ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud State University women's hockey garnered its first win of the season on Friday, Feb. 11, blanking league rival Minnesota State University, Mankato by a score of 2-0 in the National Hockey Center.
St. Cloud State's special teams were brilliant this evening as rookie forward Molli Mott (Colorado Springs, Colo.) netted her first career game-winning goal on the penalty kill. Mott's short-handed score came at the 6:45 mark of the second frame. SCSU's insurance tally came in the same period and was scored by sophomore Alex Nelson (Andover) at 12:39 on the power play.
Ashley Nixon, SCSU's senior netminder, also reached a career milestone tonight. Backstopping the Huskies with 23 saves, the shutout win for Nixon ties former Husky goalie Lauri St. Jacques (2004-07) for the most career shutous in the Cardinal and Black with six.
"Tonight was a very fitting way for Ashley (Nixon) to gain her first win of the season," said SCSU's head coach Jeff Giesen in regards to Nixon tying the school's career shutout record. "She made some great saves and gave us a chance to win."
The Huskies came focused and ready to play tonight as SCSU's initial 14-of-15 shots in the first 32 minutes of action were on net. That laser-like shooting precision enabled the Huskies to gain an important 2-0 lead in the second period.
On Minnesota State's power play, SCSU's scrappy penalty kill managed to push the puck into the Maverick zone. St. Cloud State's Molli Mott stole the puck from an MSU player at the top of the slot and while falling down, found a way to beat Minnesota State's junior goaltender Alli Altmann five-hole to erase the scoreless tie. The unassisted goal was the fifth of Mott's career and second in as many games. The goal also marked the first short-handed score of the season for the Huskies.
"Molli (Mott) is an exciting player to watch," said Giesen. "Anything good can happen when she has the puck on her stick below the top circles. It was a great short-handed goal to get from her tonight."
St. Cloud State continued to pressure MSU's defense in the second period and peppered the net twice as much, out-shooting the Mavs 14-7. The Huskies power play connected on its first power play goal in four games at 12:39. SCSU's sophomore forward Jocelyn Zabrick (Airdrie, Alberta) rifled off a shot from just inside the blue line. Alex Nelson was planted in front of the MSU net and charted an incredible tip in front to beat MSU's Altmann glove side for her third goal of the season. Zabrick was awarded the lone helper on the goal, which gave the Huskies the 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.
The Mavericks continued to battle in the final period as shots were nearly even with SCSU holding the slight advantage 11-10. MSU made a final push in the final seconds, pulling Altmann from net for 1:12, however the Husky defense held on for the WCHA victory.
St. Cloud State's win snaps a 31-game winless streak dating back to Feb. 27, 2010. The Huskies (1-28-1, 1-23-1-1 WCHA) will complete the weekend tilt against the Mavericks tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2:07 pm in the National Hockey Center.