Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @Max_Steigauf
Heading into Friday the St. Cloud State Huskies were looking to flip the script from being the hunted to the hunter. The Huskies would face the St. Thomas Tommies after facing the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes, The #4 Wisconsin Badgers, and the #2 Minnesota Golden Gophers to open up WCHA play.
Game one would be in Mendota Heights at the the St. Thomas Ice Arena. The Huskies would control the puck for a majority of the first period which would become a trend through out the series. St. Cloud out shot St. Thomas 8-1 in the first period, but Tommies Goaltender Saskia Mauerer stone walled the Huskies’ offense in the first period.
In the second period the Huskies continued to pepper Mauerer until midway through the second period St. Cloud’s Alternate Captain Klara Hymlarova let loose a howitzer off the face off to give the Huskies their first goal of the weekend. About three minutes later Jenniina Nylund would cut to the center of the crease and flip a backhand shot between the legs of Mauerer to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. Just two minutes after their second goal the Huskies would be on the powerplay. Once again Klara Hymlarova would rocket a puck in and out of the net. Originally the refs called off the goal, but after a quick review the referees would overturn their ruling giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead. St. Cloud wasnt done with scoring in the second period however, Avery Meyers would net her first goal in a Huskies Sweater to give the cardinal and black a 4-0 lead with 3 minutes and 26 seconds left in the second period. This was the first time the Huskies would tally four goals in a period since February 5, 2021, against Minneosta State.
By the third period the Huskies were eyeing to shutout the Tommies and win their first WCHA game this year. The Tommies would net their one and only goal of the game five minutes into the third. It would be the only blemish on Huskies’ goalie Sanni Ahola’s night. The Huskies would be able to cruise for the rest of the third period and capture a 4-1 win.
The win was the first for the Huskies in the WCHA this year. St. Cloud outshot the Tommies 31-14. The Huskies also had five players end the game with a point. (Jenniina Nylund 3 pts, Klara Hymlarova 2 pts, Allie Cornelius 1 pt, Avery Meyers 1 pt, Bailey Burton1 pt) Sanni Ahola ended the game with 13 saves and a .929 save percentage.
In game two the Huskies looked to sweep the Tommies for the first time since the St. Thomas made the jump to division one. The Huskies would also have the advantage of being at home to go for the sweep.
The Huskies picked up right where they left off in game one. Jenniina Nylund would find the back of the net after receiving a centering pass by Olivia Cvar. Late in the first period the Huskies’ Klara Hymlarova would take a puck off the inside of her knee. Hymlarova would struggle to get back to the bench, and it looked like the Czech native may not come back into the game.
49 seconds into the second period Klara Hymlarova would score on a break sprung by Bailey Burton. It was Hymlarova’s third goal of the weekend. Midway through the second the Huskies would score again. Addi Scribner took a shot and Emma Gentry would deflect the puck into the back of the net to extend St. Cloud’s lead to 3-0.
By the third period the Huskies were once again looking for a shutout. Entering the third period Huskies’ Goaltender Jojo Chobak had faced 18 total shots and stopped all of them. The Huskies defense made sure that they would get the shutout in game two totaling ten blocks as a team and Taytum Geier would block three shots by herself. The Huskies would score one final goal late in the third period off the stick of Emma Gentry again with less than 30 seconds left. This was the final nail in the coffin as the Huskies would sweep the Tommies with a 4-0 win in game 2. It would also be Chobak’s second shutout of the season.
The sweep was St. Cloud’s first WCHA sweep since November 6 and 7 when they beat the Mavericks at home last year. Five Huskies ended the series with multiple points (Nylund 4 pts, Hymlarova 3 pts, Burton 2 pts, Gentry 2 pts, and Scribner 2 pts) The Huskies are now 4-6-0 overall this season and 2-6 in WCHA play. The Huskies now will play against the Bemidji State Beavers this weekend in Bemidji.