Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @MSteigauf
Last year St. Cloud State’s women’s hockey team had one of their most successful seasons to date, and it all started with a sweep of an east coast team at home. That is exactly what happened this weekend to start this season too.
The St. Cloud State Huskies started this season with high expectations on Saturday. Not only has the Granite city taken notice, but they have been noticed nationally as well starting the season #13 in both the USCHO and the USA today polls. St. Cloud needed to send a message in their first game of the season against the Union College Garnet Chargers.
The Huskies and Chargers went back and forth for the first ten minutes of the opening period of the season. St. Cloud would get its first chance to use its power play when Union committed back-to-back penalties with eight and six minutes left in the first period. The Huskies power play unit came through almost immediately with Dayle Ross scoring the season’s first goal to put the cardinal and black up 1-0. Near the end of the period St. Cloud was starting buzz around Union’s junior goalie, Sophie Matsoukas. That’s when two familiar names, Addi Scribner and Emma Gentry, connected for the first of what will probably be many goals this season. Scribner delivered a nice saucer pass to Gentry who golfed the puck into the net putting St. Cloud ahead 2-0 after the first period.
In the second the Chargers were playing tough keeping the Huskies from getting too comfortable and it paid off when Dartmouth Transfer CC Bowlby went to the sin bin for roughing giving the Chargers their second powerplay of the year. Union wouldn’t waste any time and sophomore forward Riley Walsh would net her first goal of the season about 45 seconds in to the powerplay cutting the deficit to 2-1. CC Bowlby would shortly make up for the roughing penalty by setting up Huskies’ defender Grace Wolfe’s first goal of the season just a couple of minutes later.
By the third the Huskies seemed to have calmed any nerves they had at the beginning of the game and started connecting on more of their passes. Midway through the final period Gentry would tally her second goal of the game, and that seemed to open the flood gates. New additions Katie Kaufman and Avery Farrell both would net their first goals as Huskies and St. Cloud would cruise to a 6-1 victory.
After an offensive surge in the first game of the season it looked like St. Cloud was due to struggle a bit more in the second game of their series against Union, but some new faces would leave their mark.
St. Cloud got off to a “slow start” according to Head Coach Brian Idalski, but the Huskies found a way to score. midway through the first period St. Cloud would block a shot in their own defensive end springing a 2 on 1 break with Taylor Lind and Klara Hymlarova leaving Union’s goalie Monja Wagner helpless as the Huskies took the 1-0 lead. For the second game in a row the Huskies would score late in the first period to go up 2-0 thanks to Laura Zimmerman cleaning up a rebound by Wagner.
St. Cloud started the second period controlling the puck and keeping the pressure on the chargers. About eight minutes into the middle frame Union took a tripping penalty giving the Huskies another chance to score on the power play. Wagner would stand tall against the Huskies PP unit but with four seconds left in the penalty Ella Annick would net her first goal as a husky and score her team leading 5th point making it a 3-0 game. with about 4 minutes left in the period Dartmouth transfer CC Bowlby would patiently snap a wrister past Wagner for Bowlby’s 50th career point and giving St. Cloud a 4-0 advantage.
In the Third St. Cloud put the game into cruise control letting their defense and Sanni Ahola take suffocating control of the game. By the end of the game Ahola would tally 19 saves and stay perfect completing the first shutout of the season and giving the Huskies their first series sweep of the year.
7 the number of new players that recorded a point in the series that didn’t play for SCSU last year.
6 ties the program record for most goals scored in the first game of the year.
5 total points for defensemen Ella Annick. She leads the team in points.
4 Huskies have three or more points after this weekend.
3 the number of Olympians on St. Cloud’s top line. (Zimmerman, Sundelin, Hymlarova) first time the women’s team has had a line made up solely of Olympians.
2 and 0 is the team’s record after this weekend.
1 Shut out by Sanni Ahola who now has 4 career shutouts for St. Cloud.