WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Huskies pick up first win over Fighting Hawks since 2010

The St. Cloud State women's hockey rebuilding project took another step Friday night, while UND was left with another head-scratching inconsistent performance.

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Meghan Dufault (19) prepaies to take a shot at St. Cloud's goal in the first period of Friday's game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

The St. Cloud State women’s hockey rebuilding project took another step Friday night, while UND was left with another head-scratching inconsistent performance.

Molly Illikainen scored in the second period to provide all the scoring in St. Cloud State’s 1-0 win over UND at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It was St. Cloud’s first win over UND since Jan. 15, 2010.

“Close isn’t cutting it,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “We can’t play unbelievable one week and the next go half way. It’s not supposed to be that way. Enough is enough. How many times do we have to do this to ourselves? … that’s super disappointing.”

UND dropped to 14-10-5 overall and 11-9-5 in the WCHA. The Huskies improved to 12-14-4 overall and 8-13-4 in the league.


“I thought we were pretty sloppy and lethargic for large portions,” Idalski said. “You can’t play one period and hope to win a hockey game.”

UND outshot St. Cloud 39-21, thanks in large part to a 20-6 edge in shots in the third period.

The Fighting Hawks, who didn’t have any power-play time, saw their best chance on the penalty kill with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left in the third period.

UND leading scorer Amy Menke intercepted a pass at her own blue line and had a clean breakaway at St. Cloud goalie Katie Fitzgerald.

Menke made a move on Fitzgerald and her backhand attempt was kicked to the side.

“That’s a decision on the blue line we want back, especially to their leading scorer,” St. Cloud coach Eric Rud said. “When she made a move, I didn’t look. I just waited for the crowd reaction.”

UND pulled goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie (20 saves) with 1:15 left. But UND’s only late look came on a Layla Marvin tip attempt with 10 seconds left.

“I was very happy with the level of focus and intensity,” Rud said. “We showed up here to win a hockey game, instead of just seeing what was going to happen.”


The teams play again at 4:07 p.m. Saturday.

“I’d like to see 60 minutes like we’re capable of playing,” Idalski said.

The Huskies snapped a six-game winless streak.

“Maybe a year ago one of those pucks would have gone in on us in the third period,” Rud said. “We’re finding a way to get through those moments.”

Said Idalski: “I thought they were hungrier and competed harder, and I thought they got rewarded for it.”

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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