|1st||4:06||MIN||1-0||SH||Kippin Keller (1)||Kelly Pannek/36, Megan Wolfe/11|
|2nd||7:31||STC||1-1||EV||Payge Pena (4)||Kayla Friesen/7|
|3rd||7:29||MIN||2-1||EV GW||Nicole Schammel (4)||Megan Wolfe/12, Lee Stecklein/13|
|St. Cloud State||0||1||0||1|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||5||3||5||13|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (7-17-3)||0/3||2/4||0|
|Sidney Peters (W, 17-5-2)||60:00||1||5||2||5||12|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Madeleine Dahl (L, 0-2-0)||58:44||2||4||8||10||22|
ST. CLOUD-A stellar defensive effort stoked the flu-ridden St. Cloud State women's hockey team's (7-17-3, 5-14-2 WCHA) hopes for an upset, but a late goal shattered that chance in a 2-1 loss to No. 4 Minnesota (18-5-3, 14-4-3) on Friday.
While the setback extended the Huskies winless skid against their in-state rivals to 32 games, the two goals allowed were the fewest in their last 17 meetings with the Gophers. SCSU held Minnesota to a season-low 24 shots on goal and blocked 18 more chances.
"I couldn't be more proud of our defensive effort tonight," head coach Eric Rud said. "We competed, defensively, blocked a ton of shots and our sticks were excellent. We didn't bend on anything. We made them earn every single shot on goal."
Backstopping that defensive effort was senior goaltender Madeleine Dahl, who started for just the second time in three years in light of illnesses to freshman Janine Alder and sophomore Taylor Crosby. Dahl found out she was starting just eight hours before game time, but was unfazed, turning away 22-of-24 shots to fuel her team's upset hopes.
"She did a phenomenal job," Rud said of Dahl. "She was out there making plays and our team fed off of her energy. They really wanted to play well for her."
On the strength of senior forward Payge Pena's second period goal, her fourth of the season, St. Cloud State found itself tied, 1-1, after two periods, but it was the Gophers that seized the opportunity. Minnesota tallied 7:29 into the final frame and, despite a handful of chances, the Huskies failed to break through again.
"We ran out of gas, offensively, in the third period," Rud said. "We needed a bounce tonight."
Though the final score didn't go SCSU's way, Rud said this game showed his team what it is capable of, especially on defense-which will be invaluable as the Huskies gear up for the season's stretch run.
"This game will give us confidence," he said. "This is a performance that we can build off of. It was the kind of focus and defensive effort that it takes to beat teams in this league."
St. Cloud State wraps up its two-game set against the fourth-ranked Gophers on Saturday, January 28. Game time is 3:07 p.m. at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Tickets are on sale at scsutickets.com and will be available at the box office on game day. Youth under 18 and SCSU students with a valid university ID will be admitted for free.