Saelens Goal Lifts St. Cloud State Past North Dakota, 3-2
Senior forward Kelsey Saelens scores game-winning goal for Huskies

Senior forward Kelsey Saelens scored the game-winning goal for the Huskies
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 4:58  STC1-0 EV Alyssa Erickson (1)Julia Tylke/1, Jenna Redford/1
1st 17:50  NDK1-1 EV Annelise Rice (1)Charly Dahlquist/1, Alyssa MacMillan/1
1st 19:57  NDK2-1 PP Jordan Hampton (1)Vilma Tanskanen/1, Kayla Gardner/2
2nd 16:43  STC2-2 EV Julia Tylke (5)Brooke Kudirka/2, Alyssa Erickson/1
3rd 4:03  STC3-2 EV GW Kelsey Saelens (1)Suvi Ollikainen/1, Ivy Dynek/1
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
North Dakota  2002
St. Cloud State  1113
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
North Dakota  13141037
St. Cloud State  43714
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
North Dakota (2-1-1)  1/3 4/8 0
St. Cloud State (2-4-0)  0/4 3/6 0
North Dakota Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Kristen Campbell (L, 0-1-0)59:213 32611
Empty Net0:390     
St. Cloud State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Taylor Crosby22:522 113014
Janine Alder (W, 2-1-0)37:060 0111021
Empty Net0:020     

ST. CLOUD-A resilient display earned the St. Cloud State women's hockey team (2-4-0, 1-3-0 WCHA) a confidence-building win, 3-2, and a series split with conference rival No. 6/7 North Dakota (2-1-1, 1-1-0) on Saturday.

After scoring two goals in the final 2:10 of the period, the Fighting Hawks carried a one-goal lead, 2-1, into the first intermission, but the Huskies battled back with a pair of goals in the final two stanzas to seal the upset.

Senior forward Kelsey Saelens picked a perfect time for her first goal of the season, capping the comeback with the game-winner just over four minutes into the final frame.

"That's an easy game to let slip away and say 'it wasn't our night,'" head coach Eric Rud said. "But there was a will to win a hockey game tonight. We had an underlying calmness throughout and a feeling that it could be a good night."

After disappointing late game performances in recent games, closing out a win over a top-10 team was a huge boost to the Huskies' collective confidence and further proof they have the ability to compete with anyone.

"Everyone stepped up and there was a lot of energy," junior forward Alyssa Erickson said. "Our ream really needed that. Confidence is going to be a big thing for us this season and today was a really big help."

Rud's decision to play Erickson on a line with sophomore forward Julia Tylke and freshman forward Brooke Kudirka paid immediate dividends for St. Cloud State. Each one found the score sheet, combining for two goals and four points. Erickson opened the scoring just under five minutes into the game and Tylke knotted the score at two late in the second period

"Right from the get-go you could see they had jump," Rud said. "They executed a few things we have been working on and it was great to see them rewarded."

No individual performance was more valuable, though, than freshman goaltender Janine Alder's. Sophomore Taylor Crosby started the game, but was forced to leave with an injury early in the second period after a collision with a UND player. Alder came on in relief and stopped all 21 shots she faced.

"As a goalie, you always have to be ready, but it is really difficult to come in cold," Alder said. "But the adrenaline kicks in as soon as the coaches call your number."

The Swiss national team member was tested right away and stood tall amidst a barrage of North Dakota chances. Up by one, UND dominated possession in the middle period, out-attempting the Huskies, 27-5. Alder kept the Fighting Hawks at bay before Tylke's tally swung the momentum in St. Cloud State's favor and set the stage for Saelens' heroics.

"It's easier to get yourself into the game if you face a lot of shots early," Alder said. "We put our heart on the ice today and it was incredible. It was like a playoff game."

The Huskies' last win over a nationally ranked opponent also came against North Dakota. SCSU beat then-No. 9 UND, 1-0, on Feb. 12, 2016 in Grand Forks, N.D. Saturday's victory also snapped a 12-game home winless streak (0-11-1) against the Fighting Hawks that dated back to the 2009-10 season.

St. Cloud State has a bye week next week, but will return to the ice October 21-22 against Minnesota State in Mankato. Game times are 7:07 p.m. and 3:07 p.m., respectively.