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Minnesota Crushed St. Cloud 5-1 to Win First Minnesota Cup

Minnesota beat St. Cloud 5-1 to win the first Minnesota Cup.

Taytum Geier (#16) skating for St. Cloud against Minnesota during the 2019 Minnesota Cup championship.
Cat Lenander

Minnesota faced St. Cloud State in the first Minnesota Cup championship. Amy Potomak nearly scored in the first minute, but hit the pipe instead. Kelly Pannek nearly managed a tic-tac-toe goal with her line mate, but a Husky defender stopped her from completing the play. Then Nicole Schammel made a left point shot into traffic, which Taylor Wente deflected past Janine Alder into goal at 4:16. Emily Brown had the second assist. A little later Emily Oden carried the puck down the right side, made a short lateral pass to Taylor Heise at the inner edge of the right circle, and Heise shot the puck into the open far side of goal at 5:51. Crystalyn Hengler had the second assist.

Gophers celebrating Taylor Wente’s (#28) goal.
Cat Lenander

Minnesota stayed on the attack until Catie Skaja took a delayed hooking penalty that kicked in at 8:56. St. Cloud had some solid attempts on goal, but were unable to convert on their power play. Minnesota had equally poor luck on a power play of their own when Taylor Wemple went for roughing at 11:27. Potomak flew down the right side and shot the puck into Alder’s logo. Both the Huskies and the Gophers had another extended flurry before the period ended, but the score did not change again.

The Gophers continued to box the Huskies in as they put shots on Alder. The referees called a tripping penalty on Gracie Ostertag, but it was delayed fourteen seconds until goaltender Sydney Scobee got a grip on the puck at 4:50. It harmlessly expired two minutes later. Julia Tylke earned a roughing minor at 7:04. On the power play Heise made a lateral pass to Schammel at the right circle, who immediately put a shot on goal that Grace Zumwinkle tipped into the back of the net at 8:36. A minute later Abby Thiessen made a shot from the right circle that slipped between Scobee and the post into goal at 9:32. Laura Kluge assisted.

Gophers celebrating another goal.
Cat Lenander

Minnesota spent the rest of the period making solid plays as they tried to increase the gap. A left point shot from Brown that went just wide of goal. Then Skaja passed from behind the goal line to Pannek at the crease for a quick shot that Alder denied. Brown received an interference penalty at 17:05 and on the resulting power play Kluge made a right circle slap shot into Scobee’s glove, but that was the closest either team came to scoring again in the period.

Taylor Williamson flew up the left side, shot from the circle, and Zumwinkle redirected the puck into goal as she fell 48 seconds into third period. Sophie Skarzynski had the second assist. Jenniina Nylund carried the puck into Minnesota’s zone all on her own and shot into Scobee’s chest. Skaja made a break away attempt. Then Nylund zoomed across the blue line with two Gophers hot on her heels and sent the three of them crashing into the net, knocking it off its moorings. The Huskies created more chances, but play was primarily in their zone with Minnesota getting the better shots. Zumwinkle nearly tipped in her third goal when the puck came off the backboards, but couldn’t seal the deal.

The Gophers delayed Wemple’s cross-checking penalty thirty seconds as they skated around St. Cloud’s zone and it finally started at 12:44 and then expired two minutes later. When St. Cloud pulled Alder at 17:24 the extra skater helped the Huskies cause chaos in Minnesota’s zone and Hannah Potrykus briefly lost her stick under Scobee. That empty net was a great target and after Katie Robinson fed her the puck, Heise netted her second of the game at 18:21. Alder was returned to goal until the final whistle. Minnesota won 5-1 after outshooting St. Cloud 50-23 and earned the first Minnesota Cup.