The Whitecaps traveled to St. Cloud to face the Huskies in a two-game exhibition series over the weekend. The two games could not have been much closer, with both ending in 2-1 victories for St. Cloud. Game one on Friday was decided in regulation, but it took extra time on Saturday as the second contest was decided in overtime. The Whitecaps outshot the Huskies over the two games 68-60.
On Friday afternoon, after a scoreless first period in which the Whitecaps outshot the Huskies 12-8, the Whitecaps struck first with a goal by Lauren Barnes off a nice feed from Amy Menke just 31 seconds into the second period. St. Cloud State answered six minutes later on a great shot by Alyssa Erickson, tying the game at one. The teams exchanged scoring chances in the third, but it was another goal by Erickson on the power play with less than four minutes to play that gave the Huskies the win.
Former Husky Julie Friend played well in goal for the Whitecaps, making 36 saves on the day. The Whitecaps were 0-3 on the power play, while the Huskies were 1-4.
The next day the same two teams met in another close game. It was defenseman Winny Brown, one of the original Whitecaps players, who opened the scoring halfway through the first period on a wrist shot from the point that found its way to the back of the net. Assists went to two former Huskies - Kalli Funk and Meaghan Pezon.
After a scoreless second period, the Whitecaps turned up the heat on the Huskies in the third. Shots were 11-5 in favor of the Whitecaps for the period, and there was a stretch of over 5 minutes at the start of the frame when the Whitecaps hemmed in the Huskies in their own end, outshooting them 6-0 during that stretch. But shortly after that, it was Aubrey Pritchett who tied the game for the Huskies. Regulation time would end with the score 1-1.
Then halfway through the five minute overtime, it was the Huskies who were able to capitalize, as Hallie Theodosopoulos banged in a loose puck while surrounded by Whitecaps, giving St. Cloud the sweep of the series.
Final shots for the game were 32-22 in favor of the Whitecaps, and neither team scored on the power play, as the Whitecaps finished 0-1 and the Huskies were 0-3. Friend made 20 saves on the day in the loss. The same two teams will meet again on January 13.
Box scores of both games are below.
Photo credit: Neil Negstad