Women’s hockey looking to bounce back against St. Cloud

by Nate Gotlieb

 

The Gophers womenâÄôs hockey team discovered last weekend that a 28-0 all-time record against an opponent doesnâÄôt translate into an automatic series sweep.

This weekend, they donâÄôt want to make the same mistake against another team theyâÄôve historically dominated.

As they get ready to travel to St. Cloud State for their WCHA road opener, the Gophers look to put the frustrating sweep they suffered at the hands of North Dakota behind them.

âÄúOur focus is trying to win a hockey game on Friday night, so hopefully weâÄôll do that and try and win another one on Saturday,âÄù Coach Brad Frost said. âÄúItâÄôs kind of a gut check for our team right now, and I think weâÄôll respond well.âÄù

After avoiding the inevitable slip up for seven seasons, the Gophers finally experienced not only a loss, but a sweep to UND. The team lost a 4-3 battle Friday night and struggled to manufacture offensive Saturday producing three third-period shots while losing 3-1.

The team was hampered all weekend long by penalties, allowing UND to be on the power play for 32 minutes, over one-fourth of the series.

âÄúWe werenâÄôt in sync with the refs this weekend, and that was kind of a downer point for us,âÄù defenseman Anne Schleper said, âÄúbut I think battling is going to be very big this weekend and other weekends as well.âÄù

Added freshman Kelly Terry, who led the Gophers with a goal each night: âÄúJust by the atmosphere in the dressing room after the games, itâÄôs really clear that our team hates to lose.âÄù

The Gophers bring a 39-3-2 all-time record against a Huskies team still looking for its first win of the season. While the Huskies lost their five leading scorers from last season, the Gophers have struggled compared to previous years against St. Cloud State, with two of their three losses against the Huskies coming in the last three years.

âÄúItâÄôs hard because if you look at our record against North Dakota, I mean we hadnâÄôt lost against them,âÄù Schleper said. âÄúThatâÄôs kind of something that you just have to keep in the back of your mind that anything can happen when you come up against a WCHA team especially. We definitely have to stay focused.âÄù

The Gophers have to adjust to the extra room of St. CloudâÄôs Olympic-sized ice rink. The traditional home and home format of the series provides that both teams get a game on home ice, but both contests will be in St. Cloud this weekend.

The team has been practicing on the Olympic-sized ice sheet at Mariucci Arena in preparation.

âÄúI think itâÄôs better for us almost,âÄù defenseman Anne Schleper said. âÄúI think itâÄôs good for us to spread things out and get a little more movement and a little bit more area to pass the puck.âÄù

Goalie Noora Raty, who has been splitting time in front of the net with Alyssa Grogan, was out this past weekend due to an undisclosed injury. Frost is hopeful that sheâÄôll be able to go this weekend.

Forced to start both games, Alyssa Grogan allowed seven goals this weekend after netting a shutout in her first regular season game against Clarkson on Oct. 2.

âÄúI thought she made some really nice saves,âÄù Frost said. âÄúI think sheâÄôd rather of won a couple of games than lost, but I thought she played pretty well.âÄù

The team is still without their leading scorer from last season, senior Emily West, who suffered an undisclosed injury in the second game of the Clarkson series and has not been in uniform since.