St. Cloud State women’s hockey opened their season with a 4-3 victory in an exhibition game against the Minnesota Whitecaps at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center Saturday.
After a difficult season last year, the huskies got to start their 2015-2016 season off on the right foot against one of the top women’s hockey teams in the country.
The game started on the slow side, only seeing one goal scored through the first two periods. Vanessa Spataro lit the lamp at 12:55 of the first period, assisted by Christa Moody and Lauren Hespenheide. Breaking the tie, Whitecap’s Winny Brown scored just over two minutes into the third period, starting a flurry of goals to come. The Whitecaps then took the game lead 2-1 at 6:19 of the third.
Quickly feeling the heat, the huskies got a sudden rush, scoring two goals in 17 seconds at 10:15 and 10:32 of the third period. The first was a power play goal by Molly Illikainen, assisted by Tylke and Makaric. The next was scored by freshmen forward Suvi Ollikainen, assisted by Illikainen and Tylke, giving the Huskies a 1-goal lead.
Freshman husky Hannah Potrykus ended up scoring the game winner at 12:48 of the third period. The Whitecaps made one final effort, pulling their goalie and scoring with less than a minute to go in the final period. Unable to come up with another, the Whitecaps fell 4-3 against the Huskies.
In goal, the game time was split between veteran goalie Katie Fitzgerald and freshman Taylor Crosby. Fitzgerald earned a shutout in her 30:30 minutes of play, making 16 saves. Crosby finished out the game in goal for the huskies making 19 saves.
Seeing a few various penalties throughout the game, SCSU was 1-2 on the power play and the Whitecaps went 0-2 on the one-person advantage.
SCSU will play their next game in North Andover, Mass. against Merrimack College on Oct. 2.
Photo by Maddie MacFarlane