|1st||6:27||WIS||1-0||EV GW||Sam Cogan (5)||Maddie Rowe/4, Mikaela Gardner/11|
|St. Cloud State||0||0||0||0|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|St. Cloud State||3||6||7||16|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|St. Cloud State (3-13-2)||0/0||2/4||0|
|Kristen Campbell (W, 20-1-0)||60:00||0||3||6||7||16|
|St. Cloud State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Janine Alder (L, 1-9-1)||59:24||1||13||5||14||32|
ST. CLOUD-A trio of missed opportunities haunted the St. Cloud State women's hockey team (3-13-2, 1-10-2-0 WCHA) in a narrow, 1-0, defeat to No. 1 Wisconsin (20-1-0, 11-0-0-0) on Friday.
The Huskies arguably had the game's three best offensive chances, but were unable to capitalize and were shutout for the second-straight game and 10th time this season as a result. After falling behind early, freshman forward Laura Kluge was stopped on a penalty shot and senior forward Alyssa Erickson and freshman forward Emma Bigham came up empty on breakaways.
"We gave them a run for their money," head coach Eric Rud said. "We created enough offense to get a goal or two, but we have to find a way to get one of those in the net."
The Badgers opened the scoring just under six and a half minutes into the opening period, which, despite SCSU's best efforts, proved to be all the offense the nation's top-ranked team needed.
As they pushed to draw even, the Huskies found room behind the UW defense and exploited it with stretch passes. Those outlet looks gave Kluge, Erickson and Bigham their breakaway opportunities, but all three failed to take advantage. Kluge's was SCSU's best chance of the afternoon. After breaking free, she was tripped up and awarded a penalty shot, but was turned away by Badgers sophomore goaltender Kristin Campbell 5:09 into the second period.
"We were able to find offense tonight with long passes and rushes," Rud said. "We created a bunch of chances that we could have capitalized on."
As expected, Wisconsin controlled possession for much of the contest and it racked up a commanding 33-16 shots on goal advantage. That relentless pressure tested the mettle of the Huskies' young defense, but it stood tall. SCSU's maturation was evident against the Badgers. Its defenders forced UW's potent offense to the perimeter and limited second chance opportunities.
"Our defensive core has matured and we're playing smarter right now," Rud said. "We did a good job of keeping them to the outside tonight and that is the key when you're playing a really good team."
Sophomore goaltender Janine Alder was stellar between the pipes to maintain the one-goal deficit and give her team a chance to equalize. Alder finished with 32 saves-her seventh 30-plus save outing of the season-including a highlight-reel stop on a Badgers 4-on-1 opportunity in the third period. The Zurich, Switzerland native now boasts a .936 save percentage in her last six starts.
"She was outstanding," Rud said of Alder. "She was on top of things and competed well and made a couple of really big saves. Everything about her game was really sharp tonight."
St. Cloud State wraps up its two-game set with Wisconsin, and the 2017 portion of it schedule, on Saturday, December 9 at 3:07 p.m., at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center. Tickets for the series finale can be purchased at scsutickets.com or at the arena box office on game day. SCSU students with a valid student ID, fans ages 18 and under and Huskies men's hockey season ticket holders receive free admission to all women's hockey home games.