Written by Joseph Erickson
St. Cloud State was coming off a series where they picked up their first point against #3 Wisconsin for the first time since 2015. Duluth handled Minnesota State easily the previous weekend and looked to continue that momentum in a matchup they have dominated recently. The first goal of the game came 14 minutes in from Senior Gabbie Hughes in the high slot off a pass from linemate Elizabeth Giguere for her 16th of the season as she continues her career year (1-0). Graduate Student Emma Polusny, fresh off a week where she earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week for her 54 save performance against Wisconsin stood strong in the final five minutes and held the Bulldogs to only one after the first 20.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in the middle frame by potting their 2nd of the afternoon 16 seconds in, after Senior Kylie Hanley deflected a shot from Giguere into the net (2-0). Anna Klein picked up an assist on the Hanley goal to extend her point streak to three games. Halfway through the second, UMD would get another off a funky goal by Taylor Anderson whos poke check popped the puck up into the air over a sprawling Polusny, which fell past the goal line and extended the Bulldogs lead (3-0). Meanwhile, on the other end of the ice Bulldog Goaltender Jojo Chobak was sharp in between the pipes and confidence was high after receiving WCHA Goaltender of the Month for January. Minnesota-Duluth would get one more before the period off a backhand shot from Giguere who was set up by Mannon McMahon on a 2 on 1 (4-0). Giguere finished the afternoon with a game high three points and six points her last three games.
A 3rd period comeback is a tough ask against such a good club in UMD that is accustomed to shutting down opponents when leading after two. After McMahon picked up an assist, she was rewarded with her 3rd goal of the season (5-0). St. Cloud State was unable to test Chobak for much of the period and the game would turn in to getting the goose egg off the scoreboard for the Huskies. SCSU would have to wait until less than two minutes to go and from an unlikely hero. Freshman Dayle Ross picked up a loose puck after Liz Norton for Duluth slipped and shoveled a backhand past the glove of Chobak for her first collegiate goal (5-1). An afternoon filled with frustration gave St. Cloud State a better outlook after the freshman’s tally but they fall to UMD 5-1.