The St. Cloud State Women’s hockey team kicked off their season with an exhibition game win on Friday night against the South Korean National Team. The Korean National Team is currently ranked 22nd in the World by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
It’s the third time in the school program that SCSU’s women’s team faced an international competition. The Huskies were 1-1 in the previous two games but moved to 2-1 after Friday’s win.
Eric Rud, the head coach of the Huskies, enters his 4th season at St Cloud State. His overall record as a coach for the Huskies is 30-69-9. His best season as coach came back in 2015-16 when he led the Huskies to a 13-18-4 record and finishing fifth in the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association).
Rud coaches a young Huskies team this season as they have 12 new players. The new players consist of nine freshmen, two transfers, and one red-shirt player. However, the Huskies do have their leading scorer from last season, forward Julia Tylke, who had a total of 12 goals and 20 points on the season.
The Huskies started the game with sophomore goalie Janine Alder in net as all three goalies got to play in tonight’s game and started the first period strong as they went on an early power-play. Last season, Tylke found the back of the net for her first goal of the season. Forward Hanna Potrykus and forward Alyssa Erickson both got assists on the power-play goal.
The South Korean team’s biggest problem during this unique game was the size difference between the two teams’ players. The Huskies had good puck control and dominated the offensive zone as they finished with 18 shots on goal in the first period.
However, Husky defenseman Taylor Wemple picked up a penalty for interference. The Korean team looked good on their power-play and was able to cash in for the equalizer to tie it up 1-1. The goal marks the first goal for the Korean team as they travel the country playing teams in the WCHA.
St. Cloud State really stepped up their pressure on South Korea late in the first period. The offensive pressure of the Huskies led them to their second goal of the night. The goal was scored by defenseman Brittney Anderson with the assists going to forward Kayla Friesen and forward Janna Haeg.
Goaltender Taylor Crosby started in the net for the Huskies in the second period. She was tested early and often during the second period as Korea settled into the game.
Husky forward Ivy Dynek picked up a penalty putting the Korean team back on the power-play. The Korean team would find the back of the net to tie the game. It was a beautiful play, as Korea’s team made a pass from behind the net for a one-timer to beat Crosby.
After giving up the tying goal, the Huskies went on the attack. Tylke had a great opportunity as she was all alone in front of the Korean goalie but missed the net.
The Huskies earned a power-play with their constant pressure as Potrykus cashed in for the Huskies with the power-play goal. She received a pass from Tylke and Anderson who got the assists.
After two periods of play, the Huskies took a 3-2 lead to start the third period. Goaltender Emma Polusny then entered the game to take over the net for the Huskies.
The Huskies came out for the final period with good energy as they earned two quick power-plays. However, they were not able to capitalize on the advantages.
Late in the third period, the Huskies almost lost their lead as they allowed South Korea to get behind their defense and score a goal. But the Korean team was called offside and the goal did not count and it kept the game the game at 3-2 in favor of the Huskies.
After the Huskies dodged a close call, they put the game away with another goal with about three minutes left of the game. Defenseman Hallie Theodosopoulos scored a fourth of the game for the Huskies as teammates Brittney Anderson and Dana Rasmussen picked up the assists.
In the final seconds of play, the South Korea added one more goal, making the final score 4-3, in favor of St. Cloud State.
Overall, the Huskies took control of the game by dominating the puck and zone time, leading to an outcome and a game they’ll never forget. The next game for the Huskies will be their official their home opener on Sept. 29 against the University of Connecticut at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.
Photo courtesy of St. Cloud State Athletics