Lions fall short in a blowout game with St. Cloud State Huskies


Photo by Ben Blizzard

St. Thomas student Gabby Billing (left) and Lindenwood student Karolina Sykorova (right) at the women’s ice hockey game on Nov.10 at Centene Community Ice Center.

Caleb Woods, Reporter

The Lindenwood women’s ice hockey team hosted the St. Cloud State Huskies in a two-game series at the Centene Community Ice Center on Friday, Nov. 25 as the Lions look to continue their winning streak.

The Huskies won the opening faceoff; however, the Lions quickly won the puck back and Lions alternate captain, No. 16, Kaitlin Finnegan had a shot on goal. The first 90 seconds of the game set a good start for the Lions. However, the Lions’ shots were either saved by Huskies’ goaltender, Sanni Ahola, blocked by Huskies’ defensemen, or missed the net.

“The competition we are playing against is at the highest level possible,” Lindenwood women’s ice hockey head coach Shelley Looney said. “We were still getting to know each other and the momentum in the right direction.”

Further, in the opening period, the Lions managed to on the power play but couldn’t score a shot. The Lions struggled halfway through the opening period, allowing the Huskies to get some scoring chances. The struggles continued throughout the opening period and lead to two goals scored by Huskies 13 seconds of each other.

“That’s a hard pill to swallow,” Looney said. “You never want that to happen in a game.”

Near the end of the opening period, the Lions looked to gain momentum but fell short. At the end of the opening period, the score was 2-0 in favor of the Huskies.

During the second period, the Lions continued to fight back, the Huskies were one step ahead. This led the Huskies to a breakaway. Which lead to a penalty shot by Bailey Burton who scored on Lions’ goaltender, No. 35, Natalie Ferenc. The Huskies scored their fourth goal of the night by Jenniia Nyland, who got her second goal of the night.

Frustrations for the Lions continued throughout the second period. Frustrations boiled over which cost the Lions a 10-minute game misconduct. Fortunately, for the Lions, No. 16, Kaitlin Finnegan had a great breakaway, but the shot was saved by Huskies’ goaltender, Sanni Ahola. Soon after the Lions caught a break, the Huskies scored. The fifth Huskies goal was scored by McKenna Wesloh.

The Lions continued to push toward the net, the Huskies were quick to stop the Lions in their tracks. After 15 minutes, the Lions gained momentum. This momentum led the Lions to get some great scoring chances, but all chances either shot wide of the net or were saved by the Huskies goaltender.

As soon as the Lions gained momentum for the first time in the period, the Huskies returned the favor by dominating the entire second period. Lions’ goaltender, No. 35, Natalie

Ferenc made some spectacular saves. At the end of the second period, the score was 5-0 in favor of the Huskies.

As the third period began, the Huskies won the faceoff and scored their sixth goal of the night. The goal was scored by Huskies’ captain, No. 13, Taylor Lind, who also got her second goal of the night. Soon after the Huskies’ goal, the Lions gained momentum once again. The Lions had some great scoring chances, but all chances were saved by the goaltender. But that didn’t stop the Lions from continuing pressure on the Huskies and scoring two goals by No. 28, Karolina Sykorova, and No. 7, Sarah Davies. The score is now 6-2.

“We did a lot of great things on the forecheck,” Looney said. “[We] made them cough up the puck and got pucks to the net.”

The Lions continued the pressure throughout the first eight minutes. Lions forward, No. 9, Meara Ryan had a great chance to cut the Huskies in half, but her shot hit the goal post. Halfway through the third period, the Lions continued the momentum with scoring chances coming from left and right.

“I feel like we rebounded and came back strong enough,” Looney said.

Just when things were going in the right direction for the Lions, the Huskies’ Svenja Voigt scored the seventh goal of the night. The Lions lost against the Huskies 7-2.

“I think [the game] got better as it went on,” Looney said. “Even though the score didn’t reflect it, I think we took charge in the third period.”

The Lions dropped the two-game series against the St. Cloud State Huskies with a 4-2 loss on Saturday’s matinee game. The Lions are back on the road to play a two-game series against Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.