Minnesota gave up a two-goal lead late in the third period in its first game of the series. The team was determined to bounce back after a disappointing tie.
The Gophers got off to an early start once again, but this time, they held on.
Minnesota (20-8-3, 13-6-3-0 WCHA) defeated St. Cloud (6-18-5, 4-14-4-1 WCHA) 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Forward Lindsay Agnew and defenseman Sydney Baldwin each scored two goals. Cara Piazza added a goal as well.
“It was a great response by our team after giving up the lead there yesterday, and getting out quick as we did was awesome,” head coach Brad Frost said.
Minnesota denied any chance of a second comeback on Saturday, holding the Huskies to 11 shots on net.
Agnew scored 1:55 into the first period after Taylor Williamson wrapped around the net and found Agnew for the opening goal. St. Cloud came back five minutes later and tied the game 1-1 on a power play after the Gophers had too many players on the ice. Agnew earned her second goal two minutes after Williamson passed the puck to her once again.
“In the past, our starts haven’t been what we have wanted them [to be],” Williamson said. “We wanted a full 60 minutes of domination, and I think that is what we did tonight.”
In the second period, the Gophers created plenty of chances and, eventually, Baldwin scored her ninth goal of the year on a rebound shot. Piazza also scored her ninth goal of the year.
St. Cloud added one more goal with less than four minutes left in the game, but could not match the previous night’s comeback attempt.
Gophers blow two-goal lead
St. Cloud ended up earning the extra point after taking care of the Gophers in the shootout 1-0.
Minnesota tied St. Cloud 3-3 on Friday night in St. Cloud at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Williamson scored her first goal of the season since her return to the team after being diagnosed with a brain condition. Caitlin Reilly and Olivia Knowles tallied a goal each, but Minnesota could not hang on in the third period.
“When you are up two goals with less than three minutes left you got to win that hockey game,” Frost said. “We have to learn from it, continue to learn how to finish out games.”
Minnesota took a 3-1 lead into the third period. With less than three minutes left to play, the Gophers were called for a penalty. The Huskies decided to pull Emma Polusny to make it a 6-on-4 attack. The Huskies' Kayla Friesen pulled the Huskies within one goal of the lead with 2:13 remaining in the game. Just 40 seconds later, with the net still empty and an extra-attacker on the ice, Julia Tylke sent the game into overtime.
In overtime, the Gophers shot four times on net, including a breakaway from Reilly, but she could not find the net nor could any of the Gophers for the rest of the game. Grace Zumwinkle, Emily Brown and Nicole Schammel all came up short in the shootout. Friesen beat Alex Gulstene for the lone goal of the shootout.
St. Cloud was first to get on the board in the opening period when the Huskies’ Laura Kluge scored 11 minutes into the game. Williamson ignited the bench after scoring her first goal of the season with five minutes left, and then with just 30 seconds left, Knowles scored her seventh goal of the season. Williamson was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis last April and has been battling it ever since. This was her first goal since the diagnosis.
“To finally get that puck in the back of the net was just an incredible moment,” Williamson said. “It is just about enjoying it and never taking a shift for granted.”