Max Steigauf / Sports Director / @MSteigauf
After an historic year on the ice the St. Cloud State Women’s hockey team had a remarkable offseason thanks in large part to the transfer portal.
The Huskies are getting a total of six skaters from the portal (4 forwards, 2 defenders) that totaled 83 points last season (41 goals, and 42 assists) in 199 games (.41 Points per game). Among the six transfers three of them lead their team in scoring last year, and all six of the transfers heading to the Granite City next fall are Minnesota natives.
Who is Joining the Pack?
Ella Anick Junior (Defender) Bemidji State (2-5-7)
Ella Anick is coming to St. Cloud from Bemidji State after her sophomore year. The Hermantown native was one of the few offensive bright spots for the Beavers last season scoring two goals and five assists for a total of seven points. Those seven points were enough to rank her in the top three of scorers for the Beavers. Anick is not shy when it comes to forcing action and fits more of an offensive defender archetype, but she also found ways to get in front of pucks, blocking 47 shots which was second on the team. After leading the WCHA in blocked shots last year, it looks like Coach Idalski is looking to keep having his defense get out in front of scoring chances.
Taylor Larson Junior (Defender) Bemidji State (0-0-0)
While the scoring numbers aren’t as gaudy as her D partner Anick, Taylor Larson led the Beavers in Blocked shots last year with 56 blocks. As mentioned before the Huskies defense put a high priority on getting in front of shots last season and Larson can easily come in and help the Huskies. It also should help Larson that her teammate came over to St. Cloud in what Anick said was a “Package deal” in an interview with the Rinklive’s Mick Hatten. Having that familiarity could help the Huskies blue line recover after losing Mckenna Wesloh and Taytum Geier this past year. Some Huskies fans might remember Larson after she suffered a scary injury near her bench at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Hockey Day Minnesota. Luckily for St. Cloud it looks like the Brainerd native is healthy and doesn’t harbor any ill will towards the school.
Maddy Peterson Graduate Student (Forward) RPI (6-0-6)
Peterson adds even more scoring to the Huskies’ lineup. Maddy totaled the second most goals for RPI. She also has increased her goal totals in each of her last three years. Not only does she add a good scoring touch she also rarely takes penalties averaging just four penalties in her last three seasons. Peterson is also the first player on this list that was one of the top scorers at her east coast team, something that was a theme for the Huskies. Another theme for St. Cloud was bringing Minnesota talent back to the North Star state, and Peterson is no exception either. Peterson grew up in Princeton Minnesota. Peterson scored 50+ points in her last two seasons with the Princeton Tigers
Avery Farrell Sophomore (Forward) Franklin Pierce University (12-16-28)
Farrell exploded on to the collegiate scene in her first year. Avery, another Minnesota native from Ostego Minnesota, led Franklin Pierce in scoring last year with 28 points. Farrell’s 28 points was good enough to land her in the top ten for scoring in the NEWHA. Farrell also took home all-conference honors in her freshman year as well. It will be interesting to see how she progresses as a player in year two in a new conference. Look out for Farrell to be a corner stone of the program for the next handful of years.
CC Bowlby Graduate Student (Forward) Dartmouth (10-9-19)
Bowlby created a lot of scoring opportunities for the Big Green last year culminating in a career high 19 points. The Edina native was awarded Dartmouth’s offensive MVP last year leading the Big Green in both goals and assists. Bowlby scored in two thirds of her games last year, if she can keep that pace up St. Cloud will definitely score more than the average 2 goals, they had last year. Bowlby has the ability to be plugged into any line and produce offense immediately, a luxury the Huskies’ need in a stacked WCHA conference.
Katie Kaufman Graduate Student (Forward) Merrimack (11-12-23)
The Huskies managed to lure one of Merrimack’s captains back to Minnesota. Kaufman led the Warriors in both assists and points. Kaufman, who is originally from Lake Elmo, is another scoring machine that gives Idalski options when setting up a lineup. Katie also had 3 power play goals last season and could give the Huskies some extra juice to their power play which was near the middle of the WCHA last year. Kaufman adds a lot of speed to a St. Cloud team that struggled last year on an Olympic sized ice sheet.
The Huskies managed to not only fill the holes that popped up with players leaving but actually upgraded in some big spots. The Huskies last year had a tough time winning at home because of a lack of speed and depth in areas, but Idalski shored up the forward core in the offseason. St. Cloud also did a good job getting a handful of players that have more than one year left of eligibility left. That makes these additions that much more valuable in helping to build a program and a culture heading into its second year under a new head coach. With the incoming freshmen and transfers the team will have much more depth than it did last year. St. Cloud ran into problems midway through the season last year with several injuries to key players making it difficult to fill out the bench during several big games last year. Another big get for St. Cloud was the defensive pair from Bemidji (Larson and Anick) The two skaters combined for a total of 103 blocked shots. Not only do they fit the defensive model the Huskies are looking for, but they also already are an established pair that have chemistry which can go a long way to being integrated into the lineup.
While the Huskies brought in a lot of established talent in, they still will have to earn their spot on the roster with 13 returning players from last year and a freshman class of nine coming in. Ultimately, only time will tell how these transfers help the up-and-coming St. Cloud State Women’s Hockey team.