It would be a tough test for the St. Cloud State Huskies right off the bat to start the season, a battle against USCHO’s number one team, the Wisconsin Badgers. The Huskies were swept by the Badgers last season, being outscored 13 to zero in four games.
Things started off slow with both teams showing some rust after the time during the off-season. St. Cloud would attempt to strike first getting a shot on goal against Badger netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens, who would be a brick wall all game long.
The Badgers would get the last laugh however, when a centering pass from Sarah Nurse to Sydney McKibbon, who would rip a shot that would find twine – putting the Badgers up 1-0 in the first. St. Cloud goaltender Madeleine Dahl would do her best to stand on her head and keep the Huskies in the game, until one fateful face off. The draw would be in the Huskies zone on the right circle, McKibbon would win the draw and return the favor to Nurse who would skate right into the slot and with a wide open shooting lane would go top shelf where grandma hides the cookies to extend the Badger lead to two heading into intermission.
The second period would be more of the same as the Badgers would score early and often. 1:48 into the second, Abby Roque would get one passed Dahl for a 3-0 lead. 38 seconds later, Baylee Wellhausen would put the Badgers up 4-0. The Huskies would get their chance to come back in the game when they would draw a hooking penalty to give the red and black a power play opportunity, but they would be unable to capitalize.
Wisconsin would strike again for the fifth time. A shot from the top of the left circle would be deflected and the puck would fall right to Sophia Shaver’s stick, right in front of the crease. Dahl would get a piece of it but the puck would trickle a few inches past the goal line and the Badgers would head into the second intermission with a 5-0 lead after the Huskies would be unable to convert another power play opportunity.
The third period would begin with the Huskies on yet another power play and it would be the same old same old for St. Cloud as the Wisconsin defense would not let up, refusing to concede a goal. Baylee Wellhausen would score her second goal of the night to cap off the scoring going five hole on Dahl after the puck would find its way out from behind the net. The Huskies were out shot on the evening 34-16 as they would drop the season opener against WCHA rival Wisconsin, with a final score of 6-0.
Photo by Maddie MacFarlane