ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Senior captain Randie Jelinski had a goal and two assists, while sophomore goaltender Kendall Newell made 29 saves to lead St. Cloud State to a 5-1 victory over North Dakota Saturday afternoon at the National Hockey Center.
“When your special teams are playing well, they give you an opportunity to win,” said St. Cloud State coach Jason Lesteberg. “Our power play and penalty kill units did their job this afternoon.”
North Dakota (2-7-1, 0-7-1 WCHA) allowed St. Cloud (3-6-1, 3-6-1) only three power-play opportunities in the game, but the Huskies managed to score on two of those opportunities.
St. Cloud registered the first goal of the game on the power play about halfway through the first period, when Jelinski took a pass in the slot from the right of the net by Ashley Stewart and neatly put the puck past Sioux goaltender Margaret-Ann Hinkley. The Huskies peppered Hinkley with 13 shots in the first frame.
North Dakota fought valiantly to even the score early in the second period. While moving the puck in the attacking zone, the Sioux managed to sneak the puck behind the defense, but Newell stoned a point blank shot from senior forward Elizabeth Funk directly in front of the net to keep North Dakota off the board.
Late in the second, the St. Cloud power-play struck again with brutal efficiency. Seconds after the power play began, Denelle Maguet took advantage of a flurry in front of the North Dakota net, picking up a rebound and putting it into the Sioux net for the 2-0 tally. Although North Dakota easily out chanced St. Cloud State during the second period, the Sioux were unable to crack the scoreboard during the second frame.
A Huskies slap shot early in the third period was misplayed by Hinkley after making the initial save, and poked into the net by freshman Sammy Nixon to put the Huskies up 3-0.
Hailey Clarkson increased the lead to 4-0 just over five minutes into the third period. Entering the zone unmarked and her teammates trailing, Clarkson wristed a shot that hit the roof of the net, beating Hinkley on the short side.
North Dakota finally notched its first goal of the afternoon on the power play with just under 13 minutes left in the game when Cami Wooster put a shot between the legs of Newell. A final goal by freshman Amy Currier late in the third once again put St. Cloud up by four.
With the win, St. Cloud moved into a tie for fifth place in the WCHA with Ohio State with seven points. North Dakota remains in eighth place with one league point.
St. Cloud hosts Minnesota State for two games next weekend, while North Dakota travels to Ohio State for a two game series.