|1st||11:09||STC||1-0||EV||Laura Kluge (7)||Brittney Anderson/6, Abby Thiessen/5|
|1st||15:25||MIN||1-1||EV||Taylor Williamson (1)||Lindsay Agnew/5|
|1st||19:34||MIN||2-1||EV||Olivia Knowles (7)||Caitlin Reilly/15|
|2nd||12:17||MIN||3-1||EV||Caitlin Reilly (9)||Nicole Schammel/12, Patti Marshall/14|
|3rd||17:47||STC||2-3||PP EA||Kayla Friesen (4)||Julia Tylke/4, Brittney Anderson/7|
|3rd||18:28||STC||3-3||EV EA GT||Julia Tylke (7)||Emma Turbyville/9, Alyssa Erickson/4|
|St. Cloud State||1||0||2||0||3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||7||4||12||1||24|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (6-17-5)||1/2||4/8||0|
|Alex Gulstene (T, 7-2-2)||65:00||3||6||4||10||1||21|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Emma Polusny (T, 4-7-4)||64:14||3||7||12||15||4||38|
ST. CLOUD-Trailing by two with just over two minutes to play, junior forward Julia Tylke helped orchestrate a thrilling comeback that earned the St. Cloud State women's hockey team (6-17-5, 4-13-4-1 WCHA) a 3-3 draw with No. 7 Minnesota on Friday.
The tie snapped the Huskies' 37-game losing streak to the Gophers that dated back to their 6-3 home win on Feb. 13, 2010. Sophomore forward Kayla Friesen put the cherry on top of the resurgent effort, scoring the lone goal in the shootout to earn SCSU the extra point in the WCHA standings.
After so many close calls against top teams like Minnesota this season, Friday's draw provided vindication of sorts for head coach Eric Rud that his team has the ability and confidence necessary to go toe-to-toe with the nation's best.
"We're in the middle of a really good stretch of hockey right now," Rud said. "Tonight would have been an easy night to say it is just not our night. It was kind of going that way, but there was resolve on our bench in the last 10 minutes."
"It sucks when you feel like you're playing better than your record is," he added. "But we're exactly where we need to be with our program right now. We're playing good hockey against quality opponents."
Trailing by two, 3-1, with just over two minutes to play, Tylke and the Huskies took advantage of a pair of extra attacker situations just 41 seconds apart to draw level.
Playing at 6-on-4 after pulling the goalie following a Gophers penalty, Tylke combined with Friesen on the doorstop to pull SCSU within one with 2:13 to play. With the net minder again pulled, Tylke then unleashed a wrist shot from just inside the blue line with 1:32 on the clock to equalize.
"It was like slow motion," Tylke said. "I just threw it on net hoping that someone would tip it in and it just slid right in."
The multipoint night snapped a five-game pointless drought for Tylke, but was a just reward for a player that Rud believes is playing "the best hockey of her career" right now.
"It's hard to tell a goal-scorer that when she has not scored in a few games," Rud said. "She has been good defensively and is playing a team game. It was fitting to see her tie it up tonight."
For the Huskies, the tie and shootout win over a ranked Minnesota team is a culmination of the belief they have been building over the last few months. Since starting the season 2-12-0, SCSU is a much-improved 4-5-5 in its last 14 games and are unbeaten (3-2-2) in five of its last seven WCHA contests.
"I have never celebrated that hard in my life," Tylke said. "I have never had a win like this in my life. It's surreal. I have never had a feeling like this before. It is something that we have all wanted for so long and it finally paid off."
Freshman forward Laura Kluge's team-leading seventh goal of the season and eighth point in nine second half games opened the scoring and staked the Huskies to a short-lived 1-0 lead. Minnesota came storming back with two goals in the finale four-plus minutes of the opening stanza and added another in the second to build the two-goal lead that Tylke and company eventually tore down.
Freshman goaltender Emma Polusny was again stellar between the pipes, making 38 saves in regulation and overtime, warding off a penalty shot in the second period and turning away all three Gophers shootout attempts to secure her side two points.
St. Cloud State and Minnesota wrap up their two game set Saturday, February 3 at 3:07 p.m. That contest will be broadcast live by Fox Sports North and streamed at FoxSportsGo.com. Tickets are available at scsutickets.com or at the arena box office on game day. SCSU students with a valid university ID, fans ages 18 and under and Huskies men's hockey season ticket holders receive free admission to all women's hockey home games.
SCSU will celebrate Senior Day prior to Saturday's game with a ceremony honoring the careers of the team's four graduating players-senior forward Alyssa Erickson, senior defenders Brittney Anderson and Emma Turbyville and redshirt junior goaltender Taylor Crosby.