By: Joey Erickson
After a dominating 4-2 victory in game 1, St. Cloud State returned to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center Saturday afternoon to wrap up their opening weekend series against the Lindenwood Lions.
The Huskies saw a much more prepared Lindenwood team in the early stages of the first period than a day prior. Back and forth play led to a plethora of chances for both sides. Lots of adjustments were made by both coaches from game one to two, but none more apparent than the goalies. St. Cloud went with Sophomore Sanni Ahola and the Lions sent out Julia Maguire. Both goaltenders had strong starts, but the first opportunity would go to St. Cloud State via a tripping penalty on Meagen Wagner of the Lions. With the most lethal player in the box for Lindenwood, SCSU took advantage. Junior Olivia Cvar drew first blood for St. Cloud, after her initial wrist shot was punched away by Maguire right back to her, she one timed the rebound into the top corner to give SCSU a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period was very competitive but no other goals were allowed and St. Cloud State held the advantage into the middle frame.
Lindenwood came out in the 2nd with a better pace and started winning a lot more battles than the Huskies. Those battles won, led to an odd man rush with a dangerous player with the puck on her stick. Wagner came down the right wing, picked her spot and nailed the near side corner on Ahola to tie the game at one. That was Wagner’s 3rd career goal against the Huskies in four games. It became more chippy and intense as the period continued and that led to four penalties between the two sides. Huskies had 3 opportunities on the man advantage, but this time Lindenwood was able to neutralize St. Clouds power play units mostly due to their goaltender Maguire. Then in the final minute of the period, chaos ensued which at one point was in favor of the Huskies, and quickly turned against them. A shot from the blue line by Mckenna Wesloh was redirected in front by Taylor Lind who picked up her first goal of the year after picking up 3 assists on Friday night. Just after the Huskies thought they would take a one goal advantage to the third, 16 seconds later the Lions would find the equalizer. Jada Burke would copy Lind with a deflection off the shot of Teagen Heslip to tie the game at 2 heading to the 3rd.
The 3rd period would prove to be a dog fight and it was only a matter of time before one team would find the back of the net. That team would be St. Cloud State, a shot from the point by Taytum Geier wasn’t handled by Maguire, the rebound fell right out in front where Mackenzie Bourgerie was awaiting and swept into the back of the net to grab the lead back for St. Cloud (3-2). It may have been a one goal game for the majority of the period but the Huskies were dominating in every facet of the game. Lindenwood struggled to get good looks at the net with the great discipline of St. Cloud. As time winded down, the Lions would pull the goalie for the extra attacker, but the Huskies kept winning faceoffs and escaping the pressure by sending pucks to neutral ice. One of those pucks was sent down the ice by Wesloh, and what looked to be an icing by St. Cloud, the rubber disc took a right turn and came to its final resting place in the empty net. The fourth and final goal of the game would deliver a 4-2 victory for St. Cloud and complete the opening weekend sweep of Lindenwood. Huskies are 2-0 to open the season while the Lions drop to 0-4.
St. Cloud State will be on the road next week for their first WCHA series of the year against #1 University of Wisconsin on Oct. 9 and 10. That game can be heard on 97.5 Radio X or 975radiox.com. Sam Goetzinger and Rachel Herzog will be on the call.