Gophers host St. Cloud State at Ridder to open WCHA play

The Huskies finished last in the conference in 2010-11, but head coach Brad Frost said he isn’t taking them lightly.

by Samuel Gordon

St. Cloud State is coming off a terrible season.

The Huskies womenâÄôs hockey team was 1-33-1 a year ago and finished last in the WCHA.

Despite SCSUâÄôs ineptitude, Minnesota head coach Brad Frost is preparing the No. 4 Gophers for their weekend matches against the Huskies as he would for any other WCHA opponent.

âÄúTheyâÄôve got good team speed, theyâÄôre a hard-working team,âÄù Frost said. âÄúAnytime we play any team in the WCHA, regardless of their record in the past or their record this year, we need to be at our best.âÄù

Minnesota is off to a 2-0 start in 2011 after handling Union and Syracuse last weekend in the East-West Showcase. The Gophers outscored their opponents 10-1 in the two wins.

The 1-1 Huskies also played at the East/West Showcase. They fell to Syracuse 2-1, but defeated Union 4-1.

Frost said a pair of victories against SCSU would be a great way to start the WCHA season.

âÄúAnytime we go into a conference series we want to get those points,âÄù he said. âÄúWe need to make sure weâÄôre at the top of our game going into this weekend. We want to get the WCHA season started off right.âÄù

Minnesota won all four meetings in 2010-11 by a combined score of 20-1.

Senior forward Sarah Erickson, who leads the team with 6 points, said she expects the Huskies to be better this year.

âÄúEvery opponent is better and better each year âĦ weâÄôve just got to play hard like we do every game and come out and not overlook any opponent this year,âÄù she said.

Forward Jen Schoullis said that games early in the season serve as an opportunity to get better.

âÄúObviously at the beginning of the season weâÄôre not going to be at our highest potential,âÄù she said.

âÄúThe great thing about this team is we do have a lot of potential. It all depends on how hard we want to work to get there.âÄù