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Women’s hockey suffers first season loss

St. Cloud State defeated Minnesota 4-1 in a non-conference game.
Image by Ethan Fine
Senior Forward Taylor Heise skates with the puck in a game against the St. Cloud State Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

Nov. 7: vs. St. Cloud

The Gophers traveled to Andover, Minnesota, on Monday to face St. Cloud State in the 2022 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women’s Face-Off Classic.

The Gophers — undefeated in both Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and non-WCHA play prior to the game — had hopes of earning their 10th win of the season against the unranked Huskies.

Previously, the two teams squared off in late October. Minnesota prevailed in both games by close margins of 4-2 and 2-1.

The game remained scoreless until the final seven minutes of the first period, when Huskies forward Klára Hymlárová buried a one timer from the slot to take a 1-0 lead for St. Cloud.

In the final minute of the first period, Addi Scribner scored her second goal of the season to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.

Shortly before the period expired, Gopher Taylor Heise took a high sticking penalty to send St. Cloud to the power play. The Huskies were unable to score for the first quarter of the power play and headed into the intermission with a minute and a half remaining on their advantage.

To open the second period, St. Cloud’s Bailey Burton capitalized on Heise’s penalty, giving the Huskies a 3-0 lead. This was the first time this season the Gophers conceded the first three goals in a game and was the largest deficit the team has faced.

Toward the midpoint of the period, Heise was able to redeem herself with a snipe to put Minnesota on the board.

Heise’s goal was not able to build momentum for her team; the Gophers failed to score on two power play opportunities in the late stages of the second period.

Allie Cornelius delivered the dagger with twelve minutes left in the third period to extend the Huskies’ lead to three goals.

Despite outshooting the Huskies in all three periods, the Gophers were only able to get one goal past Huskies goaltender Sanni Ahola, and St. Cloud defeated Minnesota 4-1.

This was the first time the Huskies have defeated the Gophers in 12 years; the last time St. Cloud State beat Minnesota was in February 2010. Even worse, this was just the fourth time Minnesota has lost to St. Cloud in regulation in their 108 matchups.

Although the Gophers fell to Ohio State in a shootout on Oct. 29, the result counted as a tie rather than loss (due to National Collegiate Athletic Association and WCHA rules), thus making Minnesota’s defeat against St. Cloud State their first official loss of the season.

Fortunately for the Gophers, the game did not count towards their WCHA record — even though both teams are in the same conference — as the game was played in support of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum. Minnesota is still undefeated in conference play with a record of 9-0-1, and sits two places above St. Cloud State in second place.

The Gophers will travel to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend to face the number three Badgers in a highly-anticipated matchup.

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