Saturday marked the 12th annual Hockey Day Minnesota, an event put on my the Minnesota Wild in conjunction with broadcast partner Fox Sports North. The all-day hockey celebration traveled around to various sites around the state of Minnesota from Baudette Bay on Lake of the Woods, to Holman Field in St. Paul. This year’s Hockey Day took place in city of St. Cloud, on the shores of Lake George, and featured two boys high school hockey games, a Division-I women’s college hockey game, a St. Cloud State University alumni game, and finally a Minnesota Wild game to cap off the day of festivities.
St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders vs St. Cloud HS Bulldogs
St. Cloud Cathedral pulled away in the third period to rout the Bulldogs 8-3. Sophomore forward Jack Smith notched a hat trick and added an assist for a 4-point game for Cathedral. Blake Perbix had a goal and 3 assists, including a great breakaway goal where he went forehand to backhand around Bulldogs goalie Soren Falloon.
The game was a back-and-forth affair as both teams matched each other goal for goal through 33 and a half minutes. That’s when Jack Smith scored his second of the game with just 18.5 seconds remaining in the period. The Crusaders didn’t look back. Jacob Savoie scored just seven seconds into the third period.
Noah Bissett had a goal and assist for St. Cloud in the losing effort.
University of Minnesota Duluth vs St. Cloud State University (Women’s game)
In the second game if Saturday’s action, it was the SCSU Huskies hosting the UMD Bulldogs on the outdoor ice at Lake George. The Huskies broke open the scoring with a wrist shot that eluded the Johnson, the Bulldogs goalie, to the glove side. Hallie Theodosopolous was the trigger on that wicked wrister. The first period wrapped up with a Huskies 1-0 lead, but the game had sharply turned the way of the Bulldogs.
Minnesota Duluth put on all kinds of pressure on SCSU netminder Emma Polusny. In the second period, she showed great lateral movement and made some incredible saves as the Bulldog power play peppered the net. The Bulldogs would finally tie the score as Eden Prairie native Naomi Rogge got one past Polusny. She took the puck at the center red line wide into the Husky zone and found just enough space short side.
The Bulldogs had so many great looks at the net that missed the net as well. The game could certainly have been more lopsided had UMD connected on their chances. As for SCSU, they had all kinds of issues owning the puck. Entering the third period, shots were 33-13 in favor of the Bulldogs. It was Polusny’s and Janine Alder’s combined effort in net that kept the game tied through regulation and overtime.
The game would officially go down as a tie after the conclusion of overtime, but would need a shootout to decided the winner. Each goaltender would turn away the opposition in the shootout. SCSU would beat Johnson glove side twice in a row, but would be denied by and unforgivable crossbar. One even went off the crossbar, went off the back of Johnson, and then trickled wide. Senior captain Brittney Anderson would score the loan goal in the shootout and give the Huskies the big, big win on Hockey Day Minnesota.
Moorhead Spuds vs Centennial Cougars
Moorhead and Centennial were deadlocked at 2 goals apiece at the end of regulation. The Spuds dominated the first period by racking up 11 shots to Centennial’s 7 and also scoring two goals. Cole O’Connell opened the scoring, while Kyler Kleven notched the 2nd of the game. It was an entertaining game that went until the final minute of overtime to see a winner.
The Cougars came roaring back in a penalty-filled second period. On a Spuds power play, William Francis of Centennial got one back just under three minutes into the period with a short-handed tally. Hayden Brickner then shortly tied the game for the Cougars on the power play.
The story here was the goaltending of Cougars netminder Bryce Crowley. Travis Allen started the game and gave up 2 goals on 15 shots. Allen finished with 25 and half minutes of playing time. Crowley came in and was perfect, stopping a Spuds barrage as he carried the Cougars into overtime. That was until Carter Randklev found himself alone in front of the Cougar net with 38 seconds left in the game. All Randklev had to do was not miss. He didn’t.
It was another solid set of games in another great setting in Minnesota. The Granite City can be proud of the day they put on for Minnesota’s annual celebration of hockey.