Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @MSteigauf
Huskies prove they are close to #1 ranked Wisconsin but couldn’t find a win over the weekend against the top ranked Badgers.
The Huskies came out and played their best hockey of the season against the Badgers in the first period of game one. St. Cloud would be rewarded for their hard effort with Svenja Voigt notching her first goal of the season to give SCSU a 1-0 lead. It was the second time all season the Badgers didn’t score first.
Later on, in the first period the Huskies would commit a couple of penalties to give the lethal Badgers power play a chance. Wisconsin converted on both opportunities. Within a three-minute span the Huskies went from leading by one to going into the first intermission down one.
The second period would start by both teams going back and forth. Nearly midway through the period Avery Myers would wrist a shot on Jane Gervais. Gervais would kick the puck away giving up a rebound for Alice Sauriol. The puck would bounce off Sauriol’s leg and tie the game at two.
The good feelings didn’t last very long though. Less than a minute later Kirsten Simms would give the lead back to Wisconsin. The game would return to its back-and-forth seesaw until with about six minutes left Ava Murphy rung the iron with a deadly shot. Once again, the Huskies would head into the locker room down this time 4-2.
The third period started with the Huskies control the puck for most of the time. St. Cloud would test Gervais but weren’t able to get one past her. After a Badger Penalty the Huskies would get a chance to tie the game with a power play goal. SCSU got a couple of good looks, but once again were denied in the end.
Near the end of the game St. Cloud would pull Sanni Ahola. The Huskies got more good looks but like most of the game they would be frustratingly turned away. The Badgers would take game one 4-2, but it set up for an intriguing game two.
In game two there was no feeling out period. Three minutes into the game Laila Edwards would give the Badgers a 1-0 lead. Shortly after that Badger’s defender Vivan Jungels would hand the Huskies a two-minute power play for holding. St. Cloud wasted no time scoring eight seconds into the power play to tie the game. Katie Kaufman netted her third goal as a Husky with Emma Gentry and Klara Hymlarova both getting assists.
Once again Wisconsin would start the period strong scoring in the opening two minutes to regain their lead. The Huskies started to get hemmed into their own defensive zone throughout the second period, but St. Cloud started blocking as many shots as possible. By the end of the second period the Huskies had six blocked shots in the middle frame alone.
Near the end of the second period captain Taylor Lind would snap a shot just wide of the net bouncing the puck off the boards behind the Wisconsin goalie. Once again, Alice Sauriol was in the right place at the right time. Sauriol collected the rebound from the boards and stuffed the puck past McNaughton to tie the game at two with less than a minute left.
The Huskies survived an early flurry by the Badgers to start the third. St. Cloud would then get a chance to take the lead when Kelly Gorbatenko would go to the penalty box for the Badgers. St. Cloud would move the puck well again but couldn’t cash in. The Huskies got another chance on the power play later in the period, however they once again were turned away.
With about six minutes left St. Cloud’s Klara Hymlarova would get hurt in the Huskies defensive zone. As play continued the Huskies would get called for having too many players on the ice with Hymlarova still down on the other end of the rink. The Badgers NCAA leading power play would go to work and prove to be the difference again with Casey O’Brian netting the game winner. St. Cloud would pull Jojo Chobak to try and score with an extra attacker. Wisconsin would take full advantage of the vacant net potting two empty net goals to make the final score 5-2.
Huskies played very well against the #1 ranked team in the nation and the scores don’t accurately reflect how tight this series was. Both Sanni Ahola and Jojo Chobak were awesome for St. Cloud making multiple game saving saves.
St. Cloud has the week off this week. Their next game will be a home and home series against the St. Thomas Tommies. Friday’s game is at 6 PM in Mendota Heights and Saturday’s game is set for 1 PM at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Friday’s Game can be heard on 97.5 RadioX and Saturday’s Game will be another hockey double header on 88.1 KVSC.