Over the past month it has been quite the emotional roller coaster.
We didn’t start the second half of the year like we wanted to, losing 5-1 to Mankato. Sophomore center Lauren Hespenheide scored the lone goal on the power play for the Huskies. Heading to Bemidji the first weekend in February we knew that it was going to be two close games and even though they were, unfortunately we didn’t come out on top losing Friday’s game 3-1 and Saturday’s 1-0 with the one goal of the series from senior defenseman Audrey Hanmer with the extra attacker.
Coming into senior weekend with no wins for the second half of the season is obviously not where you want to be as a team, but we weren’t going to let that affect our determination and mindset for the weekend series against #9 North Dakota. Special teams got the best of us both nights as North Dakota converted on three power play opportunities for the weekend, while also adding a shorthanded goal. We were unable to capitalize on any of our opportunities for the weekend losing 4-0 Friday night and 2-0 Saturday afternoon. Even though we didn’t win on senior day Saturday, five seniors, Amanda Arbogast, Kalli Funk, Abby Ness, Audrey Hanmer and I were honored for our accomplishments during our time at St. Cloud State. As a senior class we’ve been through a lot, but I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my time with anyone else. These girls and the rest of my teammates make it exciting to come to the rink every day.
With our last Monday night game and home game ever as St. Cloud State Huskies, the seniors were determined to get the win. Despite a shorthanded breakaway goal by freshman forward Nicole Schammel midway through the second period, we were able to bounce back. Redshirt sophomore forward Jenna Redford deflected a point shot from sophomore defenseman Christa Moody to tie the game up at 1. With a final period left for the seniors at home, they turned it into a night to remember. Abby Ness scored on the power play and later added an empty net goal to give the Huskies their first win of 2015. Amanda Arbogast assisted on both of Ness’s goals and Audrey Hanmer picked up an assist on her empty netter. You appreciate winning a lot more in my opinion when you don’t win a lot of games.
This past weekend against the #4 Wisconsin Badgers was the most exciting weekend I’ve ever been a part of. Coming into the series, St. Cloud State had not beaten the Badgers in 22 straight games. Friday afternoon’s game was one I will never forget. Freshman center Alyssa Erickson started the scoring for the Huskies off a shot that found its way to the back of the net through a screen by a Badger defenseman with assists from Abby Ness and Amanda Arbogast. The Badgers were unable to get on the scoreboard in the first or second period due to continuous blocked shots and cleared rebounds. The third period consisted of both teams getting chances, but no one could find the back of the net until sophomore forward Payge Pena jumped on a loose puck in our defensive zone in the last two minutes in the game and put it into the empty net. With the extra attacker on the ice once again for the Badgers and the score 2-0 in favor of the Huskies, the Badgers were able to score with just 16 seconds left in the game. 2-1. The next 16 seconds were probably some of the best seconds of my life. We beat the #4 team in the nation 2-1 in their building. It was a great team effort and the most exciting win of my career. As you can tell in the picture above we were pretty excited.
Even though we lost Sunday’s contest, Friday’s win is motivation coming into this weekend for playoffs. We play Wisconsin once again in a best of three series at Labahn Arena in Madison. Puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday night and Sunday if necessary. Hopefully we will be making more memories in Wisconsin this weekend. Let’s go Huskies!