Coming off the sweep last weekend at the hands of WCHA foe Wisconsin, St. Cloud would try their hands at an out of conference match-up in the Merrimack College Warriors.
The Huskies would look to get the party started, and the party started quickly. Just minutes into the first period St. Cloud would find themselves deep in Merrimack territory. Julia Tylke would center a pass to Brooke Kudirka and she would fire on net, Merrimack goalie Lea-Kristine Demers would give up a juicy rebound back to Kudirka her shot would result in another rebound and defenseman Lauren Hespenheide would attempt to bang it home, but the juiciest rebound of them all would find the stick of Tylke who would finally send the puck home for the first goal of the game. Huskies would lead 1-0.
14:07 into the first period Kayla Friesen would take a hooking penalty that would give Merrimack a power play, but St. Cloud’s defense would stay strong, successfully killing the penalty making sure momentum stayed on their side.
The score would remain 1-0 at the end of the first period.
If some is good, more is better. After a scrum in front of the Huskies net, Tylke would find herself with the puck in her defensive zone and she would do it all herself from there, hitting the jets Tylke would split the defenders in the neutral zone and find herself alone with just the goalie to beat. Tylke would start on her forehand, go to her backhand, and switch back to her forehand completely undressing the goalie and lighting the lamp for her second goal of the game. Assists would belong to Hespenheide and the goalie Janine Alder.
Later in the second the Huskies would win a scrum for the puck on the boards in Merrimack’s zone. Rachel Herzog would have the puck and send it to Jordan Stewart at the point and she would rip a knuckle-puck on net that beat Demers under the glove to extend the Huskies lead to 3.
Jumping to the third, the Huskies would take a penalty and attempt to kill it off, but the Warriors had other ideas. Dominique Kremer would have the puck at the top of the slot and she would fire it on net where it would bounce off a scrimmage in front of the net to a wide open Katelyn Rae and she would bang the puck to get the first goal of the night for the Warriors.
That last goal would give the Warriors life. Another power play opportunity would result in another Warriors power play goal. Kremer would send the puck towards the net, but it would bounce off a defender in front to Annie Boeckers where she would shoot the puck off Alder’s stick, and would go bar down and the Warriors would only be down 3-2.
The Huskies would have enough of that as they would get their own power play chance. Senior forward Kelsey Saelens would win the puck behind the net. Saelens would send it to Hespenheide at the blue line and she would cycle it to Junior defenseman Brittney Anderson, and her one-timer blast would buy the Huskies some insurance. St. Cloud would hold on from there and take the final by a score of 4-2.
Tylke would lead the Huskies with two goals on the evening, Hespenheide would lead the team with 3 points, all coming on assists.
And that would be enough as the Huskies got their first victory of the season (1-2, 0-2). Freshman goalie Alder would get her first career victory allowing only two goals on 26 shots as a Husky in her first start in net. The Huskies will look to add to their win total tomorrow against the Merrimack Warriors to cap the weekend series.
Photo by Maddie MacFarlane