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Minnesota Beats St. Cloud in “Non-Conference” Match Up

Gopher Women’s Hockey bests Huskies 2-1.

Minnesota and St. Cloud skaters skating along the corner boards as they chase the puck at Ridder Arena.
Patti Marshall races Rachel Herzog as they chase for the puck.
Cat Lenander

Tuesday night Minnesota hosted St. Cloud State in a non-conference match. From the moment Nicole Schammel’s shot pinged off the post less than a minute into the game the Gophers were on the attack. Kippin Keller and Cara Piazza made a concerted effort along the left side, but goaltender Emma Polusny simply batted the puck away. That started a frenzy in the St. Cloud zone, but didn’t generate a lot of shots, as the Gophers kept attempting last second passes—which never seemed to connect—instead of directly shooting on goal.

However, Minnesota did eventually decide to simply shoot on goal, and outshot St. Cloud 12-1 first period, which reflected the amount of time they spent buzzing Polusny. The Keller, Piazza-Lindsay Agnew line generaled some especially stellar chances. Taylor Wemple downed Grace Zumwinkle along the Huskies’ backboards and fell on top of her, without a call. Then a little later Zumwinkle swooped down along the right side and shot on goal, hitting Polusny and the post, but Katie Robinson caught the rebound and banged the puck home at 15:59. Abby Thiessen went for hooking at 17:08 and Taylor Wente nearly scored on the power play, but the penalty eventually expired.

Minnesota’s goaltender, Sidney Peters, barely had anything to do first period, but Huskies made her work second period. In fact they outshot Minnesota for third quarters of the period. The most important save came after lateral passing worked for St. Cloud and Peters had to slide across the crease to block Kayla Friesen’s close up shot on the left side. Keller had a shot from the left side, which Polusny snatched out of the air with her glove then on a point shot a little later Polusny nearly pushed the puck into goal with her skate when she couldn’t see where it landed. Caitlin Reilly caught Julia Tylke with her stick and knocked her down, which sent Reilly to the box for tripping at 19:24. On the penalty kill Piazza had a breakaway down center ice and scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 19:43 by hitting the top of the net with the puck as it went into goal.

Minnesota still had the rest of the penalty to deal with and killed it third period after Alex Woken also attempted a shortie. Gophers caused a mess at St. Cloud’s crease and Polusny had to lunge, flail, and roll to keep the puck out. Wente went for slashing at 3:21, but neither team converted. Then Tylke had a turn in the box for holding at 6:42. On this power play a Gopher made a point shot, which Polusny tried to block, but the puck got past her into the net. The goal was waved off immediately due to a high stick and the Huskies eventually killed the penalty.

Emily Brown grabbed onto Jordan Stewart and hauled her down, which earned her a holding penalty at 10:52. The Huskies cycled the puck a lot and eventually Brittney Anderson fired straight into Peter’s upraised glove. Even after the power play expired for them St. Cloud still had some pep in their step. Tylke flew up the right side and put the puck into the top left pocket of the goal at 13:21, putting the Huskies within one. Emma Turbyvilla had the lone assist. This goal killed Minnesota’s offensive output as they went into something of a lockdown, while the Huskies rabidly attacked. Peters was the only reason St. Cloud didn’t pull into the lead as she blocked a couple of fantastic shots. Despite their best efforts, the Huskies couldn’t find the back of the net again and Minnesota beat St. Cloud 2-1, with total shots 29-14 also in their favor.