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Illikainen’s hat trick ignites offense in tie verus North Dakota

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Women's focused their energy and stepped up their game against North Dakota Saturday, tying 4-4. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane.
Women’s hockey focused their energy and stepped up their game against North Dakota Saturday, tying 4-4. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane.

The women’s hockey team (2-5-1, 0-5-1 WCHA) showed the potential they have in a heart breaking 4-4 tie against North Dakota (5-1-2, 3-1-2 WCHA). The Huskies were finally able to score in conference play after struggling to in their past couple games. SCSU came out strong in all facets of the game, scoring early in the first period on a breakaway goal by #12 Molly Illikainen, which would be the first of her three goals on the night.

The second period saw a fierce back and forth battle. Tensions peaked about half way through the second with a fight in front of the SCSU goal. North Dakota came on strong towards the end of the period, but the Huskies were able to keep a goal advantage, going up 2-1 as they entered the third period.

The Huskies came out hot to start the third with Illikainen completing her hat trick with a score at the 18:54 mark. The Huskies would add one more goal before North Dakota decided to pull their goalie around the eight minute mark. SCSU was unable to get out of their defensive zone and North Dakota went on to score three straight goals. The tying goal came with 10.1 seconds left. The huskies would go on to win the shoot out after North Dakota missed four straight attempts and SCSU made their fourth attempt.

The Huskies put in an impressive effort Saturday evening and showed they have the potential to be a force in the WCHA. The SCSU women’s hockey team will try to continue to improve on their successes when they travel to Bemidji State (6-2-2, 3-2-1) next weekend.

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