyville at the crease. She was clearly hurt, but eventually got up, skated off on her own, and continued to play in the game.

    Kelsey Cline carried the puck up the right side. She passed left to Potomak, who passed diagonally left to Cameranesi at the crease and she scored at 7:47. Jenna Redford tossed Keller to the ground as she raced for the puck and when Keller went to rejoin play another Husky pushed her toward the boards. Williamson took a tripping penalty at 10:11. The Huskies had a shot that hit Peters and flew straight up into the air, which she then caught and Potomak shoved Tylke out of the crease for getting too close.

    Pena tried to bulldoze her way through Sophie Skarzynski at the Huskies’ blue line and they both went down, since the Gopher wouldn’t get out of her way. The refs sent Skarzynski to the box for tripping at 15:27. During the resulting power play Pena got too close to Peters after she made the save, which meant three Gophers were pushing her away after the whistle. The other two skaters also fell into rank, completing a protective half circle around the goalie. Normally that would be the end of things, but then Erickson jumped a stationary Gopher and it turned into a full on scrum with the rest of the Huskies on the ice rushing in to even the odds. A 16:27 Erickson went to the box for roughing and she easily could have been joined there by a teammate and a Gopher or two.

    With the opened ice from four-on-four play Potomak gets the puck from Marshall at the bottom of the right circle, skates around a couple Huskies, and put a shot on goal. Alder deflected it, but Cameranesi caught the rebound and shoots low to score at 17:49. As the game wound down Agnew grabbed onto Janna Haeg as she carried the puck down the left side and repeatedly hacked at it with her stick before the Gophers eventually regained possession. When the final buzzer sounded the Minnesota won 3-0, completing Peters’s second shut out of the season through great team effort.


    Correction: Intially stated this was Minnesota’s first shut out of the season, but it’s actually the second. They beat Lindenwood 3-0 on September 30th.

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