ST. CLOUD, Minn. - St. Cloud State Women's Hockey took care of business in the third period and was six-of-six on the penalty kill in their series opener at RPI on Friday afternoon, earning a 4-1 win to kick off their holiday trip. The Huskies scored three goals in the final frame, putting the game on ice. Sophomore Emma Gentry scored twice, put eight shots on goal and finished plus-three as part of a marvelous performance. The SCSU goal leader was joined by Taylor Lind and Jenniina Nylund in the scoring department while seven different Huskies tallied an assist. Goaltender Emma Polusny turned away 33 shots including 16 in the first period to earn her second win of the year and 22nd of her career.
Tied at one just a minute and a half into the final frame, Jenniina Nylund carried the puck ahead into the offensive zone. Skating in from the right point and slicing through the defense into the slot, Nylund wristed one off the Engineers' tender. Following just right of the slot, Taylor Lind gathered the rebound and slipped it home on the second effort, providing the Huskies with a lead they would never relinquish.
- Emma Gentry (2 G, 8 SOG, +3) pushed her goal total to eight with her third two-goal game of the year.
- Taylor Lind (1-1-2) and Jenniina Nylund (1-1-2) each provided multi-goal games for SCSU.
- Emma Polusny stopped 33-of-34 shots faced for her second win of the season.
- Adela Skrdlova, Kenzie Wylie and Olivia Cvar each blocked three shots in the win.
- Mackenzie Bourgerie, Klara Hymlarova, Taylor Lind, Adela Skrdlova, Kenzie Wylie, McKenna Wesloh and Jenniina Nylund each recorded an assist.
- St. Cloud State went six-for-six on the penalty kill.
- SCSU scored three of their four goals in the third period.
- The Huskies outshot RPI 35-34.
St. Cloud State Women's Hockey Head Coach Steve Macdonald
"I loved our team's energy going into the game today. They kept great energy during the week of practice and with the long travel day yesterday I was really happy with how our team came ready. We were a little slow in the first, and we were a little slow adjusting to their pressure. They are a team that works really hard and we were slow adjusting to that, but we made a few tweaks and I thought we were excellent in the second and third period."
On Emma Gentry's massive game... "She's a player who is dangerous from a lot of different areas on the ice. She simplifies her game, finds the soft spots, possesses the puck and doesn't overhandle it. I thought that line did a really great job of at times just slowing things down - just possessing it and looking for a play, pulling the defensive coverage out of position and looking for those soft spots. I'm really happy with how she played, I thought she played a really good game, and overall I thought that line was great."
On the exceptional penalty kill... "We have some veterans there on the penalty kill, and that really helps. Next time we hope we won't take as many penalties, but it's a situation where we're confident in the penalty kill and what they're able to do. That experience came through."
On the Huskies' puck movement... "I think it took a little bit for us to get into the rhythm of the game in the first period. I thought we didn't possess the puck very well, we weren't supporting the puck. In the second and third period we were able to get the second player in quick with that support whether it was a scrum or a quick outlet for our player with the puck. I thought we were able to do a much better job with that, which led to more scoring chances and more zone time. Once we settled in and had more poise, it really improved our game."
On Emma Polusny's return to the crease... "She's the veteran that she is. Having some time off, she's been working herself back to get into the weekly routine and for her to come back and get the win in her first game back is awesome. She's such a competitor, a veteran, and a leader on this team you're just happy for her to do that. She looked a lot more composed - she's finding that rhythm again."
The Huskies close their Thanksgiving week nonconference series at RPI tomorrow at 2:0 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, available on the SCSU Women's Hockey schedule page.