The St. Cloud State women’s hockey team (5-11-1, 4-8-1-1 WCHA) took on No. 4 Minnesota Duluth’s (11-3-3, 8-3-2) for a weekend WCHA series at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Friday night, the Duluth Bulldogs defensive core dominated the ice and kept the Huskies at bay in a 3-0 shutout loss for SCSU.
The score remained 0-0 going into the second, but that is when the Bulldogs would start to get some momentum going. About seven minutes into the period UMD senior forward Ashleigh Brykaliuk got the first goal past SCSU’s goaltender Janine Alder. A few minutes later Maria Lindh extended the lead 2-0 for the Bulldogs.
The Huskies went 0-3 on the power play in Friday’s game, struggling to capitalize on the few goal chances they were able to get. The Huskies played well in the third, out-shooting UMD 6-5, but were unable to put the puck past Duluth’s goaltender. The score was sealed with an empty net goal, ending the game at 3-0. Freshman goaltender Janine Alder made her 11th-straight start and turned away 19 shots in the loss.
The Huskies were ready to turn things around in Saturday’s game; breaking UMD’s weekend shutout hopes was SCSU senior defenseman Caroline Markstrom who put the Huskies up 1-0 just under six minutes into the first period. Duluth pushed back on SCSU’s momentum with a tie goal by UMD Rookie Brooklynn Schugel with just over a minute of play left in the first period.
Duluth then continued to dominate the game, not only on the scoreboard but also in puck possession. UMD put up three unanswered goals in an 11:07 span between the end of the first and the halfway point of the second. Going into the third, shots-on-goal was 22-6 Duluth.
SCSU once again battled hard in the third period, looking to find a comeback in Saturday’s game. Senior forward Lauren Hespenheide led this fight, putting the Huskies at a one goal deficit with 12:02 yet to play. St. Cloud put the pressure on UMD’s goaltender Maddie Rooney, out-shooting UMD 13-6 in the final period, even with an extra attacker for about the last two minutes of play.
Unable to find that tying goal, the Huskies fell to Duluth 3-2. Janine Alder again got the starting position as goaltender for the Huskies, stopping 25 of 28 shots.
The St. Cloud State women will seek to turnaround their four-game win drought next weekend when the Huskies are on the road at North Dakota. Game time is 2:07 p.m. both days in Grand Forks, N.D.
Photos by Maddie MacFarlane