Women’s Hockey Sweeps Mankato

SCSU’s Molly Illikainen put the Huskies up 2-0, scoring her second goal of the game Saturday. Photo by Maddie MacFarlane.

The St. Cloud State Huskies (4-7-1, 2-7-1 WCHA) earn a 4-2 victory against the Mankato Mavericks (2-11-1, 0-10-0 WCHA) for their first WCHA sweep of the season.

Saturday’s game started quickly with senior forward, Molly Illikainen, putting a goal on the scoreboard just 51 seconds into the first period. A few minutes later, she lit the lamp again to put the huskies up 2-0. Julia Tylke assisted on the first goal, and Payge Pena had the assist on the second.

First-year Julia Tylke scored SCSU’s third goal of the game halfway through the first period, assisted by Pena and Illikainen. Mankato was able to get on the board at the end of the first, Huskies taking a 3-1 lead going into the second period of the game.

Again, during the first minute of play in the period, SCSU was able to find the back of the net. Lauren Hespenheide with that goal and Lexi Slattery picking up the assist. A few minutes later, the Mavericks were once again able to put the puck past SCSU senior goaltender, Katie Fitzgerald. Although opportunities were had, both teams were scoreless through the rest of the second period and the third. The final score was 4-2 with the Huskies coming out on top.

The weekend sweep marked the first that the St. Cloud State women’s team has had at home since the 2011/2012 season, according to scsuhuskies.com. Well deserved after the battle against Mankato, Fitzgerald stopping 27 of 29 shots on goal.

The team is back at home in the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center next weekend facing off against Ohio State. Both games begin at 3:07 p.m., with the men’s hockey games to follow in their series against North Dakota.

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