|1st||17:53||STC||1-0||PP||Molly Illikainen (17)||Julia Tylke/13, Lexi Slattery/12|
|2nd||11:08||STC||2-0||EV||Lauren Hespenheide (5)||Vanessa Spataro/3|
|2nd||12:28||STC||3-0||PP GW||Lexi Slattery (4)||Brittney Anderson/16, Julia Tylke/14|
|2nd||14:35||MND||1-3||EV||Ashleigh Brykaliuk (16)||Lara Stalder/20, Michela Cava/17|
|3rd||13:02||MND||2-3||EV||Michela Cava (18)||Lara Stalder/21, Ashleigh Brykaliuk/28|
|St. Cloud State||1||2||0||3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||6||5||7||18|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota Duluth (12-20-1)||0/3||3/6||0|
|St. Cloud State (13-15-4)||2/3||3/6||0|
|Minnesota Duluth Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Maddie Rooney (L, 5-12-0)||58:53||3||5||3||7||15|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Katie Fitzgerald (W, 12-15-4)||60:00||2||7||18||6||31|
St. Cloud, MN --- The St. Cloud State Huskies ( 13-15-4, 9-14-4 WCHA ) started things off the right way in their final regular season series with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs ( 12-20-1, 9-17-1 WCHA ). The win for the Huskies cemented a fifth place finish with 34 points in WCHA play. The Bulldogs at 28 points have no chance to catch the Huskies with only tomorrow's season finale left to play. Tonight's win also dictated where the Huskies will play in the first round of the playoffs next weekend. The Huskies will head back to North Dakota where they visited last weekend, and split with the Fighting Hawks. Game times for the Friday-Sunday three game series have initially been set for 2:37 P.M. each day. Sunday's game will only be played if necessary.
St. Cloud State jumped out to a 3-0 lead before holding on all the way to the final horn. Senior goaltender and number one star of the game Katie Fitzgerald made her best of her 31 saves when it mattered most. Fitzgerald moved post to post and made a sprawling save of a wrap around try by Duluth defenseman Sidney Morin as the horn sounded. Replays showed that the goal would have indeed counted if not for the heroics and acrobatics of Fitzgerald. The final save was a punctuation mark of what happened all night long. The Huskies were outshot 33-18 including 19-5 in the second period.
Senior Molly Illikainen netted her 17th goal of the year and her 97th career point to spark the Huskies to a 1-0 lead on the power play late in the first period. Senior defenseman, and number two star Lexi Slattery moved the puck over to freshman Julia Tylke whose shot went off the far post and settled right to Illikainen for the flush.
After period number one six Huskies were recognized for academic excellence and received a coveted WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award. Jenna Redford, Vanessa Spataro, Christa Moody, Caroline Markstrom, Emma Turbyville, and Hannah Brodt were St. Cloud State's recipients.
Though the Huskies were outshot 19-5 in the second period they still managed to outscore the Bulldogs 2-1 in the second period for a 3-1 lead heading into the final stanza. At the 8:52 mark of the period, senior Vanessa Spataro outworked a Bulldog player and rushed the puck out of the zone. Spataro put a shot on goal and as always, good things happen when you go to the net. Junior Lauren Hespenheide hustled her way into the play creating a 2 on 1. Hespenheide while falling to her knees put the rebound past Duluth goaltender Maddie Rooney for her fifth goal of the season.
The Huskies struck again only a minute and 20 seconds later and again on the power play. After Tylke and sophomore defenseman Brittney Anderson worked the puck around the net, they fed Slattery with the eventual game winner when she caromed home her fourth goal of the year.
Duluth certainly created drama and excitement. Junior Ashleigh Brykaliuk who earlier had to leave the game with a severe cut to her ear, and who had to switch from jersey number 13 to number two scored near the end of the second period to close the gap for Duluth to 3-1.
Senior Michela Cava pulled the Bulldogs within one at the 13:02 mark of the third period on a deflected pop fly shot that somehow went over Fitzgerald. Duluth pulled their goalie and as stated above, the game went down to the final second.
Tomorrow marks the regular season finale for both teams at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on senior salute day as Illikainen, Fitzgerald, Slattery, Spataro and Hanna Brodt skate for their final time on home ice. The puck drops at 3:07 P.M. CST.